Arrow 55 Excelled in Ultimate Test of Alaska
Imagine yourself being placed in the extreme natural environment of Alaska to work on a wildlife documentary – and being entirely dependent on your equipment to stand up to the test.
In my work as a television producer, director, DP, and cameraman one of my professional “bucket list” items has always been to do an extended-time production in remote areas of Alaska. The things that strike you most about Alaska are its enormity, energy, natural environment, scenery and danger.
Recently I got the opportunity to realize this lifetime goal – to serve as an Executive Producer, DP, and cinematographer for an independently produced wildlife documentary in the wilds of Alaska, which was scheduled for international television airing on the National Geographic Channel.
The budget for the program was sizable, so our production equipment arsenal included: a 75’ boat, a Cineflex stabilizer system into which we mounted a Sony 2/3” HD camera system with multiple lenses, multiple Red One cameras for which we shot certain land-based shots and all underwater sequences, multiple Sony 2/3” HD cameras for other land-based shots, and several custom pole camera units. For our high-tech motion sequences we mounted and re-mounted the Cineflex system on three different vehicles – the bow of the 75’ boat, the bow of a Zodiac, and under a helicopter.
Our choice of tripod system for this demanding environment was Miller Arrow 55 heads, mounted on various Miller carbon fiber leg sets – Sprinter II CF, Solo 1505 CF, and other Miller legs. We chose Miller because we’d been using those same tripod combos on other demanding productions and frankly the Miller rigs had proven to be very strong, very durable with excellent performance and also cost-effective.
During several months of heavy use in Alaska – in cold, marine environments – we had no problems whatsoever with our Miller tripod systems. We put them to the ultimate test – and they more than exceeded our expectations! We found the Arrow 55 head to be perfectly suited to our mobile EFP style production using a wide range of lens packages on our Red and Sony cameras. The tripod combos were also lightweight enough for our crews to hike long ways with them, setup and get beautiful shots, then hike back out. The photos with this article are of me at work way out in a remote portion of Prince William Sound, Alaska. Just another “day at the office”!
On this production I was able to fulfill my lifelong dream of experiencing a long duration production in remote areas of Alaska – and thanks in part to the reliability and performance of our Miller Arrow 55 head/ Miller CF leg combos. The experience was everything we’d hoped for!
Cut4 Media Group
About the Author
Steve Gibby is a multiple Emmy Award winning producer, director, DP and cinematographer who has contributed to several hundred international television productions which aired on 18 different broadcast and cable network channels. He is an annual invited guest judge for multiple Emmy Award competitions – Sports, News & Documentary, Daytime. Of the genres of production he works in, the mobile outdoor genres are his favorite – adventure travel, alternative sports, tourism, nature, cultures, and wildlife.
(1505) Solo 100 3-Stage Carbon Fibre Tripod
The ultimate ultra light ENG tripod
(1028) Arrow 55 Fluid Head
The Heavy duty performer for ENG/EFP
The Arrow 55 fluid head with 100mm sliding camera platform provides higher load capacity to suit documentary, lifestyle, HD productions and is particularly suited to long-lens applications or Studio/EFP configurations. Coupled with widest range of pan and tilt drag, ideal for slow, heavy pans; the Arrow 55 is the heavy duty performer.