Australian DP Adrian Cranage lived through some eventful months in 2012. Together with actor and director Til Schweiger, the DP made two films back to back: Schutzengel and Kokowh 2. Adrian Cranage used his 2575D fluid head by OConnor, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company, to contribute to the successful films. "Without my well-coordinated team and OConnor, our project would not have been possible," says the experienced cinematographer.
For the action film Schutzengel, Adrian Cranage shot digitally for the first time. The days of being able to avoid a digital shoot are gone," he explains. "In addition to two ARRI Alexas, we used a pair of Canon EOS 7Ds, GoPros, sinaCam, fingercams, a Phantom and a remote-control helicopter with a RED." Satisfied with the results on the first of these projects the team had the confidence to also film Kokowh 2 digitally with ARRI Alexas. When the situation permitted it, Cranage panned the A-camera himself on his OConnor 2575D.
OConnor camera support for digital shoot with ARRI Alexas
In 1999, OConnor fluid heads were not the norm in Germany. Cranage first got to know them while working in Los Angeles. "I worked there as a focus puller," says Cranage. "It sounds funny, but back then I discovered OConnor because I wanted to mount my new Panavision Frontbox somewhere. I didn't feel like running around with a belt holding all of my work tools anymore." So, Cranage saved up for his first OConnor fluid head and was quickly won over. He particularly liked the well-engineered pan-and-tilt damping as well as the easy balancing of the camera set-up, enabled by OConnors patented sinusoidal counterbalance system. That's why it was so easy for Cranage, a young camera assistant then, to convince his good friend and cinematographer Holly Fink as to OConnor fluid heads qualities. "Now, everyone films with OConnor. And with good reason they are the best!"
Comfortable workflow with ARRI Webgate
"Digital productions are perfect for Til's method of working. He films and wants all the material to be graded by the next day at the very latest," says Cranage. "For Kokowh 2, we worked with ARRI Webgate. All of the material was directly uploaded to a server. Everyone had access; everyone could make comments. It was great; this is the future! Even the boss at Warner Brothers in L.A. was able to directly view the material." In spite of the success of both digital shoots, Cranage does not rule out a return to classic filmmaking. "At the Camerimage Festival, many films were digital 16:9. And then, somewhere in between, I saw this beautiful small French film on film, Caf© de Flore; it completely enthralled me. Everything just worked. That's why I cannot rule it out. But I would only do it if it really fit a story. It is still premature: Film is not yet dead." Whatever the format, the OConnor 2575D will continue to support Cranages camera package.
For more information, go to www.ocon.com.