Filmmaker Paul Cook Takes Advantage of Sachtler’s Versatility for Magpie

Paul Cook


On-the-go camera operators from around the world have relied on Sachtler’s long legacy of robust tripods and rapid system set ups. And while Sachtler has been a favorite among shooters working in news and documentaries, select filmmakers have also come to admire the brand’s versatility and ability to handle heavier and lighter camera rigs with a single tripod system. This includes UK-based cameraman and filmmaker Paul Cook, who relied on the new Sachtler FSB 10 System for his latest film, Magpie.

“It was a relief to have a tripod system that never hindered the camera team or limited my intended movement of the camera,” commented Cook. “When you work with tight budgets, you often have to sacrifice certain shots or methods of shooting if your equipment doesn’t allow for them, but Sachtler’s FSB 10 made it very easy to turn up each day on set and attempt any shot no matter the weight and size of the camera package.”

Set against the backdrop of World War II in East Anglia, Magpie tells the story of three people whose lives are forever altered by the vast changes in the physical, social and cultural landscape of the region during the war. During production, Magpie featured dramatic sets and powerful characters that Cook had to capture under an intense shooting schedule.

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“It was a relief to have a tripod system that never hindered the camera team or limited my intended movement of the camera”

Paul Cook

Equipment list

Fluid Heads
FSB 10 T
FSB 10

“I used the FSB 10 for all 12 days of shooting – 10 of which were consecutive – so I became very accustomed to and subsequently dependent on its qualities and ideal uses. During production, it balanced and moved our heavy FS7 cinema setup with smooth, controlled motion, making it a great balance of simplicity and functionality. It’s an incredibly quick, reliable and sturdy support system, so it’s a great match for any fast-moving environment, whether that’s corporate jobs, documentary work, or a low-budget independent film like ours.”

Even though unexpected problems are always lurking on every set, Cook emphasizes a simple yet crucial step in the production process.

“Planning and preparation are what make or break a film project like this. If you can foresee what obstacles you may run into and plan ahead, they will be far less likely to turn into a problem later down the line. On something low budget like our project, it comes down to what you know, who you’re working with, and how you tackle those issues together. For me, it’s not necessarily about getting the absolute best crew you can afford. It's about getting the right crew for the job, and that means getting a crew who shares your passion and understands your vision.”

Magpie is set to be released next year, but you can follow the progress of the film at