Anton/Bauer Goes to Extremes for Water Productions
When action sports programming producer and star Kevin Cullen hits the road to capture extreme outdoor sports in HD, his battery of choice is an Anton/Bauer DIONIC 90. From riding an ATV through the rough country surrounding the source of the Nile in Uganda, Africa, to snowmobiling around an active volcano in central Iceland, these extremely harsh shooting conditions test both man and machine to the limits.
“We are outside of the working limits of our equipment on pretty much every shoot,” says Kevin Cullen, president of Water Productions Corporation. “As many of our programs are captured in very remote locations, we simply cannot have a problem with our camera batteries. We rely on our Anton/Bauer DIONIC 90 batteries because they always work through sand, dirt, red dust, crashing surf, impossible water conditions and minus whatever temperature when we are working up in the Arctic Circle. We have produced 156 episodes of our five programs in HD, all powered by the DIONIC 90s and they work each and every time.”
The DIONIC 90 offers a RealTime display that continually updates the operator on how much run-time remains and on the state of the current charge. Cullen uses two different Anton/Bauer charging systems to keep the juice running: the Dual 2722 for charging and routine maintenance and a “T” Series Twin charger for lightweight portability. As the very nature of each sports shoot is extremely physical, the DIONIC 90 batteries not only provide the power necessary to capture each event, but also strike the perfect weight balance for the cameraman, reducing fatigue.
“The programs are captured to a single Panasonic HD VariCam camera system, with half the work shot from a tripod and the other half shot ENG-style off the back of a snowmobile, an ATV, a Jet Ski or the like,” says Cullen. “The choice of the DIONIC 90 was in part because it is lightweight and balances the back of the camera with the lens we use. As our jobs are inherently physical, we wanted to reduce strain on the shooter’s shoulder and arm. Anton/Bauer offers many models that would accomplish the job from a power standpoint, but the DIONIC 90 fits the bill perfectly for how we actually use our camera.”
The DIONIC 90 weighs only 1.7 lbs. and can be transported without restriction under the IATA and DOT safety regulations, an absolute requirement for Cullen and his globetrotting company. The battery can handle a maximum load of 90 watts, offering runtimes ranging from six hours at 15 watts to 1.75 hours at 50 watts.
Cullen is also impressed with Anton/Bauer’s excellent service and support. “We had a problem with a battery charger at a location in northern Ontario that was only accessible by Greyhound Bus,” he relates. “We made the call in the morning and received the replacement that afternoon. Everyone from the Anton/Bauer rep to the store we purchased the equipment from made sure we were happy. For a company that has such a large market penetration, including giant TV networks and film companies, we were very happy they took the time to service our operation with speed and professionalism.”