“On our shoots, we continually push our gear to the limits, and having equipment that stands up to the elements and everything we throw at it is a must. Remember that on run-and-gun productions, there’s no time to be gentle with your gear. Always go for the best of the best, even if it costs a bit more. This will actually be a better long term investment as you work on more projects.” - Jeremy Carey, Founder + Director at Ironclad.
Run-and-gun isn’t just tough on the body, but tough on everything you bring to the shoot. And no one knows that better than Ironclad, a production house based in Virginia Beach, VA. The guys at Ironclad are constantly moving through forests, deserts, mountains, and various different outdoor environments for their clients. Over the years, they’ve learned which pieces of gear best fit their needs on shoots. And SmallHD is critical.
“We’re an elite group of filmmakers who excel at anything that calls for pushing the limits. These tend to be outdoor, tactical action sports shoots that require us to be working in natural environments and creating films for clients like Under Armour, Reebok, the Navy SEAL Foundation, etc. But even though that’s what we’re known for, we also produce studio content as well. In fact, with our experience in run-and-gun shoots, we’re much better equipped to handle the sudden changes that happen on studio projects.” - Kevin Kelleher, Filmmaker at Ironclad.
“Unlike traditional sets, our run-and-gun sets usually run on 3 to 4-man crews, with no ACs, no video village, no grip truck. Having a small load frees us to be as mobile as we need to be on these sets. The challenge is being able to balance everything we do have so we can still create a good product for our clients.” (taken from previous article)
“Run-and-gun shoots can pose a gamut of challenges. For example, if its an outdoor shoot, heat, rain, snow, locations failing, and client needs could change at any moment. But the one thing to keep in mind is to always prioritize team and gear. We know we can rely on both of those in all scenarios which gives us the flexibility to adapt quickly.” (taken from previous article)
- 2x RED Gemini
- MoVI Pro
- Easy Rig
- 2x Bolt 1000
- 2x 703 Bolt
- 503 Ultrabright
- Core SWX batteries
- Ironclad Cinema Assault Pack (backpack)
Why We Choose SmallHD
“There isn’t a single shoot we’re on where we don’t have a SmallHD monitor. They’ve really proven themselves to withstand everything we throw at them, and they fit into our kits perfectly. We have two 703 Bolts, sometimes we run with 1, sometimes both. We also have an on-camera 503 Ultrabright that goes on our RED Gemini, and we use the RED monitor on our other Gemini.”
Durability - “With small teams in small spaces and tight schedules, it’s inevitable that things get knocked and tossed around. Cameras gets knocked over, packages tossed in and out of transport, and gear gets taken into often extreme weather conditions (we’ve been in -24F and in 124F areas). The monitors have never had a single problem, which make them one less thing to worry about on the road.
Brightness - “90% of what we do is outdoor related. We don’t have the luxury of looking for shade everywhere we go, or cupping our hands over our monitors just to block out the sun. We need to shoot and monitor directly in sunlight. The SmallHDs are brighter than anything the sun throws at us.”
“We just did a docuseries out in Utah for a company which produces backpacks and bags for the military. The commercial follows this retired Navy SEAL who lives up in the mountains, and we’re telling his story by following his day-to-day life. There was so much snow and sun up there, we couldn’t even keep our eyes open without wearing sunglasses. The only way we were able to see what we were shooting was with the 703 Bolt and 503 Ultrabrights. They’re perfect for every outdoor setting.”
Teradek Integration - The new stuff we’ve been seeing from SmallHD and Teradek are the biggest innovations we’ve seen in our careers. We’re packing super light for our shoots, oftentimes in backpacks with little space. Being able to consolidate our monitors so there aren’t any unnecessary parts we have to carry gives us more space for other essentials and one less thing to worry about. Each 703 Bolt can see 2 cameras with the dual view too. It makes building, kitting, carrying, and shooting much easier.
Portable - Weight is key when we’re out in the field carrying our entire kits on our backs as we’re shooting, so the more portable our gear is, the better. We love the SmallHDs because they have those massive handles already built in so our Director can easily grip them. Size is a big factor too. Unless we’re in a more controlled setting, we usually don’t have space for giant production monitors in our kits. The 703s are the biggest size we carry when we’re out there.