Anton/Bauer Plays Key Role in Production of Tred Barta Outdoor TV Series
While on location in Panama shooting the blue water fishing and hunting TV series, The Best & Worst of Tred Barta, for the Versus, owner and executive producer of the full service video and film production company, R/Wheeler Communications, Bob Wheeler, and crew found themselves with an incompatible power source. A call to Anton/Bauer customer service resulted in a saved shoot and on time delivery to his client. Anton/Bauer (brand of The Vitec Group) was able to locate multiple batteries the same day and delivered them to a propeller plane waiting to take them to a remote offshore location.
Shot entirely on location in North and Central America, R/Wheeler Communications has been working with The Best & Worst of Tred Barta for eight years. “This is a run-and-gun outdoor adventure show,” says Wheeler. “We assign just a two-person crew, so everything we bring has to be manageable by two people out in the field. The crew wears many hats—field producer, director of photography, grip, audio guy, and everything else.”
While filming at a fishing lodge located on a remote island off the coast of Panama, without an adequate power source to charge his batteries, Wheeler found his shoot at risk of not happening. “When we got to our location, we quickly learned that the power source out in the boonies was incompatible with our batteries, and it ended up putting our entire shoot in jeopardy,” he says. “My first thought was to call Anton/Bauer to see if the company had any connections there. But it wasn’t as simple as going to Panama City to pick up new equipment because we were miles from the mainland. So not only did we have to find equipment, but we had to arrange transportation for it as well.”
“I knew when I called the company, it would be able to help us immediately,” adds Wheeler. “I spoke to a gentleman in customer service who right away made my problem his problem, which was very impressive. He was able to reach a representative in Panama City at a rental house that had both the batteries and the chargers we needed. By the end of the day, I had the batteries and chargers at the airport for the small plane to pick up and transport over to the fishing lodge.”
“If it weren’t for Anton/Bauer’s excellent customer service and support, we would have had to pack up and head home, making our client very angry. But instead, the company was able to deliver us the products we needed the very same day, and we completed our project on time,” Wheeler explains.
“At Anton/Bauer, we have always considered ourselves a part of our customers’ production teams. So we understand their frustrations when they run the risk of losing a day of shooting, even a few hours lost can cost them a fortune,” says Joe Teodosio, manager global customer support. “The goal of our customer service department is to make sure they are up and running as quickly as possible.”
For this shoot, Wheeler relied exclusively on Anton/Bauer DIONIC 90 batteries. “We typically take anywhere from 10 to 12 DIONIC 90s with us. They’re extremely dependable, and they always perform well in places like Central America,” he says. Wheeler also used Anton/Bauer’s “T” Series Twin charger for its portability and consistency.
The DIONIC 90 performs even in the planet’s most challenging shooting environments. 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. It weighs only 1.7 lbs. and can be transported without restriction under the IATA and DOT safety regulations (http://www.antonbauer.com/Support/TransportationInformation), a requirement for Wheeler and his globetrotting productions. The battery can handle a maximum load of 90 watts, offering run-times ranging from six hours at 15 watts to 1.75 hours at 50 watts.
Wheeler credits Anton/Bauer’s customer support team and its industry experience with saving his project from potentially turning into a disaster. “It’s just a superior product, they command a premium as far as their prices are concerned, there’s no doubt about that, but the dependability is such that it just makes it worth it, especially when day in and day out, you are dependent on that battery power out in the field.”