As a freelance preditor, and director of Buzz Films, I have spent the last decade in filmmaking striving for creative perfection. My work has taken me all over the world producing a range of TV shows, music videos, brand films, commercials, and documentaries.
My experience as a broadcast all-rounder writing, shooting, editing, and directing, has made me a regarded expert and blogger in the world of DSLR filmmaking. I also recently won the Bahamas 14 Islands Film Challenge.
Although I am primarily a director and editor, a significant amount of my time is spent peering through the viewfinder, shooting handheld super-fast images. When I required a tripod while shooting a film in Lebanon for Monocle magazine, I decided to test Vinten’s new Vision blue support system. It is designed for lightweight cameras and I needed a butte r-smooth head as the job necessitated lots of pans, tilts and tricky moves.
The four-day Beirut shoot was one of a series of eight minute films being produced for Monocle Magazine. I needed a lightweight tripod system that would give me broadcast quality and was practical enough to be carried around in the heat all day.
The brief was to shoot the city as beautifully as possible, focusing on simple shots that told the story simply yet effectively. This gave me a chance to really put the Vision blue through its paces.
When you’re dreaming up an ambitious shot, it is so important to have a good piece of kit underneath you. This said, the key for me is being able to shoot quickly without losing quality so that I can get more material in the can, and have more options in the edit suite.
I had to do a large number of controlled tilts up buildings to show the scale of them against the more traditional buildings in the city, as well as the usual pans across cityscapes. The more complicated moves involved diagonal pan and tilts from left to right on a 200mm lens with very precise start and end points; tracking up a crane and finishing on buildings in the background, pulling focus as I went.
The action of Vision blue’s fluid head and drag controls allowed me to do this with ease. The system uses Vision LF drag technology to give silky smooth movement and precise framing – a functionality which you would never normally associate with light camera tripods.
The blue head incorporates an integral part of Vinten’s Vision range, the award-winning Perfect Balance technology. It enables consistent movement and easy positioning of the camera at any angle; helping operators to achieve perfect shots with minimal effort.
The Vision blue is a quality piece of kit. It’s the first time that Vinten has made a tripod and pan and tilt head in this price range, and it’s fantastic value for money. Vinten certainly hasn’t scrimped when it comes to the performance of the system. The action of the head itself is outstanding.
Overall, I was really impressed by the high performance of the Vision blue which, despite its portability, could still handle the most complex and challenging shots.
Robin Schmidt is a Director with Buzz Films Limited.