When filmmaker David Wright of Planet Earth Pictures agreed to travel to Alaska and film the upcoming educational documentary, An Uncertain Future, he chose batteries from Anton/Bauer to power his equipment. Wright traveled with a supply of Anton/Bauer’s DIONIC 90 and CINE VCLX batteries to support his Panasonic HDX900 and Canon XF105 cameras, as he embarked on a month-long excursion to Cooper Island – a remote location off the coast of Alaska, as well as a voyage around Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic, to shoot a documentary on biologist Dr. George Divoky who is conducting climate change research.
For the last 40 years, Divoky has made the journey to Cooper Island each summer to study the migration and feeding patterns of a colony of seabirds. By studying this colony, he has gleaned a wealth of information about how climate change is affecting the habitat they live in, as well as the lives of other creatures living in and around the surrounding Beaufort Sea, including the sea life serving as food for the birds. Over the last five years, Divoky has witnessed the arrival of starving polar bears, which feed on the birds and their eggs. The polar bears seek refuge on the island due to a loss of habitat caused by the increasing lack of sea ice in the warming Arctic basin.
Wright met Divoky in 2011 during the filming of the BBC series Frozen Planet. Intrigued by Divoky’s work, Wright agreed to document him in action, with the goal of producing a film that would educate climate-change skeptics on the growing peril climate change presents to the planet and its inhabitants. Wright served as cameraman and field producer, spending a month with Divoky in his small cabin on the remote island. With few resources available, facing a mix of below-freezing and unusually warm temperatures, as well as weeks of fog, the trip presented quite a challenge to the filmmaker. But with Anton/Bauer batteries, Wright was able to power his camera through the entire trip.
“I have been a big fan of Anton/Bauer products for the last 20 years,” said Wright. “I travel to some of the world’s most extreme environments, which tests my equipment to the absolute limits. Not only have I used Anton/Bauer batteries in the frigid temperatures of the Arctic, but also in the tropics of Central Africa and the heat of Central Australia. I always travel with a supply of DIONIC batteries as my main power source. They are light and powerful for their size, plus the positive lock system is far superior to other mounts when working in arduous conditions. I have also started using the high-capacity CINE VCLX when I need to run equipment that draws a high current or needs to run for extended periods. It has performed wonderfully.”
For this trip, Wright traveled with eight DIONIC 90s and kept them charged with an Anton/Bauer TWQ four-bay simultaneous charger. According to Wright, this is more than enough for a day’s shooting and provides enough power for the LED lighting that he also uses.
“When you don’t know when you will next get a chance to find a power source, it is so great to have some reserve energy,” he said. “Even in the cold of the Arctic, the fully charged Anton/Bauer batteries have held their energy for days without a problem.”
The DIONIC 90 was designed by Anton/Bauer to deliver consistently reliable performance even in the most challenging shooting environments on Earth. It offers a RealTime display that continually updates the operator on how much run time remains and on the state of the current charge. Weighing 1.7 pounds, the DIONIC 90 can be transported without restriction under the IATA and DOT safety regulations. The 95Wh battery can handle a maximum load of six amps, and offers run times ranging from six hours at 15 watts to a little over 2 hours at 45 watts.
Known for providing extended run times for some of the most popular film and digital cinema cameras, including ARRI, RED, Sony and Panavision, CINE VCLX batteries provide all the safety and high power-draw performance of Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) cell chemistry technology in a power package specifically designed for the integration of 24V film and 14V video equipment. The high-power 28V output is also capable of powering 200 W HMI lights, lighting panels and portable microwave units. The CINE VCLX batteries feature a RealTime LCD that accurately displays remaining run-time and a visual LED warning indicator when 15 minutes of run-time remain.
An Uncertain Future is currently in postproduction, with a projected release later this summer.