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David Wright’s independent feature Blind Pass

FILMMAKER DAVID WRIGHT TRUSTS ANTON/BAUER TO POWER INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM BLIND PASS
Chooses DIONIC 90 Batteries and Other Anton/Bauer Gear for First
Turn as Director of Photography

David Wright

SHELTON, CT, JULY 30, 2013-After spending several years as an award-winning documentary filmmaker, David Wright recently took on the role of director of photography for Blind Pass, a new independent feature film. Shooting primarily in Ireland with additional scenes filmed on location in Florida, Wright faced unpredictable weather and a rigorous daily production schedule. To help him maintain power throughout each shoot, he chose a variety of portable power solutions from Anton/Bauer®, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company and a premier global provider of batteries, chargers, lighting and other mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video, film and healthcare technology industries, to help keep him powered up through the long 16 hour, tough days of shooting.The dark thriller Blind Pass follows Carrie, a young woman facing the fact that she will soon go blind. She and her therapist travel through Ireland to fulfil her wish of experiencing the country while she still has sight. The story also explores Carrie’s troubled relationship with her father, played by award-winning actor Armand Assante. In order to deliver high quality imagery on such a tight budget and without the funds for expensive grip and lighting packages to complement the RED MX camera selected for the project, economy of scale was needed. As a solution, Wright turned to the trusted, go-to gear he had employed for his documentaries, which included several Anton/Bauer DIONIC® 90 batteries, various Gold Mount® solutions, a TWQ charger and a back-up Tandem 150 charger.

For U.S.-based Wright, a major challenge was powering all of the equipment while overseas in Ireland. The schedule was made up of 16-hour days, often taking place at three different locations a day.

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We are currently in production of a climate change documentary based around the work of biologist George Divoky and his 40 year study of seabirds in the Arctic. As part of the project, several industry magazines recently printed a story about the project and the choice of Anton Bauer products to power equipment in challenging locations. Here is the story as it appeared-

(Cooper Island, Alaska–July 19, 2012) When award-winning filmmaker David Wright of Planet Earth Pictures agreed to travel to Alaska and film the upcoming educational documentary, An Uncertain Future, he chose batteries from Anton/Bauer®, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company, and a premier global provider of batteries, chargers, lighting and other mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video and film industries, to power his equipment. Wright traveled with a supply of Anton/Bauer’s DIONIC® 90 and CINE VCLX batteries to support his Panasonic HDX900 and Canon XF105 cameras, as he embarked on a month-long excursion to Cooper Island, a remote location off the coast Alaska, as well as a voyage around Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic, to shoot a documentary on biologist Dr. George Divoky who is conducting climate change research.

For the last 40 years, Dr. Divoky has made the journey to Cooper Island each summer to study the migration and feeding patterns of a colony of seabirds. By studying this colony, he has gleaned a wealth of information about how climate change is affecting the habitat they live in, as well as the lives of other creatures living in and around the surrounding Beaufort Sea, including the sea life serving as food for the birds. Over the last five years, Divoky has witnessed the arrival of starving polar bears, which feed on the birds and their eggs. The polar bears seek refuge on the island due to a loss of habitat caused by the increasing lack of sea ice in the warming Arctic basin.


Photo Credits: David Wright

Wright met Dr. Divoky in 2011 during the filming of the BBC series Frozen Planet. Intrigued by Dr. Divoky’s work, Wright agreed to document him in action, with the goal of producing a film that would educate climate-change skeptics on the growing peril climate change presents to the planet and its inhabitants. Wright served as cameraman and field producer, spending a month with Dr. Divoky in his small, 10 x 12 foot cabin on the remote island. With few resources available, facing a mix of below-freezing and unusually warm temperatures, as well as weeks of fog, the trip presented quite a challenge to the filmmaker. Thanks to help from Anton/Bauer’s batteries, however, Wright was able to power his camera through the entire trip.


Photo Credits: David Wright

“I have been a big fan of Anton/Bauer products for the last 20 years,” explains Wright. “I travel to some of the world’s most extreme environments, which tests my equipment to the absolute limits. Not only have I used Anton/Bauer batteries in the frigid temperatures of the Arctic but also in the tropics of Central Africa and the heat of Central Australia. I always travel with a supply of DIONIC batteries as my main power source. They are light and powerful for their size, plus the positive lock system is far superior to other mounts when working in arduous conditions. I have also started using the high-capacity CINE VCLX when I need to run equipment that draws a high current or needs to run for extended periods. It has performed wonderfully.”

