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Miller Camera Support Equipment Helps Tackle Gritty Documentary

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When Roxanne Halley, director with Melbourne-based production company Eye Sea Films, was asked to shoot a brand film for Loco Mosquito Guerrilla Operators, a fashion company based in Bangkok, she chose an AIR Tripod System (3001) from Miller Camera Support Equipment.

Halley used the AIR Alloy System to capture the project, which was shot and executed in a street fashion documentary style, proved to be ideal for the challenges she met across several of Bangkok's crowded, high energy locales.

Loco Mosquito Guerrilla Operators is a creative collective based in Bangkok. Its founder, Ricky Madison, has been traveling to and from Melbourne, Bali, Jakarta and Bangkok for more than two years to source the leather and fabrics used for the company's first line of garments, launched in January 2016. Loco Mosquito specializes in re-interpretations of unisex staples, influenced by traditional Chinese, Indian and Tibetan art.

When the collective asked Halley for her help to shoot the video, they wanted her to capture the essence of what made Loco Mosquito Guerrilla Operators unique.

"The clothing has a real grit and underground edge to it, so we didn't want to hire models or a studio to showcase the garments," Halley said. "This is why we chose to film real people in the designer's home town wearing them. We wanted the film to feel authentic with a distinct Bangkok flavor, highlighting some of the local places and people the designer drew his inspiration from."

The equipment list for the shoot was chosen with this artistic mandate in mind. Halley took light, portable, unobtrusive equipment with her to Bangkok. Supplementing her Air Tripod System was a Canon 7D DSLR camera with a pair of Canon lenses, and Smart Lav and VideoMic Pro microphones from RØDE Microphones.

"The Miller AIR tripod we used gave us a lot of much-needed flexibility in the sometimes cramped and busy locations," Halley added. "For this project in particular, we were shooting in such a vast variety of locations, and needed our gear to be extremely lightweight and inconspicuous. We were shooting in confined spaces with heavy people traffic and the Miller AIR tripod was so versatile that we could quickly make it fit any position we were shooting in no matter how cramped or difficult. Shooting on a moving boat and tuk tuk would have been near impossible without a tripod as simple to use and lightweight as the AIR."

Halley added that the tripod also handled itself very well on uneven surfaces and proved very stable and durable. "The AIR tripod weighed so little that I could literally run around the streets with it over my shoulder without drawing too much attention to myself. As always, a Miller fluid head is amazing to work with because of the balance, smoothness and control it provides."

Halley said she has worked with bulkier, heavier tripods in the past, and also with light tripods that lack the stability and durability of the AIR. "I found the Miller AIR to be superior. Miller tripods are very smooth and easy to use, without too many complicated or cumbersome leg locks. The Miller Air was sturdy without being bulky. The weight and size is perfect for travel and shooting on the go."

She also noted the quality and ease of use of the AIR leg locks and the fact that the leg angle locks allow shooting from very low positions.

The tripod's inconspicuous footprint also proved valuable. An example of this was the crowded, often chaotic Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, where on a weekend thousands of people pass through narrow corridors of merchants selling goods. "There were so many bodies to negotiate while also trying to find interesting camera angles, and all the while making sure our subject was feeling happy and comfortable with their experience," says Halley. "I didn't want to come barging into their market stall with a huge camera and tripod, especially considering there was a language barrier. I was able to establish a relationship with the subject, and as soon as they agreed to wear the garments on camera, I was able to jump into action, having to set up the tripod in a matter of seconds before another surge of people got in the way.

Halley said she found everyone she liaised with at Miller to be generous, helpful and supportive of the project. "They even managed to ship the tripod interstate 48 hours before I was supposed to get on my flight to Thailand," says Halley.

Miller's Australian-made AIR alloy tripod system is purpose-built for professional DSLR and HDV photo-videographers who want genuine quality with a true fluid head, at an affordable price and with a three-year warranty. This premium product with proven solid build quality is a perfect lightweight travel companion for shooting both videos and photos in rugged outdoor conditions. The compact, lightweight (4.80 kg/10.6 lb) AIR system is perfect for payload capacities to 10 kg/22 lbs, and a payload range of 2-5 kg.


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