Issue 100 - April 2015
Big films require big shots and to get the action in camera, you need grip equipment and the latest camera support technology to make that vision a real possibility on set.
Whether filming underwater or capturing high speed vehicle to vehicle action, Chapman Leonard UK have always looked to supply productions in the UK and Europe with the best equipment.
As the sole supplier of the industry leading Hydrascope Telescopic crane, they\'ve proved the solid design lives up to the expectation of demanding Directors and tough production environments. Two recent Films that benefited enormously from the Hydrascopes (which is completely water tight) ability to withstand a demanding filming environment, were Sony Pictures FURY and Warner Brothers In the Heart of the Sea, directed by Ron Howard. Both productions bare few similarities save for the fact that they are both Historical dramas played out on a broad canvas. Each production presented unique challenges for equipment and crew, but both films made extensive use of the Hydrascope telescopic crane, creating shots that take the audience right into the heart of Films world.
FURY was shot in classic British winter weather (cold, sleet, wind and rain) and is the story of a US Tank crew during the last days of WWII in Europe. The film is out on Blu-Ray and is well worth watching if you just want to see some of the results the Hydrascope delivers. From the opening shot, a long single take tracking shot, to the films nail biting tank battles (yes, real tanks), Chapman UK provided a full compliment of Grip and Camera support with a team of operators and technicians. They even designed and built a unique tracking vehicle as a mobile camera crane platform.
Dubbed The Chapman Dually and equipped with it\'s own swappable tank tracks, The Dually made light work of the muddy terrain, able to operate as a mobile camera crane platform or as a tracking vehicle for following the Sherman Tanks across open ground. The Dually carried a Lenny Arm Crane with a remote head (the drivers cab has room for x4 in comfort) but it will also carry the Hydrascope Telescopic crane on a self leveling rear centre post.
Through wind, mud and rain, the equipment was soaked, frozen and shaken over rough ground, day in and day out, but at every moment when the crew were ready to shoot, they could rely on the equipment. You could say that the Chapman UK team its Hydrascopes and the Dually are now proven in battle!
By Stark contrast, as the Tanks and the cameras were rolling on FURY, the rest of Chapman UK\'s Hydrascope fleet of telescopic cranes was doing a different kind of rolling, on boats off the cost of Lanzarote! Ron Howard\'s historic sea faring thriller, The Heart of the Sea, is as the name suggests, set largely on water. Studio based filming in large tanks allowed the production to stage the more dangerous scenes, involving storms on board various size vessels. The Hydrascope cranes proved once again perfectly suited to a permanently wet shoot, the water tight design performing flawlessly day in and day out, through a deluge of waves, spray and gallons of water. The large Hydrascope cranes are a perfect choice for filming where you need to get the crane arm clear of the side of a tank, set wall or alongside a moving set on a gimbal. The centre post on the 43\' Hydrascope can be raised to a height of over eight feet and because the Hydrascope cranes are designed for the wet, they don\'y need a power feed, making them a good safe choice for water bound filming and quick to set up or reposition.
The 32\' and the 43\' were also used on the open sea to shoot from boat to boat, providing the camera angles and movement that the cinematic eye of Anthony Dodd Mantel is now renowned for. Throughout the demanding shoot all the Hydrascope cranes performed without a single fault or technical incident.
To learn more about our growing fleet of Hydrascope telescopic cranes and our specially designed tracking vehicles including the brand new Dually II, designed to carry the 43\' Hydrascope, contact Chapman Leonard UK and arrange a visit. If you want to keep up to date with all the news and developments at Chapman UK then follow us on Facebook and Twitter.