In a remote location with limited power, filmmakers Paul Cook and Ben Marlow turned to Anton/Bauer.
Reliable power is a challenge on a mountainous location – Selecting the right gear, keeping your kit light and taking enough power were key considerations when heading into the Scottish Highlands.
A Race against Time
“We were hired to shoot a cinematic ‘legacy film’ for a client who wanted to document his life and his ideas for his young family. It was a unique commission in many ways as it didn’t fit the mould of our regular day-to-day work in the commercial or corporate sector. Instead it touched upon our combined experiences of shooting narrative, documentary and branded content. One of the benefits of this was total creative freedom to make the film the way we felt it should be. With the key theme of the film being ‘Time’, this led to us choosing to shoot 25p, slow motion and timelapse sequences.”
“Filming in the highlands presented a mixture of challenges. We had to travel long distances on foot and across various terrain; mountains, hills, rivers etc, and still remain mobile enough with the kit that we needed. We wanted to capture the rugged terrain around the area and often that meant getting right into the thick of it with our kit, so we needed our cameras, tripods, and batteries to withstand a bit of punishment.
Part of the story took us to the top of Ben Rinnes, a mountain in Morayshire which was a two mile hike with an elevation of over 500m to the summit. We needed to have the essential camera kit with us for capturing the journey to the top with some additional footage once we reached the summit, we also needed to travel light enough for us both to actually make it up there.”
“Anton/Bauer’s new Dionic XT batteries were a really compact and rugged battery solution for the shoot. They also paired up really nicely with our main camera, the Red Raven. The design of the new Dionic XT batteries suit the compact block of the camera body nicely and help to balance the shape and weight of it. Ben was operating a steadicam on some of the shots and the batteries helped to make the camera a nicely balanced steadicam rig.
The added feature of a USB port on the Dionic XTs came in handy at the top of Ben Rinnes. We needed to get some extra juice into Ben’s phone for him to be able to fly the drone and as a lot of drone operators know, using your phone as the monitor (and the onboard GPS) really drains the battery. Being able to plug it in for some extra charge even in the most remote location is really useful.
Whilst that was powering either the Red or the iPhone I then used a Cine 150VM battery to power my Canon 5D via a P-TAP cable to leave some time-lapses running whilst we filmed more material at the summit.”
“The other bit of kit we couldn’t have managed without was our Sachtler flowtech75 and flowtech100 tripods. Ben was using the flowtech Ace setup whilst I was using a flowtech FSB10 system. They’re light enough to travel with you to almost all locations and really versatile in environments like the highlands; we used the low spreader-less mode a lot to get into some rivers and streams where the camera was sitting just above the water level and we used the fact that you can get each individual leg to a different height easily to tackle some really uneven ground.”