Ace L for Sliders and Two Young Filmmakers Gather Speed


The current project of the Munich production company We Make Them Wonder is a portrait film about German designer and furniture maker Nils Holger Moormann. Niclas Löffler and Paul Jax visited the creative talent in the Bavarian community of Aschau and looked over his shoulder while he worked. Nils Holger Moormann is known for his elegantly simple, minimalist style furniture. Two compact Sachtler Ace M tripod systems have long been on the two filmmakers’ equipment list. In addition, the two filmmakers were able to work with the new slider-enabled Ace L for the first time – and they were very impressed, to say the least.

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“In every portrait, it is exciting stepping into the shoes of the protagonist and participating in his or her daily life.”

Niclas Löffler

Smooth and steady gliding"

We are finally able to use the Ace L fluid head on our sliders as well," says Niclas Löffler happily. "For us, working with sliders is essential in order to be able to film with special perspectives."  With a payload range of zero to six kilograms, the new slider-enabled fluid head was perfect for working with the Canon EOS 5D MKIII and the 70D. "When using a fluid head, the tracking shots on the sled become visibly steadier in contrast to the tracking shots without a fluid head. With the Ace L, we always had full control over our pans. At the same time, they were super smooth," says Paul, describing the shooting of the portrait film. "The combination of slider and Ace L enabled us to film Mr. Moormann at work in the planning rooms or at his desk concentrating and absorbed in his task. We were able to move the camera continuously and with millimeter precision in his direction and capture the creative mood."

Dynamic images

In capturing dynamic images, the up-and-coming filmmakers passionately immerse themselves in their portrait films. "We were very pleased that Mr. Moormann had a day for our project. In every portrait, it is exciting stepping into the shoes of the protagonist and participating in his or her daily life," says Löffler. "Even if the work of the designer is more static, we were able to inject a little momentum with tracking shots and didn't have to do without dolly moves. The made our settings more cinematic than work without sliders. The times in which we had to rely on some interim solutions are a thing of the past: Now, we can also use the Ace L on the sliders." Paul Jax adds: "The camera pans are also easier during tracking shots." The patented SA drag™ damping of the Ace L is steady and can be exactly reproduced. With the three vertical and three horizontal grades of drag (+0), the corresponding number of segments are activated, combined, or passively switched so fine adjustment for precise panning and tilting is guaranteed.

From the showroom to the forest

In addition to recording in the office, planning rooms, and showrooms, a great amount of outdoor filming also took place. "In the morning, we had to deal with light snowfall, and in the evening, we were able to enjoy the perfect sunset. Such changes in the weather are quite normal in the Bavarian mountains," explains Paul Jax. "While filming conditions were quite diverse, the Ace L fluid head worked properly in every situation." Niclas Löffler adds: "Thanks to the low weight, we were able to quickly transport the tripod system from one place to the next. For shorter distances, we didn't even have to remove the slider because the entire weight including the Varavon only came to about eight kilograms." The fluid head is made of a lightweight yet stable fiberglass-enforced composite material and comes with a lightweight carbon-fiber tripod.

The portrait film about Nils Holger Moormann can be seen on his website starting in early 2014. But Niclas Löffler and Paul Jax have already come to a positive conclusion: "We are delighted that Sachtler has come out with this enhanced fluid head," both of them say happily. "This way, in the future, we can do the entire shoot with Sachtler. The Ace L for sliders is innovative and sophisticated – just like the furniture by Mr. Moormann."