Sachtler Heads to the Wilds for Zoo Filez
Wildlife videographer Terry Shiels has recently completed another episode of the ongoing award-winning television series, The Zoo Filez,which is seen by over 400,000 viewers each week and is carried by ten broadcast stations and two cable systems across North Carolina. And he is about to take off for yet another adventure. “One of the first things that I’ll pack is my Sachtler FSB6 head and aluminum sticks,” he says adamantly. “Whether I’m here at North Carolina Zoo or halfway around the world in the jungles of Uganda or Cameroon recording our message of conservation, Sachtler is there to get me the exciting shots.”
Shiels, whose hobby is Iron Man Triathlons, thought he was fit. However, on a recent shoot in Cameroon, chasing wild elephants, his fitness – and that of his equipment –was put to the test. “We were tromping through lush foliage and irregular rock formations,” he says. “There was no path. The porters, with packs twice as heavy as mine, were moving along. Me, I was working hard at it. It was the kind of situation where you never want to put your equipment down, and pray that the heat, the environment doesn’t interfere with the way everything works.
“No problem with my Sony PMW-EX3 and my trusty Sachtler head and aluminum tripod. Sachtler was my savior. When you see the elephants you have a quick window to shoot. I need a tripod that I can set up – fast. That’s my Sachtler. The locking mechanism is easy to use. And, the fluid movement and pan and tilt of the Sachtler head, even in these conditions — is terrific and reliable. The perfect balance and drag is important. If I’m in a place where I can walk away from the equipment for a moment, I know that when I come back everything will be as I left it.
“Whether it’s my Cameroon Elephant Project, ZooFilez, Cross River Gorilla or any other shoot, Sachtler are the only head and sticks that go with me. When you want your shoot to be the best, you have to shoot with the best.”