For this trip, as he does for many others, Wright traveled with eight DIONIC 90s and keeps them charged with an Anton/Bauer TWQ four-bay simultaneous charger. According to Wright, this is more than enough for a day’s shooting and provides enough power for the LED lighting that he also uses.

“When you don’t know when you will next get a chance to find a power source, it is so great to have some reserve energy,” he says. “Even in the cold of the Arctic, the fully charged Anton/Bauer batteries have held their energy for days without a problem.”

The DIONIC 90 was designed by Anton/Bauer to deliver consistently reliable performance even in the most challenging shooting environments on Earth. It offers a RealTime® display that continually updates the operator on how much run time remains and on the state of the current charge. Weighing only 1.7 pounds, the DIONIC 90 can be transported without restriction under the IATA and DOT safety regulations (http://www.antonbauer.com/Support/TransportationInformation). The 95Wh battery can handle a maximum load of six amps, and offers run times ranging from six hours at 15 watts to a little over 2 hours at 45 watts.

CINE VCLX batteries provide superior run time and service life for the power demands of today’s cinema production and lighting equipment. Known for providing extended run-times for some of the most popular film and digital cinema cameras, including ARRI, RED, Sony and Panavision, CINE VCLX batteries provide all the safety and high power-draw performance of Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) cell chemistry technology in a power package specifically designed for the integration of 24V film and 14V video equipment. The high-power 28V output is also capable of powering 200 W HMI lights, lighting panels and portable microwave units. The CINE VCLX batteries feature a RealTime® LCD that accurately displays remaining run-time and a visual LED warning indicator when 15 minutes of run-time remain.

An Uncertain Future is currently in post production, with a projected release for later this summer, available for free, online at the film’s website: http://www.changingourclimate.net.

In addition to his work on An Uncertain Future, Wright recently finished shooting a feature film, Blind Pass, in Ireland and Florida. For that project he also used Anton/Bauer DIONIC 90s to power a RED MX and 1×1 Litepanels. He also specializes in high-speed work, using the Phantom, which requires a 24V supply. The CINE VCLX provides an excellent solution for this camera, or if he is traveling to more remote locations, he will use two DIONIC 90s. For more information about David Wright’s work visit http://www.planetearthpictures.com or follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/LunaSeaFilms.

For more information about Anton/Bauer’s roster of products, visit http://www.antonbauer.com.

Over the years I have worked everywhere from the jungles of the Congo to the Australian Outback. Many of these trips have been on expeditions that have lasted weeks at a time. One of the biggest challenges is keeping equipment powered up over these extended periods. Since the evolution from film cameras to higher and higher definition video cameras, this has only become even more of a challenge. The power requirements for the camera, plus all the attached accessories like monitors, microphones and recorders take a toll on battery reserves.

This means making some critical choices regarding batteries and how they are going to be charged. The options are often dictated by what the location can provide in terms of resources. And where there is not the right option you have to fill the gap. These are the criteria I use to assess what I need to take into the field.

  • Is there access to any mains power?
  • If not, perhaps a generator?
  • Is there enough sun to use solar panels?
  • If all else fails you need enough batteries that will hold their charge until used and then allow you to complete the job.

With everything depending on a reliable power source, I made the choice to build a system around what I consider the most reliable batteries and chargers on the market, Anton Bauer

While most of the decision is based on the weight to power ratio offered by their cells, as well as their reliability, their mounting options are, in my opinion, the best on the market. This makes for a winning combination. The mounts are easily to use even in the most challenging conditions and ensure you can easily remove or replace the battery quickly even in the freezing cold, wearing think gloves.

I started out with the Hytron range of batteries to power my Super-16 Aaton, but know with the great power requirements of an HD video camera use the Dionics. My choice is to generally user the smaller form factor batteries to keep down the weight of the camera. these batteries and backed up with a very extensive line of mounting options and accessories. I always carrying the following in my expedition kit.

  • For powering anything from a camera to a light the Unipac, but this is especially useful when working in extreme cold as it allows you to keep the battery inside your clothing for extra run time and power the camera via a cord.
  • When there will be long reliable periods of sun, I carry the Anton Bauer foldable solar charger 

  • My charger of choice is the Anton Bauer T2 as it chargers two channels simultaneously, while still having a small footprint and therefore being easy to pack.

For more information on Anton Bauer great products please go to their main website-  http://www.antonbauer.com/