Speed Motion Films Limited is a full-service production house and we tell the stories of athletes, brands, companies and interesting individuals. Based in Belfast, we create high-end digital cinematography for commercial clients all over the world.
Racing the sunrise
It’s 3am and we are climbing an extremely rocky, treacherous cliff. The ground is wet, the sun is yet to make an appearance and we are carrying all of our gear on our backs. In a situation like this, having a compact, lightweight and reliable tripod is not only incredibly useful but much safer. Luckily, we have flowtech®75 with us.
To call the Giant’s Causeway an unconventional filming location is an understatement. The Northern Ireland tourist hotspot is famous for the 40,000 naturally occurring hexagonal shaped pillars that rise and fall into the sea. We have been tasked by the National Trust to capture the beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage site and to help highlight its unique environmental and preservation needs. Part of the brief calls for a sunrise shot, which is why we find ourselves clambering off the beaten track in the early hours of what we’ve been promised will be a sunny Irish morning.
Although we have never filmed the Giant’s Causeway before, the team at Speed Motion is used to travelling across the world to provide high-end digital and aerial cinematography for clients such as Red Bull, ITV and Aston Martin. We have to balance the need to travel light with rugged, reliable equipment that won’t fail us in the middle of a shoot.
That’s why we rely on flowtech®75, and why we’ve used it for a range of projects. From nature shoots to documentaries about skateboarding in China, flowtech®75 is perfect for our needs. In particular, the lightweight yet hard-wearing design and the ability to quickly change tripod heights on the fly – even with a camera on top – make it a great choice of tripod for productions of all sizes in nearly any location. And once again, it is these two features that come into their own as we fumble around in the dark on the Giant’s Causeway.
The single release latch lets you set-up instantly on practically any surface. It is quite simply the fastest set-up we have ever seen."
Filming in a location like the Causeway highlights the limitations of other tripods. Over the years we’ve found that the locking mechanism on most of them fail after sustained use or need regular retightening. High-load-bearing tripods also tend to be heavy, which could make our night-time cliff climbing much more perilous. Sachtler solved both of these problems with flowtech®75’s innovative locking mechanism and its carbon fibre design.
Arriving at our chosen spot, the first traces of sunlight are starting to warm the horizon. We need to quickly set up and readjust the tripod level in the pre-dawn gloom to make sure we get the right shot. It is in these situations that flowtech®75 shines.
Instead of twisting and re-twisting several knobs and fussing with the legs to make sure they are level, you only have one knob to twist. The single release latch lets you set up instantly on practically any surface. It is quite simply the fastest set-up we have ever seen. After all the effort it often takes to get to the perfect filming location, knowing that you can quickly and easily set up on rough ground and get to work much faster than you otherwise would be able to is really great.
Our Sachtler set-up
To get the best results for the Giant’s Causeway project, we opted to pair flowtech®75 with a Sachtler FSB 6 Fluid Head. So once we had found the perfect spot, the process of making small readjustments was simple, quick and stress free. With such reliable and easy to use equipment, the hardest part of the shoot was getting to where we needed to be.
With everything that can go wrong on a shoot, being able to rely on your tripod to not only last but actively make your job easier brings much-needed peace of mind. flowtech®75 is simply the best tripod we have ever used, and it is now an essential part of our travelling kit.