Kessler has been the pioneers of motion controlled camera systems for as long as I’ve known. The CineDrive system is a digital, modular system, residing as Kesslers flagship product line for motion control. The Second Shooter, which Kessler has now just started fulfilling orders of, takes the important aspects of the CineDrive, and packs them into a simpler more affordable package. The Kessler Second Shooter consists of up to 3 components (depending on which 1-3 axis package you choose) – The controller module, slider motor and tilt/pan motor. The controller is the brain of the system, offering up a simple easy to use digital interface with large, easy to press buttons (important for remote, glove wearing timelapse shooters out in the cold wilderness). The controller offers 3 Cat5 ports for each respective axis, as well as power, an expansion port (for joystick module etc.) USB for firmware upgrades and a final port for controlling your camera via an intervalometer for time lapses. The Second Shooter is a keyframe based system for ease of use, simply set your start and end points and program the time it takes between these. It’s designed primarily for 3 types of shooting, real-time, stop motion and time lapse. Its looping function also makes it useful for work with post production. The slider motor features a quick change pulley system, with a variety of torques dependent on your payload, slider size and shoot type. The more sophisticated CineDrive system was greatly thought out, and it’s nice to see some features filter down from the flagship line. I loved how each module snapped to each other via magnetic connections; expect a similar system for the controller mount and a battery solution. Speaking of batteries, there’s no current dedicated battery pack for the Second Shooter (until the aforementioned magnetic pack is released). The system ships with an AC adaptor as standard, also Kessler recommends their current portable solutions as well as offerings from Bescor. If you haven’t already seen it, do check out this fantastic video by Joe Simon utilizing the Kessler Second Shooter:Read more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! This is the first show we recorded at Cine Gear 2014, but it’s the last one we are posting because we tried to get rid of some audio issues we had on the show. Sorry for that, there is still some hiss on some of my comments, that was a frequency issue. We sat down with director of photography Tom Guilmette and Chris Beller from Kessler to talk about current projects, new products and the importance of camera sizes in this day and age of film and video production. Tom is a seasoned cameraman who spent years shooting sports in big stadiums with huge cameras, and like many of us continuously embraced the opportunities that new camera technology offered to him. He shares his experiences in a wealth of very elaborate blog posts on his blog tomguilmette.com. We talked about the importance of staying up-to-date with new technology in the camera field these days as the opportunities keep expanding constantly, and many feel buried under a multitude of options. Those who become complacent stay behind. Chris Beller and Tom explained new Kessler products like the impressive Uni Drive, a simpler yet powerful motion control system for Kessler sliders that was introduced during NAB 2014 and which starts shipping right now. We also talked about a recent commercial production which Tom made with a lot of Kessler gear, for the boating company Nightingale Charters – including very long jib arms on moving boats, which sounds hard to accomplish … Tom Guilmette shooting commercials for Nightingale Charters using Kessler equipment. To watch all ON THE COUCH episodes so far, click here.Read more
Kessler’s sliders, cranes and motion control equipment has become very popular over the past few years among indie producers and production companies alike – proven by Kessler’s recent expansion into bigger manufacturing facilities in North Carolina. Judging from the rental enquiries I receive for my own Kessler equipment, I think this it’s no exaggeration to say that their gear has taken the indie filmmaking world by storm. With success comes responsibility, and so far it hasn’t always been easy to get Kessler gear repaired in Europe without actually sending it back over the big pond to the mothership in the US – which is tough in this day and age when scheduling shoots and relying for equipment to be ready to shoot when you are. In comes AF Marcotec, one of the largest pro camera retailers in Europe, who have just been officially named “Authorized Kessler Repair Center” for Europe. Sending equipment to Germany from any place in Europe is pretty easy and inexpensive, and the turn-around times for repairs should greatly improve by this move, mainly because of the fact that there is no need in dealing with customs or long shipping times any more. Click here to head over to AF Marcotec’s website. Here’s the official announcement by Kessler from their education website KesslerU: