Philip Clemo Captures the Celestial Light Show in Extreme Cold with Anton/Bauer DIONIC HC and DIONIC HCX Batteries
When the U.K.-based filmmaker and composer Philip Clemo traveled to the northern reaches of Norway to capture footage of the aurora borealis (northern lights) phenomenon, he needed a power system capable not only of running his camera for several hours, but able to withstand the extreme cold locations above the Arctic Circle. Shooting on an ARRI ALEXA film-style digital motion picture camera, he turned to Anton/Bauer®, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company, and a premier global provider of batteries, chargers, lighting and other mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video, film and healthcare technology industries, and its DIONIC® HC and DIONIC HCX batteries, confident they would stand up to the weather during the shoot.
Given his background as a composer, Clemo often seeks to convey ideas in his films without spoken language or text. “What I look for in my filmmaking is an unusual perspective. I want people to look at something they’re familiar with in an unfamiliar way, even to the point of not necessarily recognizing it,” he says. “So I was interested in the abstraction of the aurora and less in the environmental context. I wanted to get in a bit tighter on this amazing wonder.
Clemo had heard that many camera batteries suffer under extremely cold weather conditions. “Some people had told me that when it gets down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, you might only get 10 percent of the charge. A friend of mine who is a director of photography told me to try Anton/Bauer batteries. He said that if there was any battery that was going to work at low temperatures, it was Anton/Bauer. He was right. The temperatures I shot in ended up being -4 degrees Fahrenheit, and I got the same results as I got back home, when I tested all my equipment in my home in the U.K. I didn’t lose any noticeable power at all.”
Armed with the Anton/Bauer DIONIC HC and DIONIC HCX batteries, Clemo set out to capture the celestial beauty of the aurora borealis. Traveling to Tromsø, Norway, a bustling metropolis situated 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Clemo then drove for seven hours into the mountains and took a snowmobile ride for a further hour into the vast, frozen wilderness of northern Norway. After six days in the center he returned to the coast traveling around the fjords. He shot the footage he needed, which he will incorporate into two projects, titled Breath and First Breath. Although he had up to eight batteries with him each day, he averaged just three batteries per shoot. The Anton/Bauer batteries powered his cameras throughout the 12 days of shooting, never losing power in the cold weather.
“The Anton/Bauer support team was very helpful,” says Clemo. “I contacted them about the batteries pretty close to the last minute before I traveled, and they got right on it, supplying me the batteries and giving me advice on how to travel with them, including any travel restrictions I might face. They shipped me batteries in time for my flight out. The batteries worked perfectly. Everything Anton/Bauer told me about how they would work happened just as they said it would. It was great.”
Part of the company’s Logic Series® batteries, the 91Wh DIONIC HC is suitable for powering high-current applications in a lightweight package. Transported as carry-on luggage without restrictions, the DIONIC HC is the perfect lightweight battery for shooting on location. Working closely with cell manufacturers, the HC series incorporates high-capacity cells offering 10 amps. To continually ensure cell protection and performance integrity, a special honeycomb cell pack design protects the cells. An enhanced RealTime® display indicates both fuel gauge and remaining run-time data simultaneously, without requiring any setup. The display incorporates readouts of hours, minutes and remaining capacity, making battery change decisions quick and easy. What’s more, its motion-detection feature incorporates a sleep-mode setting that reduces battery self-discharge, allowing for extended periods of storage with minimal capacity loss. The battery can be “awakened” by the built-in motion sensor. These patented features offer confidence for the camera operator.
The DIONIC HCX is a 124Wh capacity battery with the ability to sustain a 10-amp draw, and run a 40-watt camera with a 20-watt light for two hours. It incorporates the same motion-detection feature with a “deep-sleep” setting, along with the company’s patented RealTime display, as the DIONIC HC.
For more information on Clemo and his two upcoming projects Breath and First Breath, visit http://www.philipclemo.com/ or follow him on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/philip.clemo1 or Twitter https://twitter.com/PhilipClemo.