DP Sali deploys frame camera handling system for barcode video

Director of photography/producer Todd Sali and his Venice, CA-based company, thesandbox, deployed Norbert Sport’s accessory frame camera handling system recently for a video about the barcode.

The 18-minute piece for Global Language of Business (GS-1) is aimed at redefining the brand.

To tell the tale of how the barcode was conceived, Sali chose the Canon 5D Mark II, a variety of lenses, Schneider Optic’s Variable ND filter and the Norbert Sport for the final scene. “The concept for barcode was dreamt up on the beach 40 years ago, and literally drawn in the sand with four fingers. The concept was that simple, as many of the best ones are,” explains Sali.

For the final scene, Sali headed to Venice Beach, a few blocks from his studio. Straddling waves and wet sand, the camera had to be stable and safe and the crew had to be free to move fast. That’s where K-Tek’s Norbert Sport came in.

Because Sali was the on-camera talent himself, his AC, Brigitte Helisten took the lead. They opted to mount the 5D in the Norbert Sport. Although the team was used to using the machined aluminum frame to mount a monitor and other accessories around the camera, this time the goal was to get a good grip on the 5D. With foam-covered extendable graphite handles on the sides of the frame and a bicycle grip on top, Helisten could hold the camera inches from the water’s surface and quickly reposition it in time for the next wave.

Although she had never used the Norbert Sport, it was immediately familiar and operation was intuitive,” Sali adds. The top handle made for easy transitioning from the upper handheld viewpoint to a lower to the ground perspective. “It helped us capture lovely footage, even though handheld. Because of the nice balance, we were able to get a variety of angles quickly, and easily find the good ones, including catching the wonderful light around sunset,” he explains.