PRESS RELEASE 6-18-14 Marcotec Designated International Certified Repair Center AF Marcotec, based in Griesheim, Germany and founded in 1984 has been a Kessler retail partner since 2009 and is now officially certified as an Authorized Kessler Repair Center. As an Authorized Kessler Repair Center, AF Marcotec has been trained to Kessler standards to repair warranty and/or non-warranty related product issues* for Kessler products sold direct from Kessler or any of Kessler’s authorized retail partners. This certification allows Kessler to provide advanced product support in Europe, decreasing response times and reducing costs for European customers when seeking product repairs by eliminating transatlantic shipping to the United States. Our commitment to building great products as well as providing outstanding customer support for those products has been enhanced with AF Marotec’s new status as an Authorized Kessler Repair Center. For more information about AF Marcotec, please visit them at http://www.marcotec-shop.de/en/index.htm. Disclaimer: Both Kessler and AF Marcotec are cinema5D affiliate partners. We choose our affiliate partners carefully and only accept partners whose products and services we love to use ourselves.Read more
Kessler used to call themselves “Kessler Crane”, but when they really became famous for their very well-made and popular range of sliders – so they dropped the “Crane” from their name at some point, and rightfully so. If there is one tool that adds a lot of production value without a lot of effort, it’s without a doubt a slider. I bring my Kessler CineSlider (3 foot) to almost every shoot (here’s my original CineSlider review video “Awakening” shot almost 3 years ago). I have shot countless establishing shots of documentary scenes, entire corporate films and interviews with it, and clients love the look. If it’s not motivated by the story it at least adds perspective to otherwise dull shots – and that’s something you have to deal with in corporate environments day in and day out.Read more
The Pocket Jib Traveler was introduced by Kessler a few months ago – and ever since I saw it at NAB 2013, I couldn’t wait to try it myself. One big downside of jibs and cranes is their size – they are often bulky and difficult to transport, and the setup usually takes a while. The Pocket Jib Traveler does away with this – it’s the smallest and most portable jib I have ever encountered. The good stuff: you can put it onto your normal tripod. In my test, I simply used my Sachtler FSB8 (a 75mm bowl head) with the Pocket Jib Traveler, so it wasn’t a heavy duty tripod – and it worked just fine. Also, the jib is extremely easy to set up – as you can see in the review video, it’s very simple to pull out the joint to twist it into its “jib state”.Read more
Back in May we brought to light Kessler’s revolutionary invention of the Parallax, a device that enables the user to add consistent dynamic motion to your camera tracks. Now, the Parallax is available for pre-order. My slider comes with me on every shoot; there’s rarely a job that I don’t use it. More often that not I use it in a way that I call a dynamic pan (and what Tom Guilmette calls in the above video a ‘back pan’) – This is simply adding a tripod pan as you slide so that the camera appears to wrap around your subject. This is particularly effective for close range subjects, as it draws attention into your centre frame. It’s tricky to pull this off first time; getting the perfect mix of a smooth slide and smooth pan usually consists of a few takes. The parallax changes all that, it gives you consistent dynamic pans whilst you simply focus of the slide. What’s more if you are using a motorized system, your entire move is automated. As the above video very clearly presents, the Parallax is a simple mechanical device that works in addition to your current Kessler slider. We’ve seen products in the past before attempting the same results, but nothing is quite as simple and apparently effective as this. I can’t wait to get hold of this product; it’s currently available for pre-order for the 3ft Cineslider at $599.95. The Parallax will become available for all current Kessler sliders and lengths, for piece of mind that includes traveler and standard length Pocket Dolly v2.0 BASIC, Pocket Dolly v2.0, Stealth & Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly as well as the traveler, 3′ & 5′ CineSlider.Read more
Tomorrow at 1pm ET, Kessler release their next batch of CineDrive systems. CineDrive is Kessler’s latest line in motor controlled motion camera systems. It’s a digitally driven system, enabling integration between computers and smart devices (via a dedicated app). Kessler’s previous flagship line was the Oracle, an analogue based system. The CineDrive system offers a much more user-friendly digital interface. It uses keyframes and bezier curves to depict programmed camera moves, which pose familiarities with post effects programs and non-linear editing platforms.Read more
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