Jim goes back a long way with Anton/Bauer – in fact, to the early days of his pro career. “I’ve used Anton/Bauer batteries for about 30 years, from my days shooting sports for local news and later as a national news photographer and producer for NBC. But sports have always been my first love,” he says. “My Anton/Bauers have never let me down.”
In 1997, Jim started his own video production company, Kencom, working out of his house in Charlotte, North Carolina with a camera, a small light kit, and four Anton/Bauers. That company has since grown to serve several fortune 500 companies over the years including Lowe’s. Jim’s career also now includes covering major sports events for the Golf Channel, Major League Baseball, Fox Sports, and the NFL Network – particularly for his home team, the Carolina Panthers. Today, Jim splits his time between covering the Panthers’ pre-season camps, press conferences, and home games for the NFL Network and shooting feature stories for Fox Sports’ NASCAR Race Hub show. He’s currently in his 10th year working for Fox Sports covering NASCAR racing and events.
Jim’s primary shooting rig is a Sony F5 or Sony FS7 II camera together with a SmallHD monitor and Teradek wireless transmitter and sometimes an on-camera light, all powered with a Titon Gold Mount. Titon batteries also power his Litepanels Astra LED lights.
“These new Titons are some of the best work Anton/Bauer has ever done,” he says. “With a Titon on the back of the camera, I have one less thing to worry about. I know I can go and shoot for a few hours without a problem. If I want to know how the battery’s doing, I can tell with a glance at the LCD readout – it takes into account every piece of gear it’s powering. When I add or take away a piece of gear, I can see in an instant how the battery’s life is affected.”
On a recent NASCAR Race Hub shoot, Jim spent an entire day at the track doing a series of interviews with drivers. “It was a long day, and we did about six interviews in a row, each about 15 minutes long. At the end, I looked at the battery and it said I had 27 minutes left,” he said. “On another shoot for Fox News, I put in a 14-hour day and used only two Titon G90s. That is really phenomenal, considering how small and compact these batteries are.”
For the Astras, the Titons bring an extra measure of versatility to on-the-go LED lighting in situations where AC power isn’t readily available. “Since the Astras are available with Gold Mount or V-Mount plates, I can just snap on a Titon 90 and get a good 30 minutes of full power for the light, without the flicker that you might have with a competing battery,” he says.
“When you spend hours every day walking a track or on the sideline with handheld gear, the weight of each component becomes a big issue,” Jim says. “Anything I can do to lower that weight that’s on my shoulder will make the job a lot more comfortable and is better for my back.”
He adds, “That’s another reason the Titons are so fantastic. It’s just amazing that these small, lightweight batteries can do so much more than old-generation batteries that weigh five or six pounds each. It’s like holding a feather in one hand, and a bowling ball in the other, but what a powerful feather.”
Jim is impressed with the Titons’ rugged construction. “These batteries are very, very well-built and solid as a rock, and that’s important in my business. Things can be rough and tumble – there’s a lot of quick action and you’re always moving around and bumping into things. I never have to worry about the Titons,” he says.
Titon’s P-TAP and USB ports bring an extra measure of versatility to the batteries. “The P-TAP gives us another option for plugging in the Astras and other devices like the smallHD monitors. And our production crew loves the USB port for charging their own mobile devices,” Jim says. “Just the other day, we were doing a shoot for the NFL Network at the Panthers’ training camp, and every time I turned around, a producer or talent or some other crew wanted to charge his or her phone.”
“With Titon, Anton/Bauer has taken their years of experience and combined it into one product that really works. For my daily workflows, this battery is perfect – it’s everything you could possibly want in an ENG battery,” he says. “The work we do is very fast-paced, and when you’re running and gunning, the last thing you want to worry about is equipment failure. But I know I can count on Anton/Bauer products to keep my equipment running, even when the days are long and the work is hard. And most importantly, the batteries give me the power I need to tell a great story, and that’s what it’s all about.”