BY ANDREW FISHER
AsiaWorks was founded in 1996 by a small group of some of Asia’s best producers, camera operators and journalists — and more than two decades later, we are well-known as Asia’s leading independent media company. From our locations in Bangkok, Beijing, Singapore and Jakarta, we create outstanding original content and also provide video production, transmission and webcast services. We also work with a huge network of partners and freelancers, and we will go anywhere in Asia the story takes us, and wherever news is breaking.
As we are so mobile and often find ourselves in very remote and rugged locations, the right tools are essential. That is why we were very excited to recently have the opportunity to test the brand-new flowtech100 carbon-fibre tripod, a collaboration from trusted industry brands Sachtler and Vinten.
Our heavy-duty electronic newsgathering needs are met with the flowtech100, because the tripod supports a payload of up to 66 pounds (30kg). At the same time, the tripod is extremely lightweight, rugged and easy to carry, and quite honestly, it is one of the easiest and fastest-deploying tripods I have ever used.
The AsiaWorks team recently used flowtech100 on a variety of on-location shoots, including coverage of the recent earthquakes in Lombok, Indonesia, the Asian Games in Jakarta, as well as the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Bali. Payloads ranged from DSLR cameras to a Sony FS7 and an ARRI Amira.
The flowtech100 is not only lightweight and easy to transport, but the quick release brakes for each leg make it incredibly fast and easy to set up and break down. These are more important features, as much of our work is filmed by one individual who might be working in situations requiring quick movement from location to location, and capturing shots at different heights.
In one instant, we can position the camera at eye-level to conduct an interview, and in the next instant, we are at ground level to capture a particular action shot — like a kick of a ball. This height accommodation is one of our favourite flowtech100 features. By detaching the spreader, our team can instantly deploy the tripod as low as required to get those tough ground shots, and better yet, without having to lug around a second tripod. Before, we would typically carry another small tripod for capturing the low shots, but now we are able to leave that behind thanks to the flowtech100.
There are additional, smaller features that contribute to flowtech’s versatility. For instance, Sachtler has included threaded mounting points on the top of the tripod that we use for attaching monitors, reflector holders, and other peripheral gear. The tripod also includes a built-in carry handle, which might not seem like an important feature, but it is one that is unavailable on most other tripods and helps make the flowtech100 even easier to carry. The magnets that hold the legs together make carrying the tripod one-handed a breeze, which really aids mobility.
These features, in combination, are what set flowtech100 apart from other tripods we have used. As we add this new tripod to our permanent gear inventory, I am confident that we will use it in any situation requiring us to be nimble and fast-moving, thereby ensuring we can capture exceptional footage and cover breaking news. As we are a dedicated Sachtler customer from years back, we are also planning to upgrade to flowtech sticks on many of our older tripods.
At AsiaWorks, we are proud of our hard-earned reputation for compelling storytelling, excellent production values, and tailor-made solutions for every kind of project. Tools like flowtech100 are critical in helping us maintain that reputation.