JJ Osbun and partner Chris D. Nebe are on their 15th Mysterious China Film – and about to start another. Recently the difference in their shooting style has come from Osbun's discovery of MSE equipment – especially the DC and HDDC-Slider from Floatcam.
"DC-Slider is a serious tool for DSLR and small camera work, but I still needed more and the HDDC-Slider with the Motion Control was worth it," says Osbun. "It solved all my problems. It is all my previous equipment in one unit, and far more versatile even then."
The first time he used the HD was a recent production of In the Footsteps of Ghenghis Khan. "Five weeks in Inner Mongolia, China, and it was tough! Pre-production in L.A. was a serious time crunch because I had to purchase and test a whole new camera kit. One of the problems was that the HD shutter is meant for flat-based heads, not bowl, like documentary productions typically utilize."
"JJ came to us with this challenge," explains Robert Kulesh, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for MSE. "And, as always, we went to work solving the problem. It's simply part of our motto – going the extra mile for our clients. Immediately, Tyler Phillips and JJ put their heads together."
"I figured out if I took out the securing screw in my 1030DS O'Connor head, we could put the male version on the shuttle and screw the head right onto it. It was a hat trick to get done and literally came down to eight hours before my flight, but MSE came through with exactly what I needed. I can say that my O'Connor 1030DS head was the first of its kind to slide those rails. Sliding a Sony F55 loaded with alura lenses (30+lbs) gave me spectacular footage in an extremely remote region. The functionality the HD Slider gave us made it truly indispensable."
"Originally, JJ picked up the slider and realized that he didn't have the correct tripod, so we loaned him the Matthews MT-1, and sent him off, sure we wouldn't see him again for a few months," says Tyler Phillips. "Then a panic phone call – a Sunday visit – and a jam session to create an adapter. The next day the shop made two and sent him off to Mongolia. We made it work!"
"They definitely did," adds Osbun. "Thanks to MSE's support, the shoot was great. One of the most surprising moments was me 'skeptically trying' the Motion Control system at 4K with diopters at 80mm, six inches from a number of artifacts dating back to the days of Ghenghis Kahn. The motor slid my 30lb rig without any visible jitter, shocking the entire crew. I’ve looked at it on big screens, and still amazingly smooth."
"As soon as he got back, we met with JJ," says Phillips. "He decided he wanted something a little fancier and permanent, so we sketched some things out together and the parts are currently going through our shop. We will soon have a new accessory for the Floatcam HDDC-Slider, and more importantly, a happy client."