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Food Forward TV Captured On Sachtler Ace

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Award-winning photographer, writer, director and producer Greg Roden is committed to helping people understand where our food comes from and how it impacts not only our bodies, but also the planet we live on.
He’s been taking his team on the road to explore these important issues for the PBS series Food Forward. To capture stories about people who are committed to improving their lives and the life of our planet, he carries a small yet effective camera package. His most recent addition to this package is the Ace fluid head and tripod system from Sachtler.
"This was my first foray into Sachtler, coming from a primarily still photography background,” says Roden. "Now as a producer/director, there are many times when we use a skeletal crew to get into difficult places to shoot. With just a cinematographer using a Sony EX-3 or Canon 5D, running onboard sound or sync sound and talent, I am able to sling the Sachtler Ace over my shoulder and head out for an all day shoot in any location, far from a production vehicle," he says.
"A few weeks ago we followed one of our urban farmers into the bustling streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown so, she could buy some live chickens for her urban farm across the bay in West Oakland," he explains. "We started our shoot by hopping on a crowded mid-morning BART train and were able to grab a few shots on the moving train using the Ace. By setting the head to zero drag, the tripod gave us additional stability on medium-tight shots, while giving us the freedom and flexibility as if we were shooting handheld."
"Hopping off the train, I quickly threw the Ace back into its comfortable-yet-protective bag while we grabbed some handheld shots with our farmer walking through the station," he continues. "Because the Ace fully breaks down quickly and compactly inside the bag, it was easier to move around crowded public spaces and attract less attention from passers-by while shooting."
"Outside, we needed to grab some lock-down beauty shots of downtown San Francisco," he explains. "We got creative with some cool whip pans and tilts off of the buildings to the busy streets full of cable cars, busses, bike messengers and people. The SA-dragTM system, which has three horizontal and three vertical steps plus zero, makes the Ace easy to use and super smooth in the pan and tilt for every situation."
"San Francisco’s Chinatown is a hectic place with frenetic energy, people and movement," he says. "We were able to quickly set up the Ace for a number of complicated shots off of varying uneven surfaces. We did a couple of blocked shots with our character where we started tilted up and zoomed in tight on a bright and colorful sign painted with Chinese characters. Then we slowly tilted down and racked focus while panning to the street to pick up our main character walking toward us on the crowded sidewalk, carrying her heavy box of live chickens. At times, we had the Ace fully extended using the mid-level spreaders, which provided additional support in keeping the camera locked down solidly with people whizzing by on both sides of us. The SA-dragTM system makes the tripod function with precision and ease, producing excellent results."
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