Mark Mooney’s Crescent Moon Pictures, located outside of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina focuses primarily on shooting resort and high-end residential community development. “We’ve found an emotional approach to our programs and projects, which reflect what we call the ‘authentic’ story of a place and why it is the place to live or visit,” he says. “A big part of our ability to capture those stories is our support equipment – specifically my Vinten heads. I’ve used these heads for over 30 years and would not even consider going on location with any other system.”
When Mooney and production partner Cristeen Dennis formed Crescent Moon, they purchased a Sony HD F900/3. “And, to perfectly complement it, there was no choice. I had to have the Vinten Vision 250 Pan and Tilt Head,” he says. “The combination was perfect. The high-end real estate market is booming and our company is producing programs at a production value that very few are bringing to this part of the industry.
“The idea to shoot a real estate program with a $180K camera and a $10K head was unheard of at the time, but it worked,” he says. “People and clients noticed. The Vision 250 has simply been the best head I have ever owned – and we still use it on everything from Chapman PeeWee Dollies to Fisher Dollies and the Titan Super Nova Crane.
“The head has a smoothness to it that is effortless,” he explains. “I told my business partner that I never want to sit in an offline session and have to explain a rough pan. It’s just not an option. The 250 handles all our needs – we use it with very heavy teleprompters on occasion – high hats, ladders, etc. The head experiences all types of environments. Since we shoot resorts, it goes on boats, beaches, mountains, deserts, snow and even rain showers.
“I love all the functions – including the lighted level for low-light situations,” he adds. “Last month we upgraded to the Sony F5 and a system of Zeiss Primes. And, long telephotos. The head is perfect. Constantly changing lenses on the big sensor camera is a breeze with the sliding plate. And the camera is always in perfect balance.”
His Vinten Vision 250 travels everywhere with Mooney. Recently, he took the system to British Columbia for a Salmon fishing shoot. “Moving rapidly on a boat, the Vinten did its work perfectly,” he says. “Then there was a trip to Stowe, Vermont. The Vinten was right at home on the back of a golf cart, strapped into the bag carrier. I would not even want to guess at the miles that system has driven golf courses! We shoot early morning and afternoons doing very fast setups off the cart and back on - chasing the light.
It is the one thing I never have to worry about. “The pan move will always be perfect. The head has a way of pulling you through a pan like no other system,” he adds. “Unlike hard drag on some heads – Vinten does it better than anyone.”