First I want to thank Gustaf Fjelstrom from Coakley Heagerty for contracting me to help with the Santana Row Fashion Show. I was honored to be there and help shoot the entire day of models as well as the Row stores and atmosphere. It was a great learning experience for sure while being able to use my camera gear in order to capture everything needed for that day. Also, I enjoyed shooting along side my colleague/screen writer Matt McDonald and audio expert Manol Manolov. We were all lucky that the weather wasn’t too hot even though in the end I was burnt from too much sun and forgetting sunscreen. But the breeze was nice and we were given a tent for shade. Thanks to my wife Ranya and her company Style My Heart for following me around the entire day capturing some behind the scenes photos of myself actually working. This has never been done even though I have always wanted to capture some of the work that goes into getting the images during projects. Also, keep an eye out for a possible video from Gustaf and the Coakley Heagerty company for a Santana Row video showcasing what we captured that day.
Thanks to Cinevate for their amazing quality built product that can withstand everything you throw at it. Everything from my Atlas 10 slider to the Titan Mattebox with a Simplis rails system has been able to not only help with production value but also has helped with giving my company the professional look I have been wanting for a long time. And my wife Ranya for making me those “Nuns Knickers” the night before the shoot. They came in handy and worked great keeping the light out from behind the mattebox and lens.
Here are some of the bts shots Style My Heart captured of myself working.
My Simplis and rails block with 15mm rods has arrived! It is the most versatile purchase I have ever made and will complete my dslr rig. The base plate system or Simplis has a quick release ability to take any size plate you might currently have. You can adjust it’s width by using an allen wrench to fit your specific plate. My plate is the Giottos since it was cheaper back in the day to purchase their QR plate system instead of Bogen/manfrotto 501. I can now say that Cinevate has made the most amazing device out there for any camera. The Simplis quick release plate can release up instead of trying to slide your camera into a base unit while holding down a button and then trying to tighten it down when the tightening handle on your Giottos or Manfrotto QR base hits the bottom of your camera. This is the most impressive part of Simplis and makes it worth every penny. By just dropping down your camera onto the Simplis base it will snap closed onto your quick release plate and all you have to do is make sure it feels tight by pressing a little on the side release handle.
Now on to my entire setup. I can now use my Cinevate Mattebox with the Simplis and rails block accessory I purchased with the Simplis unit. And I can also use my follow focus with the Cinevate gears I have installed onto all of my lenses. The gears are another story. They are great because you don’t have to worry about zip ties running into your follow focus gear. They are a continuous circle around the entire lens and the spokes used to secure them have a nylon tip so not to scratch your precious lenses. They even worked on my old school Canon FL 55mm 1.2 lens. I attached them to my Asanuma 70-210, Rokinon 14mm, and my Sigma 35mm lens. I have taken some photos of everything I am now using but the setup will and can change at any time because everything Cinevate makes like the Medusa and Simplis gives you so many options that you can’t possibly settle with just one……..until I find the perfect configuration that is.
I have always wanted to up my production value on my video shoots by getting a follow focus but haven’t been able to afford one. By researching multiple sites (www.cheesycam.com) on these follow focus units I have found that Gini on ebay makes a very reasonably priced one. It’s a single rod design and now has a reversible gear. In order for a follow focus to work you need 15mm rods but to get those under your dslr camera you need some sort of base unit with rod support. I chose Cinevate’s Simplis unit with rod support. They make the best quality products for filmmakers which will definitely last longer than other brands. Plus I personally like the look of all black accessories instead of splashes of color which could draw more attention to yourself when shooting at an event. I made a top handle based off of Caleb Pike’s video and design with a quick release plate, cinevate handle, and a friction arm I bought a long time ago.
And once I had my cinevate mattebox delivered I actually decided I needed my follow focus to work so I took the 15mm rods off the cinevate mattebox and used them with my Medusa base plate with rod support. This allowed me to use the lens gears I had purchased from Cinevate and my new follow focus while I waited for my shipment of the Cinevate Simplis unit. Here are some more pics of my temporary setup with my Zoom H1 audio recorder attached.
Update: With the friction arm you can’t have a battery grip and a Cinevate grip. I’m not sure about other grips/handles but the 11″ friction arm that I have won’t stretch over the camera with a battery grip. Just a small side note.