6th April 2022
Originally Published in TV Technology.
I began my career as a DP in 1981 at a small start-up in the snowy Northeast, called the “Entertainment and Sports Programming Network,” or ESPN.
As I gained more experience under my belt, I became more involved with equipment purchases for ESPN’s camera department. We traveled with the smallest crews imaginable to the largest sporting events in the world—to call them “skeleton crews” would be an understatement. We had a cameraman, audio tech, and gaffer all rolled into one position.
What we carried was carefully thought out—it had to be compact, simple, and reliable because in live sports coverage, there are no second takes. The last thing we wanted to worry about was power.
Early on, our Ikegami HL79 cameras and separate VTRs were powered by a company that powered film cameras. As the airlines began restricting what types of batteries were allowed onboard, newer solutions became available. We needed to reconsider what we traveled with, and Anton/Bauer was gaining traction in the industry. They paid a visit to show us their innovative products, and from that moment forward, ESPN has exclusively relied on Anton/Bauer.
In 1997, I left ESPN to form TaylorVision Productions. I had many decisions to make when considering what equipment I should buy—Sony or Ikegami, Sennheiser or Lectrosonics, OConnor or Sachtler, ARRI or Mole Richardson, but the one no-brainer was Anton/Bauer batteries.
I remember while covering an NFL game in New England, we were informed that a fire had started after a small explosion in a studio near the media center during halftime. When the fire was extinguished, and we were allowed back in, we discovered two things: An off-brand battery blew up on its charger, and our cameras were covered in firefighting foam.
This could have been catastrophic, and the incident prompted an immediate investigation that led to a temporary ban on charging all camera batteries indoors at the stadium. Eventually Anton/Bauer batteries were given the all-clear and were allowed inside again.
Equipment manufacturers come and go, but the one constant in my 41-year career has been Anton/Bauer. The camera that I’m using the most these days is my Sony VENICE, and anyone that has shot with one knows how power-hungry they are.
Besides powering the camera, I’m often running wireless follow-focus and iris motors, a Teradek wireless video transmitter, and a SmallHD on-board monitor, all off the same Titon 150 battery. I put that load on in confidence, knowing exactly how long the battery will last, to the minute.
My clients now include most broadcast and cable networks, including Fox Sports, NFL Network, Disney and ESPN. Lately we’ve been shooting some very high-profile shows, including documentary films, the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, and branded content for advertisers such as Smirnoff, Coors, Ram trucks, Papa John, Coca-Cola and Snickers.
We rely heavily on Anton/Bauer to power a multitude of equipment on set and in the field. The Titon 150s aren’t a one-trick pony either; I often use them to power my Litepanels Astra and Gemini lighting, and our producers and directors have even used them to charge their cellphones directly from the battery via the USB port.
In short, Anton/Bauer is constantly on the cutting edge of new technology. Their batteries have long been the industry standard. They charge quickly, are rugged, safe, reliable and IATA travel-certified. I don’t know what more you can ask for in a battery. I’m a lifelong user, and a big-time fan.
After working at ESPN for many years, Bruce Taylor started his own company TaylorVision Productions in 1997. More information is available at TaylorVisionHD.com; he can be reached at TaylorVision@cox.net or at 203-671-5500.