When Will Holloway, owner of Iron Horse America Video/Media, filmed Southwest Road Trip, a working title given to his most recent project of capturing scenic icons in southwest America, he relied on his Compass 20 Solo DV 3-Stage Carbon Fiber System from Miller Camera Support, LLC, a leader in the production of innovating camera support solutions. The Compass 20 helped Holloway to capture the gorgeous sites in the extreme and sometimes treacherous environments this region is known for.
Southwest Road Trip had Holloway backpacking through a myriad of untouched but demanding locations in one of Americas most dramatic and geographically diverse regions with his Canon XL-H1S 3CCD HDV and Canon EOS 5D Mark III cameras. Holloway was able to see native landmarks such as the craggy terrain of Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, where there is a difference in elevation of more than 1500 feet, and the 37-mile long Meteor Crater in the blazing northern Arizona desert. He was also able to traverse the Mojave Desert, where the blistering temperatures can soar past 120°F, and U.S. Route 66, one of Americas most famous, and sometimes desolate, highways. While shooting and exploring such unique and remote sites, Holloway was never without his light and versatile Miller setup, which proved to be a steadfast companion for this project in such a challenging climate.
When I was in the Mojave, one of my objectives was to shoot images of our U.S. military heavy equipment trains, says Holloway. While I was in that barren, lunar-landscape, my telephoto shots, pans and tracking shots of the machines, which were often more than a mile away, looked like they were taken with a gyro-stabilized, motor driven tripod. The shots I acquired with the Compass 20 were smooth and really wonderful. I could actually do camera moves where you cant actually see where the camera starts moving to where it stops again. Overall it is a magnificent piece of hardware. The fluid head has made it possible to do the work that I can see in my head. I am able to actually create the vision that I have thanks to the Miller system.
Holloway continues to say it all comes down to the right feel, which has become the companys slogan. The way the actual clutch and mechanisms work makes the Compass 20 move just as smoothly as any fluid head that is at twice the price.
Another reason Holloway chose the Miller system for this particular project was that it could adapt quickly to any situation he was in, especially important when you need to think fast on a moving vehicle. I went with the Compass 20 because it had a better quick-release plate than other models in its class, says Holloway. With other similar fluid heads, you have to slide the camera to lock the dovetail plate. However, the Compass 20 has this quick release. I also like the fact that you can counterbalance very quickly with it. I used cameras as small as 3-4 pounds, as well as rigs that weighed as much as 22 pounds and the Compass 20 worked equally as well with both of them.
The way the Compass 20 is designed, says Holloway, makes it exceptionally easy to travel with, especially on foot. One of my favorite things about the Solo tripod is the upper tubes have an actual foam lining around them and are rigid, he says. I can carry the whole camera rig over my shoulder like a pair of skis and walk off for miles at a time. The rigidity makes the entire rig able to clamp and fold together and its ready to go, so I just sling it over my shoulder and walk. Its got a run-and-gun kind of feel and it is pretty quick to set up.
The Compass 20 Solo DV 3-Stage Carbon Fiber System is made up of the lightweight Solo DV 3-stage CF tripod with the Compass 20 fluid head to provide support for the latest generation in lightweight HDV/DVCAM/XDCAM, P2HD and DSLR cameras ranging from 4.4-26.5 pounds (2-12 kilograms). It includes five (plus zero) selectable positions of fluid drag, a caliper disc brake system, a quick release 60mm sliding camera platform with mini Euro plate mounting and 75mm ball leveling. The illuminated bubble level allows for a quick setup under any circumstances.
To learn more about Will Holloway and Iron Horse America Video/Media, please visit http://www.ihavideo.com.