The Reelbros team, has managed to make a lot of progress in the past few months, going from just a name to a new startup creative production company servicing Arizona. One of the best and worst parts of Phoenix, is just how small the filmmaking community is. Its bad terrible because there isn't a whole lot of support industries, studios, etc. but in many ways it great because the community is very tight knit. Recently we were brought onto a project as a special operations team, to use our Defy Cadence Cable cam system on a commercial spec. I can't disclose who the commercial is for or show any of the set or talent, but we can say it was one of the biggest productions we've been on hand for since our founding. So we would laser focused on our tasks, but also keep open ears to pick up on insights from people who had decades of experience.
In a multitude of pre production meetings weeks before it had been decided that we would rig the system out on a large piece of private property located in the San Tan Valley Desert. Our anchor points would come courtesy of a Condor heavy boom lift, and a 3 ton scissor lift spaced roughly 400 ft apart. Our team arrived shortly after 1pm and pulled our pelican cases from the wagon. We soon began to prep our system as we waited for the riggers to finish setting up the 4K HMI PAR Arri light they would be mounting atop the Condors basket, this would come into play after the sun went down, giving the set a massive artificial moon.
With our 400ft line run and the condor arm up in the air, John dialed in the tension on the line as I plucked the system onto the Dyneema rope. A simple click is all it took to mount up this shoots package to the system, using the Toad in the hole mount. The Cadence would be carrying a Freefly Systems Movi Pro stabilizer, tightly packed with an Alexa Mini, shooting through compact cinema Leica glass. To say this camera build was a thing of beauty would be an understatement. We can't wait till we can get our hands on another Alexa Mini soon.
Everything was ready to roll as the sun slowly began to creep below the distant mountains. The talent was called to set and the crew man'd their stations. As the cable cam made a pass with each take, about twenty or so people gathered around the tiny monitors, just close enough to catch a glance of the shot, but not interfere with the directors. I can attest to the image that was being captured as it was a setting. As the sun tucked away for the night, the air was soon filled with the low hum of generators, "Striking!" our large artificial moon turned on. Talent was reserved in amongst a heated tent, while a meeting was held between our team and the directors, where the decision was made to lower tension on the line dropping the system closer to the ground for the next scene. This process would be repeated throughout the night, as we adjusted height giving what would reach the final edit as one long uninterrupted sliding dolly shot, a setup that would've take hours to setup when compared to the cable cam.
That night out in the desert was another unique experience that comes with my new lifestyle, that collective vision that teams share to produce the highest level of content is something to be seen in person. You wouldn't guess the amount of time it takes, when you watch it. It's one of those things that "if you know, you know". I wish I could share more, but being that this is a spec this is all you're going to get, I will try my best to share the final product if and when it is released. In the meantime please go check out the production company Beautiful Science, they do amazing work around the world, as well as elevate the Arizona film community. Link below! Until next time....