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David Brill - SOLO support for The Man Who Saw too Much


David Brill Jakarta

David Brill (left) and Mark Davis, presenter with SBS Dateline (Australia) outside the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta, after it had been sabotaged by terrorists. They were filming the links for that week’s program using the Canon MX2 and the new Miller lightweight SOLO tripod.
David explains, ”The weather was very, very hot but the tripod was a delight, said David,
“The weight alone and the speed you can set up, and pack up to move on to the next location. It saved a tremendous amount of time as we had satellite deadlines to meet.”

The acclaimed international news and documentary cinematographer, David Brill, never thought he’d get over the premature demise of his Miller wooden legs, bought in 1966, and the tragic victim of a revolving door amputation at the tender age of 17.

“We were rushing into the Rockefeller Centre to go upstairs for a top shot of the St Patricks Day March up 5th Avenue. My sound recordist, Andrew, was carrying my beloved Miller tripod, which had been loyal to me for many years in places like Vietnam, Cambodia, and many parts of Africaand the Middle East. The tripod stuck with me through thick and thin and I loved it dearly.”

“As Andrew came through the revolving door I heard a clunk but didn’t think anymore of it until we got to the top of the building. I went to set up the CP16 camera and tripod and I realized the bottom half of one of the legs was missing. It got chopped off in the revolving door. It broke my heart. I bought another tripod, but it was never the same.”

David’s passion for new gathering began in Tasmaniaover 40 years ago. His experiences covering conflict, and the confronting and moving images he has captured to highlight its impact on victims, have become legend. For all the kudos and satisfaction of his achievements, there has been a price to pay, and his recent biography, “The Man who Saw too much” by JohnLittle, records the sacrifices and near-misses that have shadowed David’s brilliant career.

But the legend isn’t over just yet. David has just returned from Jakarta, where he covered the recent terrorist attacks for SBS Dateline in Australia. And, 20 years after that fateful New Yorkday, David is again using a Miller tripod, only this time it’s a SOLO DV ultra light carbon fibre tripod and the camera is a Canon Mini DV XM2.

“I am now working with MiniDV cameras and at last I have again found the perfect Miller tripod. It mightn’t have wooden legs but that’s progress and it’s a beautiful instrument to use in some of the most difficult places to film in the world.”

“The great thing I’ve noticed about the SOLO is the three leg angle positions. The really low angle is terrific. Now you don’t have to carry baby legs as well. This is a tremendous advantage for me as I like steady low angle shots.”

David also commented on the neoprene leg protector, which he says “is nice to feel in very cold climates and protects the tripod legs from getting damaged in transit.”

David is shooting with the Miller SOLO 10 75mm ball leveling system that combines the SOLO DV tripod and the Miller DS10 true fluid drag head, with selectable payload counterbalance and quick release sliding plate.

David continues, “The Miller SOLO tripod is also beautiful to hold and set up. And very easy, particularly with the simple ring locks – compared to bits of plastic clamps hanging out, which can snap if you are in a rush.”

The SBS Dateline shoot in Jakarta, with presenter Mark Davis, was a hectic test for tripod, camera and crew, with two major interviews in one day, and a satellite uplink deadline. “The sturdiness and the light weight of the tripod made such a huge difference for getting around in a hurry without compromising the stability and smoothness of the images.” commented David.

“My new lightweight MiniDV camera and the lightweight tripod have made life a lot easier in terms of weight and speed for international news gathering."



(1511) DS10 Solo 75-2 (carbon fibre)

The DS10 Solo system combines the ultralight, ultra rigid carbon fibre Solo tripod with the versatile DS10 75mm ball levelling head & selectable counterbalance. With a height range from 757mm/29.8" all the way up to 1467mm/57.6" DS10 Solo 75 CF system suits 2.5-5 kg/5.5-11 lbs MiniDV and DVCAM payloads from barebones to fully stacked PD150 or Canon XL-1.