LAYTON, UTAH—At UpHill Cinema, our goal is to deliver exceptional content that focuses primarily on the story. I was recently hired as a videographer for a project from Grant Victor to assist on a short film called “You Helped Them,” which documented the construction of the Boheka and Boyani schools in Kenya. It’s the second time I’ve shot in this area, so I knew my AIR LW System and Solo Pod from Miller Camera Support would give me the versatility I needed when shooting without weighing me down with a ton of needless equipment.
The author was able to easily adjust the AIR LW System and Solo Pod to the difficult terrain of Kenya.HARSH CONDITIONS
Filming in Kenya is neither luxurious nor simple. It is very dry and hot and we were constantly moving and traveling, about four-to-six hours a day, through the extreme heat. This can pose a challenge when determining what equipment to bring along. The terrain and conditions are not always predictable, either. Although I’ve filmed there before, you really don’t know what you are going to face until you get there.
The AIR LW System held up through all of the dust, mud and dirt while still remaining stable during the super close-up and slo-mo shots because of the spiked feet; having these on terrible ground cover is vital to get your desired shot and it is a feature I utilized the entire time. Miller equipment is also pretty rugged, which alleviates any worry that your gear might fail on you in the field. And because it is so lightweight, it also allows for super smooth pan and tilt, even when using a bigger lens.
I really enjoy the simple, intuitive nature of the tripod; any crew member, whether they had experience using Miller products before or not, could easily figure out how to set it up. And when it came to working with the range of cameras we brought with us, the tripod also transitioned effortlessly.
At times, it was tricky to set up and film the celebrations held by the people in the villages due to the continuous movement: getting up or down, dancing and walking around the area. The Solo Pod was perfect for these types of shots because it let me be quick on my feet and not have to scramble to change my setup. The Solo Pod, like the AIR LW System, is also very lightweight, which added to the speed at which I could move around and film.
I cannot imagine shooting this project in Kenya without my Miller Camera Support AIR LW System and Solo Pod. In such challenging conditions, Miller’s reliable products did their job seamlessly and provided just “the right feel.” This let us do ours and focus on the story we were capturing.
Levi Whitney is a full-time cinematographer who has worked on documentaries and narrative commercials all over the world. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please visit www.millertripods.comor call 973-857-8300.