Sachtler, a Vitec Group brand, announces that documentary filmmaker Ryan Christensen of Bristlecone Media has chosen Sachtler to support his Mono Lake Preservation project. Designed to replace the original slide show created to support the ongoing effort to protect the lake from excessive water diversions from the City of Los Angeles, this production will be housed in the theater in the Mono Lake committee Visitor Center in Lee Vining, California.
To capture the beauty of Mono Lake from the magnificent Tufa Towers to the glassy water and the unfettered wildlife Christensen needed rugged equipment that could adapt to the changing conditions of the Mono basin. He chose to shoot with the Sony EX-1R and Canon 5D Mark II cameras, Sachtler's Reporter 300H Lighting kit and the FSB 6 tripod. "When we were shooting Living Death Valley, we had a poorly designed tripod that didn't offer smooth pans or tilts and our shots suffered from it. Without a smooth pan or tilt we were constantly missing shots.
"Sachtler was a breath of fresh air," he adds. "Their support is simply the best out there. With Sachtler's FSB 6, we finally had a piece of equipment that we could rely on to help get the shots we needed. For the Mono Lake project we know we can get smooth pans and tilts, even when using a telephoto lens. It also allows us to get shots we otherwise could not have gotten, close-ups of Bighorn Sheep, soaring Red Tail Hawks and coyotes.
"During the peak runoff in June, when the creeks that feed into Mono Lake are swollen with snowmelt, my partner Jonah Matthewson wanted to get a shot of the Lee Vining Waterfalls from the canyon wall directly above," Christensen explains. "It was a difficult climb to get a vantage point where you could see the whole expanse of the cascading waterfall and canyon below. Perched on a narrow ledge, Jonah was able to get a tilt/pan shot of the entire waterfall. There is no way he could have gotten the shot without a trustworthy tripod. He could not have done it without Sachtler."
In early 2011, Christensen and Matthewson will once again venture into the Mono Lake Basin for a unique event. Because of the similarity between the chemical environment of Mars and Mono Lake, the lake has become the subject of a search for new extremophile and thermophiles and other species. NASA now uses this environment to test their Mars Rover, part of their effort to discover life on Mars. Sachtler will be there with Christensen and partner Jonah Matthewson as they document these tests.