For the quirky feature film, Odd Brodsky, director Cindy Bear and DP Matthew Irving (Waitress, Waiting) wanted a smooth and lyrical feel that “harkens back to a more classic era of feature films, rather than the reality show handheld look that is so fashionable right now,” Irving said. “But we also knew we would be in run-and-gun mode most of the time; shooting in practical, and many times cramped, locations.”
Irving decided to shoot the project with the small Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 7D cameras, supported by a tripod and fluid head from Sachtler, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company.
“It was clear that our tripod and head needed to be robust and compact,” Irving said. Irving relied on his favorite Sachtler, the DV 6 SB, which he has used professionally for the past eight years.
“It provides the versatility and feel of the larger heads I’ve used for many years shooting 35mm feature films,” he explained. “At the same time, it is light-weight enough that I was able to hike into a remote park area with the camera and Sachtler slung over my shoulder, in order to grab some beauty shots.”
“The Sachtler Speed Balance technology allowed me to do fast and precise set ups, regardless of the camera configuration,” Irving said. “Whenever I’m using the smaller DSLR cameras, the weight and balance of the rig will change dramatically, depending on whether I’m using a heavy long lens or a compact prime. Often the lens is heavier than the camera body. With the Sachtler, I could make changes and balance the rig quickly, without losing precious time.”
The Sachtler fluid head was particularly helpful during what Irving calls his “lyrical” dolly shots. “Due to size limitations of the practical locations, many of these shots were accomplished on a slider rather than an actual dolly. This presented a unique challenge, since the camera operator must execute the move at the fluid head instead of relying on a separate dolly grip, while simultaneously panning and tilting to maintain desired composition. The counterbalance settings on the Sachtler and the smooth drag of the fluid head provided the tools we needed to get the shot right every time.”
Odd Brodsky is a quirky comedy about a lovable loser named Audrey Brodsky who quits her steady day job to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming an actress. Currently in post, the project will begin making select festival rounds later this year.