Documentary filmmaker Alan Dater and partner Lisa Merton concentrate on the arts, education and social issues. One of Dater’s latest passions, Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, which has garnered numerous awards and has been broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lens series, was one of his most challenging. One tool Dater said he found helpful was the Vinten Vision 10.
“While shooting in Kenya, I not only had to deal with plenty of dust – so much so, that at times we could not see the road in front of our van – but also when it rained, we had to deal with the amazing Kenyan red mud,” Dater said. “Imagine, as you walk, the soles of your shoes gain in height as the mud builds up. Yet, the Vinten equipment never failed us. All I had to do was wash down the tripod at the end of every shooting day.”
The Vision 10AS, has been used in various productions, from documentary shoots to breaking news coverage. The Vision 10AS can be configured to support a wide range of camera weights from 14.3 to 37.5 lbs. (6.5 to 17kg). With features such as the Side Load System, illuminated leveling bubble and Perfect Balance, this system is ready for rapid set-up in all situations.
“I’ve used this system while filming assignments all over the world — on top of mountains, in waist-deep streams, on dusty African locations, in a gritty pottery studio in Japan, in deep mud in Kenya, and at hundreds of other locations in the U.S. and Europe,” he said. “I am now using it with my current HD camera, a Panasonic AG-HPX370.”
Dater often works single-handed and needs a tripod he can throw over his shoulder while carrying a camera in his other hand. “Prior to getting my Vinten, I had been using a tripod and head that were simply too heavy,” he recalled. “When I first bought the Vision 10 in 1992, I was shooting with a Sony Betacam. The Vision 10 head and the two-stage legs were perfect. I felt liberated. The legs were light and would collapse to a low angle, and were also very stable fully extended. The head is amazing. It allowed me to get smooth shots even when shooting full telephoto.”