Two cameras, a RED Dragon and Sony A7 S2, supported with Sachtler’s new Video 18 S2 tripod were the essential gear the 14-person crew from Beech Studios took on this dogsled and motor scooter adventure.
Going days without a shower, eating dehydrated food for weeks, feeling the stab of unforgiving, glacial wind in subzero temperatures – just a few of the things you deal with exploring the great outdoors. And that was the spirit of a secret production for clothing giant Jack Wolfskin. As one of the biggest outdoor apparel companies in the world specializing in reliable clothing for outdoor adventurers, Jack Wolfskin called on Beech Studios to brave the elements and bring their vision to life for the epic 2017 #MakeYourLifeUnforgettable campaign.
“I always try to create new ways of filming,” said Beech Studios co-founder and Director Peter Döring. “It’s not only about having a camera and trying to get a frame. It’s also about telling the story behind the lens because, in the end, it’s a craft. It’s about what the customer wants and what you want as a filmmaker.”
Equipped with a 14-person crew, Beech Studios traveled to Iceland and East Greenland for three and a half weeks shooting in ice caves, beaches covered in ice blocks, and more. The frigid climate and traveling exclusively by dogsled made their production extremely challenging.
“The biggest challenge on this was dealing with the cold weather,” said Döring. “Because of the ice, we couldn’t use a car and always had to move by dogsled or motor scooter. We were pretty limited, so we needed to be particular about our equipment. Ultimately, we shot with a RED Dragon and Sony A7 S2 and chose to support it with Sachtler’s new Video 18 S2 tripod.”
Sachtler tripods are designed to be robust and to set up quickly, even in extreme locations such as Iceland and Greenland’s backcountry. In this case, Döring’s Video 18 S2 was able to handle both the heavier and lighter cameras, providing consistently smooth movement. These seemingly small details ultimately added up to big results while they were shooting on location.
“Wherever we were shooting, we didn’t have a perfectly even platform. We always had to hike through wet snow and mud, go uphill, and even do some crawling at times. So in those conditions, Sachtler’s Video 18 S2 head and Speedlevel clamp was great. It was nice to be able to react in a quick way and not have to use both hands. Everything was already rigged, and you could just put the thing on your shoulder and move on.”
The result was exactly what Döring intended: a fast paced 25-second commercial that instantly transports the viewer through three weeks of adventure to the brink of exhilaration – all because of a tripod.
“If you spend a lot of money on a new camera, lenses, battery packs, grips, etc. and you don’t equal that investment in a tripod, then that doesn’t make much sense. You need a sturdy tripod; you need to feel the quality when you lift it up, place it on the ground and it just stands there like a rock. It’s a good feeling. You don’t want to have a tripod that just wobbles around because that’s something the customer can recognize in your work. For great work, you need a great tripod and I one hundred percent rely on Sachtler because, in my eyes, they’re the best.”