When videographer Levi Whitney was tasked with shooting a corporate commercial to promote Staples' new business venture with online loan network facilitator Lendio, he was happy to have a lightweight Compass 20 Solo 3-Stage Carbon Fiber Tripod System from Miller Camera Support, a leader in the production of innovating camera support solutions, strapped to his back as he plowed his way through a bustling Times Square en route to NASDAQ.
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/.
About Miller Camera Support Equipment
Founded in 1954, Miller Camera Support Equipment designs, manufactures and delivers professional fluid heads and tripods to the film and television industry, providing support for the world's leading camera operators. Celebrating more than sixty years in the industry, Miller is a longtime, global leader in the field of contemporary camera support and holds the first patent for fluid head design for film cameras, which it obtained in 1946. Today, Miller's tripod and camera support systems are frequently used during electronic news gatherings (ENG), electronic field production (EFP), and digital video applications by the world's leading networks, production houses, corporate, educational and government institutions in more than 65 countries. For more information, call +61 2 9439 6377 or visit www.millertripods.com.