Over 200 people have died in their attempt to climb Mount Everest, with the trek itself riddled with avalanches, rockslides, and blizzards. But despite that risk, people every year from all over the world travel to venture to its summit, including German director and cameraman Philip Flaemig.
No stranger to working in extreme environments, Flaemig jumped at the chance to shoot a feature documentary on the journey up Mount Everest. Although, for him, it wasn’t about the risk, but rather the reward of showing a different side of the “Goddess Mother of the World,” as the Tibetans call it.
“There’s a lot of wrong information going out to the public right now so what we tried to do with this film is really show off the mountain and its beauty,” mentioned Flaemig.
“That was the idea behind the project. I mean, of course, it’s a dangerous mountain, but many things get misrepresented. For us, it wasn’t about hiking Everest because it’s the most dangerous or the highest mountain, it was about representing it for the beautiful place that it is.”
For such an intense trail, Flaemig had to be exceptionally critical about the gear he was going to bring with him. With just one Sherpa joining him on the way up, Flaemig had to carry most of the camera equipment himself, including his rope, oxygen tank, and more. Wanting to capture sharp images during his expedition, he decided to bring Sachtler’s FSB 6 tripod system for his Canon C300 Mark II. Utilising Sachtler’s strong engineering and the system’s quick set-up, the FSB system was the perfect match for this extreme project.
“Mount Everest is over 8,000 metres and the climate is about -30 degrees Celsius with the wind going 30 mph. Even in these conditions, there was never a moment where I had to think about whether my FSB system would work – it just did. Even when there was ice on the tripod, it was still running smoothly,” commented Flaemig.
That’s why I choose to bring Sachtler. I’ve been using these tripods for a long time and they’ve never let me down."
Persistent in severe temperatures and altitudes, the FSB 6 is a multifunctional, must-have camera support system for any filmmaker, ideal for all set-ups of up to 8 kg at 55 mm cog. With unique Speedlock technology, the system allowed Flaemig to set-up quickly by conveniently telescoping all three legs of the tripod at once with only one release.
“The other people who are filming and going up only have so much time, so they don’t want to wait for the camera to roll or to get ready so I always have to think about how can I go faster and just start shooting. For me, the tripod’s Speedlock feature was essential for this purpose because I was able to use it fast without having to think about it. On Everest, that makes a massive difference.”
Mount Everest is over 8,000 metres and the climate is about -30 degrees Celsius with the wind going 30 mph. Even in these conditions, there was never a moment where I had to think about whether my FSB system would work – it just did."
Along with Speedlock, the system also offers the Snap & Go side-loading mechanism that makes positioning the camera simple no matter the situation. For Flaemig, every kilogram mattered, so the reliability and lighter weight of the system was ideal for his timeline and the speed at which he was climbing.
“What makes this project special is that we were the first ones to shoot in 4K at the summit so my goal was to get really great, clean 4K shots and be able to steadily pan and tilt at the top. That’s why I choose to bring Sachtler. I’ve been using these tripods for a long time and they’ve never let me down.”