Good team: Max Biber and his FSB 6 tripod system

Max Biber

DP

Conceiving and shooting image films are tasks that have been in the family at the German production company biberfilm for 30 years. While DP Max Biber devotes himself to shooting and managing the equipment, his parents, Petra and Herbert Biber, take care of direction and production. “We’re simply a good team. This way, we can quickly and non-bureaucratically execute individual films,” the cameraman says. For projects with special requirements, we have a very experienced circle of colleagues around us that we can call on if necessary. Max has travelled a great deal in the last few years for various productions. He always had the proven FSB 6 T and FSB 8 T fluid heads in his luggage during his multi-faceted work in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the U.S. “My absolute favorite is my indestructible FSB 6 T SL MCF tripod system. It has been with me for almost a decade on my travels around the world and has survived not only heat, ice, salt water, and sand, but the roughest airport baggage handlers.” The fluid head’s load capacity of up to 8 kg is perfect for Max’s Sony FS700 or Blackmagic Cinema Camera. “Even when I have overloaded the tripod system with the heavier cameras, I can still do soft pans and steady shots.”

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“For me, there is no alternative: Other products are too unstable, too heavy, and not as reliable.”

Max Biber

On the beach

Hotel room, beach, spa, or pool – on a Mediterranean island, Max recently shot a short promotional film for a website for various hotel facilities. “The website’s visitors need to see how nice the hotels and the adjoining beaches are,” the cameraman said. “On the island of Crete, we climbed a ways up the cliff and shot the beautiful landscape from there. When you do something like that, have a tripod system with carbon legs that weighs only 5.2 kg is a big advantage.” Back at the beach, the carbon tripod was quick to set up. “The quick-release clip fastener allows setup of the three-stage tripod with only three hand movements. The FSB 6 T’s practical Touch & Go camera plate, the entire camera assembly is ready to go in seconds, and I can go on shooting right away.”

On the plane

Some projects don’t allow Max the freedom of movement he had in Crete. For instance, he had to take aerial shots directly from the open door of a plane for a video about the Sinsheim and Speyer Technical Museum. “That was spectacular and a challenge, especially because the airplane itself handled like a museum piece. I had to be strapped in, and the tripod was lashed down securely. The precisely aligned rubber feet held it steady, and I had my shots in no time,” said Max of the shooting in Sinsheim. For other aerial shots, the DP uses drones carrying the Blackmagic Pocket Camera, for instance, in stabilized suspension brackets.

On a container ship

Seen from the outside, a container ship like the Liniati Safmarine, with its 50,000 GRT, appears spacious. Things are different inside: cramped cabins, steep stairs, hot galleys, and loud engine rooms. In addition the tight spaces, there is a tight schedule. Mooring or casting off, in the pilot boat or on the bridge, at the machine control station or at the oven with the ship’s cook – there is almost always only one chance to capture these desirable motifs and actions. That means that not only must every movement count, but additional factors must also be taken into consideration, such as the changing lighting, the unavoidable vibrations, and the fact that you are very often in someone’s way. During all this, Max’s Sachtler remained eminently reliable.

In Berlin

“The tripod system is very compact, and the quick clip system allows it to be completely folded up with a single hand movement. The clips conveniently open six fasteners. That is very practical when I’m supposed to be everywhere at once in a documentation,” Max says. The DP uses his camera to capture behind-the scenes shots of the festivities on German Unity Day, 2013. First, a bird’s-eye view from a helicopter, then right to more shooting on the ground. “The light carbon tripod allows me to carry it myself and quickly move among the various locations.” About equipment, he has come to this conclusion: “For me, there is no alternative: Other tripod systems are too unstable, too heavy, and not as reliable.”