New Zealand-based company SHOTOVER prides itself on equipping its ultra-high performance stabilization camera systems for high velocity cinematography with top-of-the-line equipment. Designed for use in helicopters, ground vehicles and watercraft, the company’s F1 and K1 camera systems are made with an open architecture, giving operators a variety of camera and lens options. Many SHOTOVER customers rely primarily on the FUJINON lenses integrated within the systems, including the Premier PL mount 18-85mm zoom lens, PL mount 14.5-45mm zoom, PL 85-300mm Cabrio, 19-90mm Cabrio, 25-300mm Cabrio, and HA42x9.7 Premier Series ENG style lens for their high-end aerial productions.
Team5 Aerial System Rentals, based at California’s Van Nuys Airport, owns several SHOTOVER K1 and F1 systems that they use for film productions. Comprised of a team of experienced aerial cinematographers and film pilots, Team5 has worked on countless high-profile feature films, including the recently released San Andreas, Straight Outta Compton and Jurassic World films.
“We decided to shoot Jurassic World primarily with a RED Dragon camera and needed a lens that would cover 6K and be sharp enough throughout the entire frame,” said David B. Nowell, ASC, one of Team5’s Aerial Directors of Photography, whose work can also be seen in The Avengers, The Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean. “We chose to equip our SHOTOVER K1 system with FUJINON’s 19-90mm Cabrio lens, and the lens’ range worked perfectly for our production. We filmed for a few months, primarily in Hawaii and also in New Orleans and shot all of the aerial scenes with the 19-90 Cabrio. We were very pleased with how it performed and found the FUJINON Cabrio to be a very modern, clean lens.”
Team5 also recently relied on the 19-90mm Cabrio lens for production of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, slated for release next year.
Dylan Goss, another Team5 Aerial Director of Photography, primarily uses SHOTOVER’s K1 system in his aerial film work – which he deems “the best in class” of large-scale gyro stabilized camera systems. When shooting with the K1 system, FUJINON’s Premier PL 18-85mm zoom is often Goss’ lens of choice. He most recently used the lens to shoot an HBO mini-series about the Salem Witch Trials in collaboration with Director of Photography, Darius Khondji, ASC, called The Devil You Know.
Goss explains, “With aerial cinematography, you don’t always have as much flexibility as you may have with other types of gear in terms of interchanging equipment quickly, so I often see if it is possible to work with one lens that suits the complete day’s work best by offering a variety of focal lengths and a wide range of stop. FUJINON’s 18-85mm lens has quickly become one of my all-time favorite lenses. I love its speed, range, and transparency, and how and how those qualities have been improved upon versus other zoom lenses in its class. I’ve had a lot of success with the lens, and it is particularly strong for night work. The caliber of this lens really speaks to the segment of the industry we work in and the types of no-compromise productions that we work on.”
Another operator of SHOTOVER’s gyro stabilized camera systems is Denmark-based RED RENTAL A/S. The company rents camera equipment primarily for feature film work, documentaries, and commercials, and purchased SHOTOVER’s F1 system last year to better serve its customers in need of aerial cinematography equipment. RED RENTAL has two primary setups that it uses for its SHOTOVER F1 productions: an Alexa Mini/RED Epic X camera with FUJINON’s 25-300mm Cabrio cine lens for film work and a Sony P1 camera with FUJINON’s HA42x9.7 ENG-Style lens for broadcast productions.
RED RENTAL A/S has used its SHOTOVER F1 system film setup with FUJINON’s 25-300mm Cabrio in extreme weather conditions, including a commercial for a high-speed car chase on ice in Sweden, and for footage of a research expedition carried out in the Arctic Ocean by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology last month, called the Oden Arctic Technology Research Cruise (OATRC 2015). The company also relied on the 25-300mm Cabrio to shoot this AUDI car commercial.
“I find the FUJINON 25-300mm lens’ performance to be the best in its class. It’s so compact and lightweight for having such a long range,” explains Malte Udsen, RED RENTAL A/S CEO and SHOTOVER F1 operator. “In my experience, the range of the lens is the best range for most aerial shoots, and the lens quality is brilliant. The 25-300mm lens has a beautiful zoom, which I often use to move from a close up to a wide shot in the same shoot.”
For broadcast productions, RED RENTAL A/S has used FUJINON’s HA42x9.7 ENG lens for a variety of recent productions, including coverage of Danish pro road bike race Post Danmark Rundt and for Denmark’s political election last summer. The company also used the lens for production of the Copenhagen Half Marathon last month.
RED RENTAL A/S also owns a FUJINON 19-90mm Cabrio lens and has over 10 Arri/FUJINON Alura zoom lenses in its inventory.
“SHOTOVER systems are designed with the aerial cinematographer in mind, offering industry leading capability through an open system platform that can accommodate a broad range of camera and lens options,” said Alex Giuffrida, President at SHOTOVER. “We are pleased to work with FUJIFILM Optical Devices to ensure that aerial shooters can utilize the company’s state of the art line of cinema lenses for their big budget projects.”
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SHOTOVER is a developer of high performance aerial camera systems for the motion picture and broadcast industries. The company’s line of gyro-stabilized camera platforms offer aerial cinematographers an unprecedented level of stability, control and versatility in a compact package easily configured for 2D, 3D and Ultra HD shooting with the world’s most advanced cameras and lenses. Developed in partnership with the motion picture industry’s top aerial cinematographers, SHOTOVER systems are fully user upgradeable, allowing operators to utilize new professional cameras, lenses and accessories as they come to market. SHOTOVER is online at https://www.shotover.com.