Award-winning photographer/writer/director/producer Greg Roden is committed to helping people understand where our food comes from and how it impacts not only our bodies, but also the planet we live on. He’s been taking his team on the road to explore these important issues for the PBS series "Food Forward." To capture stories about people who are committed to improving their lives and the life of our planet, he carries a small yet effective camera package. His most recent addition to this package is the Ace fluid head and tripod system from Sachtler part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company.
“This was my first foray into Sachtler, coming from a primarily still photography background,” says Roden. “Now as a producer/director, there are many times when we use a skeletal crew to get into difficult places to shoot. With just a cinematographer using a Sony EX-3 or Canon 5D, running onboard sound or sync sound and talent, I am able to sling the Sachtler Ace over my shoulder and head out for an all day shoot in any location, far from a production vehicle,” he says.
One particular shoot followed an urban farmer into the bustling streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown so she could buy some live chickens for her urban farm across the bay in West Oakland. Roden's crew started the shoot by hopping on a crowded mid-morning BART train and were able to grab a few shots on the moving train using the Ace. By setting the head to zero drag, the tripod gave the shooter additional stability on medium-tight shots, while providing the freedom and flexibility of shooting handheld.
Outside, the crew shot whip pans and tilts off of the buildings to the busy streets full of cable cars, busses, bike messengers and people. The SA drag system, which has three horizontal and three vertical steps plus zero, makes the Ace easy to use and super smooth in the pan and tilt for every situation.
Producer/Director Greg Roden is the winner of the International Television & Video Association (ITVA) Award for “Best Documentary” for his coverage of the Sandinista elections in Nicaragua. His series "Food Forward" series airs on PBS at various times in their line up.