Jody Eldred is an Emmy® award-winning and Directors Guild of America award-nominated Director, Director of Photography/Cameraman, Writer, Producer, and Editor. With 40 years in TV news and docs (mostly for the networks), working on feature films, TV dramas such as The Tonight Show, Oprah, Good Morning America, World News Tonight, Nightline, 48 Hours, Dateline, PBS' acclaimed "Frontline" and covering the Iraq War with Peter Jennings and Diane Sawyer.
Speed often equals creativity in filmmaking. Whether trying to capture the beauty of nature or the horrors of war, the ability to set-up and shoot quickly can be the difference between capturing something truly special and missing the moment.
Jody Eldred knows all about this. An Emmy® award-winning director and cameraman, Jody’s 40-year career has taken him from the Iraq War to the studios of Oprah and Good Morning America. While it would seem that interviewing presidents and reporting on floods and natural disasters require vastly different set-ups, having equipment that can move as fast as you is always essential.
The more I use flowtech®, the more I appreciate its combination of being extremely lightweight and quick to set-up – both critical factors especially when shooting news and docs, when it’s important to be as quick and nimble as possible to get a fleeting shot.”
Whatever you need to shoot
When you’ve been in the game for as long as Jody has, you go through a lot of gear. His experience and insight into what works (and what doesn’t) has prompted many leading manufacturers to seek his opinion on their new creations. He has given feedback on camera development for Sony and Blackmagic, and we have been lucky enough to get his input on our gear for many years.
“I’ve been a Sachtler guy for several decades, and I’ve used their tripods and camera heads to shoot network news and documentaries on a tremendous range of high-profile subjects and in the most gruelling conditions,” he says.
Wherever you need to go
Jody has had to carry a lot of bulky, heavy and energy sapping tripods throughout his career. In fast moving situations like floods and wildfires, the best shots can slip by as you lug your gear to the right spot.
But, there is a reason why older tripods are heavy. They are heavy because they are strong and durable. Luckily for the backs of cameramen everywhere, Sachtler has produced a solution for this too. flowtech’s carbon fibre construction makes it lightweight, but strong enough to carry heavy cameras. Having no stainless-steel parts also means no amount of water, even saltwater, is going to damage flowtech®, making it perfect for shooting in any conditions.
Sachtler’s technology and ease of use have always been head and shoulders above the rest, so naturally I was excited to hear that Sachtler had decided to reinvent the professional tripod. The result – flowtech® – is nothing short of astounding.”
One simple, yet innovative, design feature makes flowtech® different. Before, setting up involved fiddling with several different knobs to adjust the height before wrestling with each individual leg to get the tripod level. flowtech® features a single release latch system that lets you set-up on any surface instantly, but also change the height of the tripod with the camera attached. When the difference between a great shot and an average one is seconds, this simple feature makes a world of difference.
I’ve been a Sachtler guy for several decades, and I’ve used their tripods and camera heads to shoot network news and documentaries on a tremendous range of high-profile subjects and in the most grueling conditions.”
Last September, Jody got a chance to really test flowtech® at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Every two years, 700 of the world’s best wildlife filmmakers travel to the majestic Grand Tetons as part of the event. Getting the best shots require not only the best gear, but a willingness to hike for miles every day. Needless to say, Jody was happy to have flowtech® slung over his back because he knew he wasn’t sacrificing performance for an easier trek.
“I had my heavier-duty Sachtler Video 18 II with me, which is better-suited for the heavier payload, but I was very pleasantly surprised how the much-lighter flowtech® performed. I much preferred carrying it through the backcountry, and the speed of set-up allowed me to quickly grab some great shots - vital to wildlife shooting, since nature will not wait for you.”