First, Easyrig Mini was been considered for acquisitions for the docu project “Kolyma” in September, when I was announced by colleagues from the 4K Broadcast Solutions, distributor Easyrig in Romania, that Mr. Lars Ohman and Johan Hellsten from Easyrig AB, decided to send us new Minimax even before his presentation at IBC ' 16. An nice surprise :)
“Kolyma”,(working title )- a documentary, that represents an intimate incursion into the life of modern Nord-Est Siberia, where the isolated population is confronting the winter gloomy quotidian and struggles to survive, in order to achieve the dream of better life.
Our small crew traveled more than 3000 km through the region, filming the life and work of the locals. During more than a month was filmed in many different locations: gold mines, coal mines, abandoned or populated towns, seaside and mountain roads.Was filmed inside the cabs of trucks, bulldozers, dredger vessel, offroad cars;in different conditions of temperature, jumping from minus 25 outside to plus 20 inside - mostly "run and gun" style.The Minimax gives me the speed and mobility of a handheld camera.I used before Minimax almost all Easyrig products with both film and digital cameras and I knew their functionality and quality.And sincerely, I was impressed by the Minimax.
I used a BMPC 4K with a camera cage handle,Handheld Rig Kit, Battery Power Distributor Pinch ,130wh V-lock battery ,Canon and Tokina lenses. In dependence of location on rig could be added Matte Box , 7” monitor , Zoom H6 sound recorder and lavalier receiver.Was really important to have option for adjust quickly and easily the tension of support rope and here the +/- spring adjustment block was appreciated.Few times,even with wearing the vest, my height and arm's length allows me to get to the wheel and adjust independently the tension rope.
It appreciated the fluidity of movement of the rope,It is predictable start / end of the rope force for up/down moves. Another major improvement is the possibility to rotate upper arm. That allowed me to make quick repositions of camera in a tight corners of rooms or vehicles. In addition to this, this option was my big help to sneak with the camera on me, through thick bushes or narrow corridors with many obstacles. ALSO, we had a lot of lateral walking shots, like " traveling", with changes of axe during the shot. Rotate arm helps with this.Likewise, the ability to move the camera hook back - forward was for me very helpful in shooting in truck cabins, where I fix / grip the Minimax in a support position near my body and reposition the camera with the hook.
We had only one minor issue, for sound recordist , at last days of shooting, as was heard some times a crunching sounds ,I think on a Mid nylon block. But I think this is easily solved with a few drops of WD-40 :). For those who are not accustomed to this type of rotating arm, should take as a rule always securing of his position, especially when the camera is not hung, otherwise you can hit someone or break something next to you.
The vest is very comfortable.Due to temperature conditions, i.e cold outside and very warm inside,like boiler house, I had to be dressed respectively. Typically, these locations were changing very quickly, so I had to undress warm jacket and keep shooting in T-short. Here I appreciated breathable material of vest and the possibility of quickly adjust the straps for fits over any dress.
So, the versatility of this professional gear allows me to shoot comfortably during more than a month crossing over the Nord-Est Siberia, with wide range of temperatures and humidity.There was no another way that I could get the same shots quickly and easily without Minimax. I would highly recommend Minimax for all camera people.