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HomeCraftsCameraAnton/Bauer Powers Filmmaker’s Wondrous Footage of the Northern Lights

Anton/Bauer Powers Filmmaker’s Wondrous Footage of the Northern Lights


LR-AntonBauer_Philp Clemo 2When the U.K.-based filmmaker and composer Philip Clemo traveled to the northern reaches of Norway to capture footage of the aurora borealis (northern lights) phenomenon, he needed a power system capable not only of running his camera for several hours, but able to withstand the extreme cold locations above the Arctic Circle. Shooting on an ARRI Alexa film-style digital motion picture camera, he relied on Anton/Bauer’s DIONIC HC and DIONIC HCX batteries, confident they would stand up to the weather during the shoot.

Given his background as a composer, Clemo often seeks to convey ideas in his films without spoken language or text. “What I look for in my filmmaking is an unusual perspective,” he explained. “I want people to look at something they’re familiar with in an unfamiliar way, even to the point of not necessarily recognizing it. So I was interested in the abstraction of the aurora and less in the environmental context. I wanted to get in a bit tighter on this amazing wonder.”

Philp Clemo on location in Norway.
Philp Clemo on location in Norway.
Clemo had heard that many camera batteries suffer under extremely cold weather conditions. “Some people had told me that when it gets down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, you might only get 10 percent of the charge. A friend of mine who is a director of photography told me to try Anton/Bauer batteries. He said that if there was any battery that was going to work at low temperatures, it was Anton/Bauer. He was right. The temperatures I shot in ended up being -4 degrees Fahrenheit, and I got the same results as I got back home, when I tested all my equipment in my home in the U.K. I didn’t lose any noticeable power at all.”

To capture the celestial beauty of the aurora borealis, Clemo traveled to Tromsø, Norway, situated 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. He then drove for seven hours into the mountains and took a snowmobile ride for a further hour into the vast, frozen wilderness of northern Norway. After six days, he returned to the coast traveling around the fjords. He shot the footage he needed, which he will incorporate into two projects, titled Breath and First Breath. Although he had up to eight batteries with him each day, he averaged just three batteries per shoot. The Anton/Bauer batteries powered his cameras throughout the 12 days of shooting, never losing power in the cold weather.

“The Anton/Bauer support team was very helpful,” said Clemo. “I contacted them about the batteries pretty close to the last minute before I traveled, and they got right on it, supplying me the batteries and giving me advice on how to travel with them, including any travel restrictions I might face. They shipped me batteries in time for my flight out. The batteries worked perfectly. Everything Anton/Bauer told me about how they would work happened just as they said it would. It was great.”

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