Vinten's Vision systems used for nationwide veterinary advice programme.
In the show business world, they say you should never work with animals and children but when you are using Vinten equipment, as the team at Focal Point Television found, it’s pure animal magic!
Focal Point Television are producers of award winning corporate, broadcast and sell-through documentary programmes since 1991. After initially hiring a variety of camera support equipment, Focal Point decided to invest in Vinten products because of the excellent flexibility and reliability they offered.
The Vision systems used by Focal Point recently proved their versatility for a veterinary advice documentary produced for Novartis Animal Health. They used the Vision 6 pan and tilt head with a two-stage aluiminium Pozi-Loc tripod with floor spreader and also the Vision 8 pan and tilt head with a two-stage carbon fibre Pozi-Loc tripod with floor spreader.
"We were commissioned to produce an advice film for vets and their clients on prevention of flea and tick infestation in dogs," explained Peter Money, Director at Focal Point Television. "This involved working in a wide range of locations, with people and dogs, so it was very important that the equipment we used was going to be completely reliable and could be used under almost any conditions.
"One of the key benefits of the Vinten equipment is that the heads can be balanced to the camera and the fluidity of the heads gives very smooth pans and tilts. There were also some very tight access areas for filming in the vet’s surgery which the Vinten systems were able to cope with while at the same time ensuring complete camera stability," added Peter. "The speed at which the head can be adjusted using the built-in spirit level to ensure the camera was always on the level was also very important for several shots."
And it wasn’t just cramped indoor conditions that the Vision systems had to cope with. Some of the filming was outside on muddy, uneven terrain in woodland and by a lake but the ability of the Vinten Pozi-Loc tripod legs to be positioned at will without requiring the spreaders proved a real benefit to avoiding obstacles like tree roots and the metal spikes on the legs provided firm traction, even in the mud!
For interior shots at the vet’s surgery, also at a private house and the Focal Point Studios, the floor spreaders enabled low angle shots to be easily achieved.
"Because all our cameramen are familiar with Vinten equipment, this enables the camera operator to switch from one tripod to another without wasting shooting time," said Peter, "especially as we use a variety of cameras, so the ability to just "plug and play" makes life much easier!.
"The equipment can be set up and put away quickly and easily and the carbon fibre legs make the tripod system lightweight, so it’s easy to carry around on location. The carrying bags which the tripods come with are also easy to transport and very tough - although not for this job, those bags have survived rough treatment in aircraft holds around the world!"
The production team at Focal Point have hired and used a variety of camera support equipment over the years but when it came to investing in their own kit, they opted for Vinten. "We purchased Vinten because we knew it would be a good long term investment and because they support us with a very high standard of customer service as well," said Peter.
"We chose Vinten because we knew we could rely on it. Our equipment has to work first time - often we do not have a second chance for a shot. Our Vinten equipment has been used around the world and never let us down. It is also important that all of our camera operators are comfortable using our equipment and with Vinten that is always the case."