SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, JUNE 24, 2014-When the non-profit organization Filmmaker For A Cause recently embarked on an European excursion to shoot documentaries that would help raise awareness for an array of European charities, Miller Camera Support Equipment, a leader in the production of innovating camera support solutions, was along for this leg of the tour. To assist in the creation of these films, Miller donated its exemplary Arrow 55 Sprinter II 2-Stage Carbon Fibre System, Arrow Accessory Mounting Bracket and Adaptor, as well as its MINI Tripod, to help Filmmaker For A Cause bring its visions to life.
Established in 2009, Filmmaker For A Cause has since been giving a voice to the voiceless, working with leading charities across the globe to create documentary films that serve to help charities actively advocate for the achievement of their missions. The organization created documentaries for a diverse range of charities during the European tour, including the Hungary Charity Service of the Order of Malta, Hungarian Food Bank Association, Chernobyl Union, and the Brown Bear Conservation in Slovakia. Miller’s camera support technology assisted the organization as it filmed footage for 13 charities in several countries, including the UK, Belarus, France, Germany, Hungary, Prague, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine.
“We were working in Belarus when the tripod system we had been using failed us, and I immediately wanted to reach out to Miller for assistance,” says Randall Brown, founder of Filmmaker For A Cause. “I had always had an admiration of Miller products, but together as a team, we decided to conduct a bunch of research that delved beyond our personal experiences with equipment, and we kept coming back to Miller, both for its reliability and its exceptional price value performance. There’s nothing quite like an Arrow 55, from the light weight of the fluid head to the system’s superior handling ability. Miller was a done deal for us.”
The Arrow 55 Sprinter II 2-Stage Carbon Fibre System features the 100mm ball leveling Arrow 55 Fluid Head, which offers users 4-position rear-mount counterbalance, and the rugged, lightweight and speedy Sprinter II Carbon Fibre Tripod. Perfect for documentary productions, the system provides higher load capacity that is particularly suited to long-lens applications or Studio/EFP configurations. Additional features include inline carry handles, illuminated rear controls and a mid-level spreader with adjustable centre hub.
“There were times when we had to shoot through freezing temperatures, heavy rain and high winds, which are all weather conditions that, in the past, have caused us a great deal of equipment troubles,” says Brown. “But with the Arrow 55 System, weather was never an issue. The fluid head is sealed, which means that rain never got into the movement and did not hinder our shots. Additionally, the inline carry handles allowed us the flexibility to quickly grab the entire tripod assembly and speedily carry it to different shooting locations. Though these all seem like small things, they add up to be big advantages.”
Filming documentary style, Brown is constantly on the road, often working with two-man crews out of a small camper van in which space and resources are limited. “The size and weight handling balance of the actual system was a big advantage, because we didn’t have a massive, heavy tripod sitting in the middle of the van taking up all of the space. Gear reduction is a positive thing for us when working on the road, and the incredible size and the versatility of the Arrow 55 System was a big deal,” he adds.
Brown and his team also utilized Miller’s MINI Tripod during their time shooting in Europe and plan to bring the MINI Tripod along with the Arrow 55 System when the organization embarks upon its 15-month Africa tour later this year. The crew plans to work with 36 organizations, starting filming in Morocco in October 2014 and then traveling across the continent, from Tunisia to the Cape of Good Hope, working through January 2016. The team will heavily rely on the MINI Tripod during this next excursion both for its ease of use and compact durability.
“We are cinematographers, so, of course we would all love to have the same cinematic moves that we would have available to us on a professional set, but we can’t bring a dolly track in our camper van,” Brown says. “Having the compact MINI Tripod basically turned our van into a dolly, and we were thrilled to be able to capture really low speed, in-control shots working out of the van.”
To learn more about Filmmaker For A Cause, including details on how to get involved with the organization, please visit http://fmfac.org/.
About Miller Camera Support Equipment
Founded in 1954, Miller Camera Support Equipment designs, manufactures and delivers professional fluid heads and tripods to the film and television industry, providing support for the world’s leading camera operators. Celebrating sixty years in the industry, Miller is a longtime, global leader in the field of contemporary camera support and holds the first patent for fluid head design for film cameras, which it obtained in 1946. Today, Miller’s tripod and camera support systems are frequently used during electronic news gatherings (ENG), electronic field production (EFP), and digital video applications by the world’s leading networks, production houses, corporate, educational and government institutions in more than 65 countries. For more information, call +61 2 9439 6377 or visit www.millertripods.com.