While on location shooting the documentary about traditional silk weavers, Silkies of Madagascar, award-winning National Geographic stills photographer and video director David Evans decided to make the leap to DP. “I began looking around for an appropriate tripod system,” he says. “Then I discovered Vinten’s Vision blue. It is super compact when folded up and rock-solid steady when in use. After looking around, it seemed the absolute best choice for me. It balances easily and the movement is as smooth as anyone could possibly want.”
The Vinten Vision blue is designed to make precise camera panning and tilting movements easy for videographers so they are free to focus on the shot. The ability to hold the camera in place exactly and the smooth LF drag system are its distinguishing features. Evans finds this set up perfect for his shooting package, which consists of a Canon 5D Mark II with a Marshall 7” monitor. He also carries Litepanels MicroPros and a Rode VIDEOMIC Shotgun Mic.
Evans’s first test of the Vision blue was shooting close-up b-roll. “And I am dying to get it into the field,” he says. “Next up – looks like that will be all over Africa and Asia. I’ve been in the cutting room finishing the Silkies film, so I haven’t been traveling. I’m off to Kuala Lumpur to personally introduce the Silkie’s trailer at a conference whose attendees and speakers include Kofi Anan, Melinda Gates, Chelsea Clinton, Michele Bachelet and others.”
The trailer for Silkies of Madagascar has been making the rounds of festivals, and has won several awards. It can be seen on Vimeo now. The Lancet (the world’s preeminent medical journal) has mentioned the film in an article about the power of filmmaking as a tool for global health advocacy. The 30-minute version will premiere in July 2013 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe.
Now that Evans has made the transition to DP, his focus has shifted away from broadcast/cable and towards projects that tell stories of the underserved around the world and the challenges they face accessing the global economy, health care, and basic justice. “Some plum storytelling opportunities only have budgets for one-man crews,” he says. “I want those opportunities. The Vision blue is going to help me make that happen.”