Backcountry shoots rough, but doable for 'Mountain Men' series

For the second season of “Mountain Men,” which follows men who live in extreme environments, off the grid, the crew at Warm Springs Productions will go to Northwestern Montana, the Alaskan Wilderness north of Fairbanks and the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.

In those rugged environs, the team relies on two Panasonic HD P2 cameras with Fujinon lenses, a Canon EOS 7D for specialty shots and the FSB 8 fluid head with Speed Lock CF tripod from Sachtler.

“We use Sachtler because their products are lightweight, durable, and sturdy enough to safely support our production cameras,” says Mike Schweizer, equipment manager for the Missoula, MT, based production company. “We spend a lot of time outdoors in extreme environments where we need our equipment to work properly in conditions that can be hazardous to most equipment. With Sachtler’s versatility and durability we are able to get the shots we need to make good TV.”

Recently, the camera team paired the Canon 7D with the FSB 8 fluid head/tripod with a slider to capture a shot of their subjects right above the water line. “It is so nice to use a tripod that we can place in the water and not have to worry about it failing and soaking our camera equipment,” says Schweizer. “Not to mention that we can just pull it out of the water and keep shooting.”

Often, Warm Springs Productions must travel into what Schweizer terms, “the middle of nowhere,” with cameramen perched on the ridge of mountains. “If the tripods weren’t as lightweight as they are, we wouldn’t be able to carry them with us to remote locations.”

The FSB 8 fluid head is designed for a range of payloads from 2.2lbs to 13.2lbs, so it handles whichever camera/lens configuration Schweizer chooses. Its Touch & Go side load mechanism with a sliding range of 4.7in and 10-step counterbalance offers even more versatility.