Levi Whitney | Director of Photography
Levi Whitney was first introduced to film at a very young age, his passion for creativity never was set, and it never left. Growing up he was a competitive freestyle mogul skier, and was always exposed to amazing cameras, this intrigued him to want to learn more. Years went by when he finally decided that being a cinematographer was the career path of choice.
Shortly after making the decision to leave his normal sales job, he was presented with the opportunity to film a feature documentary in a small village in Kenya. This is where Levi's carrier as a full time storyteller and cinematographer was set.
Levi has travelled the world filming commercials, narratives, and documentaries and has loved each step of the creative process, experimenting with new ways to light, move or composing a scene that connects with the audience.
LEVI WHITNEY HUSTLES THROUGH TIMES SQUARE FOR CORPORATE VIDEO
Whitney operated as a one-man crew, maneuvering his way through the crowded streets of Manhattan as he shot the commercial over the course of three days. He chose to work with equipment that would allow him to shoot creatively, and he spent countless hours panning wide shots of a lively midtown to juxtapose his footage of Staples ringing the bell at NASDAQ to confirm its partnership with Lendio to provide small business loans.
“I was working through the night, and 2am in Times Square is not fun when people are constantly cutting into the shots,” Whitney says, laughing. “I really appreciated the light weight of the Compass 20, along with its durability, because I could walk the streets for hours carrying my full DSLR camera rig on my back without issue. Pairing a Canon EOS 6D DSLR with the Compass 20 proved essential on this shoot, because it was a compact setup, yet allowed me to achieve cinematic quality shots.”
Whitney credits the Compass 20’s solid locking system and impressive fluidity for helping him capture unique shots and angles for this commercial. “The locks are so solid and a night and day difference compared to the hassles I’ve experienced when working with other brands’ locking systems,” he says. “I was also super impressed with the fluidness of the tripod’s pan and tilt. It’s hard to explain, but it’s just so much better than anything else I’ve ever experienced. I could feel the gears grab and click when I was using it, and the drag is just perfect.
Additionally, the Compass 20’s extensive height range, nine inches to 73 inches, proved essential on this shoot. “I didn’t even need a hi-hat,” he continues. “I raised it high enough to do a big, anamorphic wide pan shot and didn’t worry that I couldn’t see the screen, because I just kept a small HD monitor down by me. This is a shot that I wouldn’t have been able to obtain working with the more limited height ranges of my other tripods, which is really cool.”
Whitney plans to continue to use the Compass 20 on a few upcoming documentaries and says he is continually impressed with Miller’s commitment to building sustainable camera support equipment. “The Compass 20 is a great product, one that I know will last for years,” concludes Whitney. “It’s bulletproof. And the Miller crew is beyond personable to work with. They are quick at responding and always available if I have questions or am in need of support.”
To view the commercial, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCGYp-VHx-k. To learn more about Whitney and his upcoming projects and view more of his creative content, visit his company page, Uphill Cinema: http://www.uphillcinema.com/.
Review 1072, ArrowX 3 fluid head and 1505 Solo 3 stage carbon fibre tripod
When Miller came out with the ArrowX series of heads at NAB last year, I couldn't wait to get my hands on one.
Now, to be clear, this fluid head and legs are for the person wanting to make a life long purchase. Although, that's how all of Miller's products are. They will out last any camera you throw at it.
The ArrowX3 is a work horse of a head, and the solo legs have never let me down. I've put on A7Sii, Reds, Sony FS5, FS7, Ursa Mini Pros, and the head moves as if nothing is on it. It's something you need to "feel" to really explain.