Why Teradek RT is Perfect for Time Sensitive Cinematography

“Our goal was to capture something that really represented New York life. When people think of the U.S.A, New York is the quintessential city that people associate with living in America. It has a ton of history, culture, and most importantly for us, iconic landmarks that people will easily recognize on a local and international commercial.” - Jeremy Carey, founder & director of Ironclad.

The master cinematographers at Ironclad (@thisisironclad) are back with another awesome production, this time with Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield for a commercial set in the heart of New York City. And as anyone who’s been to The Big Apple knows, things move fast in this city!

Ironclad filmed at the renown Barclays Center in New York City for this production.

Filming in public spaces in NYC isn’t an easy task. Things change at a moment’s notice; from unpredictable weather to spontaneous traffic jams, sudden changes can really upset shoots one after another. Combine that with clients in a tight deadline, and you’ve got a hectic production to work with.

But this wasn’t an issue for Ironclad, despite having a chunk of their shot list change on the fly. Shooting at 20 different locations over the course of 3 days, the production team needed to be quick and adaptable while capturing the very life and soul of New York in their cinematography. What’s their secret? Keeping everything wireless!

The Right Tools for the Job

Pulling focus on the Teradek RT 6-Axis controller using 703 Bolt for monitoring.

“We had to plan our schedule for this shoot very meticulously, including where to be at what time to get the best natural lighting and the least interference. But due to the nature of New York and these famous landmarks, we had a lot of unforeseen circumstances that turned our planned schedule into more of an improvisation.”

Knowing that time was the biggest challenge, Carey and his crew needed to keep everything wireless for the shoots. Here’s what they used:

  • 1x RED Scarlet-W
  • 1x RED Epic Dragon
  • 1x MoVI Pro
  • 1x Easy Rig
  • 2x Teradek Bolt 1000
  • 2x SmallHD/Teradek 703 Bolt
  • 2x Teradek RT Wireless Lens Control Systems
Filming at Prospect Park in New York.

With the Scarlet on the Easy Rig and the Dragon on the MoVI Pro, Carey’s crew got to operate untethered for every shoot. “We were constantly on the move, so there wasn’t going to be any time to build a set at every location. Cables would get in the way, so we did without them.”

On each camera was a Teradek Bolt 1000, which sent zero-delay video wirelessly to the handheld 703 Bolt monitors held by the team. Also added to the cameras were the remote follow focus units, Teradek RTs. Each camera had 2 motors, 1 receiver and a corresponding 6-Axis controller, allowing for full focus, iris & zoom lens control.

Fast-Paced Monitoring and Lens Control

RED on Easy Rig with Teradek Bolt 1000

“There was an instance at the Barclays Center that threw a major wrench in our shot list. We were supposed to capture close-ups of the talents walking out of the stadium, and even though we had the correct permits & documents to shoot there, the security informed us that we wouldn’t be allowed to. This was bad because one, it was golden hour for lighting, and two, we had 2 clients with us who wanted to make sure we got the shot,” said Kevin Kelleher, MoVI Op at Ironclad.

“So instead, we decided to shoot from a distance but still get as close to the talent as possible. We removed the 35mm lens that I was going to pull focus myself on, and slapped on a Canon CN-E 135mm lens, along with the RT lens control gear, and had our AC pull focus for me. We went on the sidewalk and got the shot we wanted. It was the perfect solution to our situation.”

Teradek RT 6-Axis controller features focus, iris and zoom functions.

But for Ironclad, the Teradek wireless gear was more than a one-off circumstance. Jumping from location to location, there wasn’t any time to lay out cables and video villages. With Bolts sending real-time video from camera to their handheld monitors, they were able to save time and pull focus perfectly to achieve the shots they needed. This included beautiful shots at the Apollo Theater, Yankee Stadium, Barclay Center, and many more.

“For the fast-paced, ever-changing nature of the productions we at Ironclad specialize in, the Teradek gear is essential for us to always meet the demands of our clients. We need our setups to be fast and reliable, and that’s what Teradek devices allow us to be.”


*Manufactured under licence
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