The Brunswick City School District (located near Cleveland, Ohio), is the largest K-12 public school district in Medina County, serving over 7,300 students.
I - John Wasylko serve as the district's Community Relations Manager (Responsible for producing all of the district's internal/external Communications, working with local print/TV media; and overseeing the District website and cable channel) and the Video Club Advisor (Responsible for the training/management of over 100 6th-12th grade Students over the past four years.)
We chose Vinten equipment because of the volume (50-70 programs annually) and diversity (studio and on-location; news-style features, sporting events, etc.) of shows we produce, we needed high-quality, reliable and flexible tripods. In my20-plus years of experience in producing corporate videos (for public utility Dominion/East Ohio Gas and retailer May Company/Kaufmanns), I understand the value a high-quality tripod brings to a shoot (reliability; easy set-up; versatility, etc.). Also, I wanted our students (many of whom collaborate with me on production) to have the opportunity to work on high-quality gear, and see how it enhances a production.
We use our Vinten tripods for every element of production, ranging from videotaping school district events (such as sports, concerts, and the performing arts) to producing Commercials and programs for "The Beat" (Brunswick Educational Access Television Channel 22).
Vinten tripods are consistently exceptional! They provide us with quick and efficient setup, and the stability, flexibility, and reliability we need to produce the best possible productions. We compared several tripods, and I had some history with Vinten products, so we knew what we were getting when we selected Vinten. We're extremely pleased with the product.
A typical day could find our students shooting a 2-3 minute news package by morning; a Commercial/PSA in the afternoon; and then utilizing our multi-camera truck for a sports or studio-based production in the early evening. Our students can be found producing roughly 3-5 projects weekly, either individually or as a team.
In our first year of existence (2000), our Club was only able to purchase one Vinten tripod, with our other tripods being discarded units from local companies. As our Club has grown, we have made it a point to upgrade our tripods to include additional Vinten kit. Our goal is to hopefully add 1-2 new Vinten systems within the next year.
We started with one Vinten, along with some Bogen/Manfrotto tripods that were given to us. While solid, we needed more lightweight, flexible tripods that supported our diverse production needs more than the Bogens did. Vinten met our both production and budgetary requirements. Primarily, our previous tripods were too heavy and cumbersome, especially for our student staff. We needed tripods that were fast and flexible for both professionals and those striving to become professionals. We have grown to the point where 4-camera shoots are becoming more of the norm. Our goal is to equip each of our four cameras with Vinten tripods.
The Vinten tripods allow our staff (and in particular, the students) to move to several locations quickly, and perform more "run-and-gun" productions, of which the students have become extremely proficient. As a result, our administration has raised their expectations of productions from our students, which is exciting! Also, we were selected (over hundreds of districts in Ohio) to be the documentary team for the 2005 Ohio SchoolNet Technology Conference in February 2005. We will be challenged to produce a 5-7 minute documentary (using our Vinten tripods, of course) of the conference within a 48-hour timeframe. This is quite an honor, one we couldn't have achieved without our access to high-grade professional equipment.
Our students grasped the operation of the Vinten tripods in one training session. When looking at what was available on the market we looked at Bogen and Sachtler. While both tripods have their qualities, the Vinten tripod best met our operational and budgetary needs. I had some background with Vinten, so I was aware of their reputation for producing high quality tripods and standing behind them with support when needed. Second, the first unit we purchased (the two stage Vision 3) impressed me with providing easy setup, and a smooth, solid, easily adjustable head (with very clean pans and tilts) at an extremely affordable price.
I'd say we cut our setup time in half with the Vintens over our previous tripods. And, the quality derived from our Vinten tripod has enhanced our channel and district's image, which in turn enhances viewership, and hopefully support when our district goes before voters for additional funding. Our goal is to ultimately become a total Vinten shop - that's how much we love the product!
The Brunswick Schools Video Club uses the following equipment:
Panasonic DVC-Pro cameras and player/recorders
Chryon LEX character generator (located in the truck)
Panasonic WV-50 switcher
Mackie Audio Mixer
A school-based multi-camera TV production truck (the only one in Medina County)
Avid DV Express Pro with Mojo non-linear editor
Assorted Lights, Microphones and support equipment