At Fantastic Plastic, when we shoot a video or film project for you, we use a wide variety of equipment. Whether on location or in our studio, you'll see cameras, lights (including HMI daylight instruments), reflectors, monitors and such that might crop up on any normal film shoot... plus we have the advantage of a couple of "extra toys" that many production companies don't.

Cinema EOS and our Canon C300PL camera is the most exciting innovation we've seen in years, and is usually our primary camera on our shoots. It's a real hybrid, providing the unmatched beauty of 35mm film images, but with the ease of production and lower cost that you'd usually expect only from video. The Cinema EOS system's 4K sensor captures true Super35mm images, and uses our Leitz-Panavision cinema lenses. Neither film nor videotape, the images are stored electronically and can be immediately imported into any of our editing suites. The C300PL shoots with an extremely wide film-like

latitude, and can photograph in a variety of frame rates for special needs like slow motion.
The result is an amazing 35mm picture, but without the cost of film stock or lab.

Imagine a handheld camera, smaller than your fist. Now picture it floating effortlessly through space, smooth-as-silk. That's the 4K Zenmuse X5 camera paired with the DJI Osmo stabilizer. It has a big sensor with interchangable prime cine lenses, and helps us get shots that look simply impossible. It's like the world's tiniest Steadicam.
For film, we prefer Eastman and Fuji stocks shot with our 16mm and 35mm cameras. For the highest quality, we usually suggest shooting 35mm film with the Arri 535B. All cameras are crystal sync with great zoom and prime lenses. Multiple magazines make the shoot day go fast, with video assist to make sure we've got the shot.

Different projects have different needs, so we maintain a complete arsenal of various cameras. For standard-definition or 1080 HD video, the Canon XLH1 is our chief workhorse, and can be configured in our e35mm format for a cinematic look. It's small and nimble with incredible lenses and really beautiful images.

For multi-camera projects or under special circumstances we have a number of other Canon and Sony cameras that can fit a particular project's specific requirements.

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Of course, something has to hold these cameras up. We have the usual assortment of tripods (we use OConnor, Mitchell, Vinten, and Universal sticks, all with OConnor and/or Mitchell fluid heads), but we have a few more camera support toys too...
Our McAlister crab dolly won't win any beauty pageants (it's seen a lot of brutal shoots over the last 30 years), but it's still rock solid. It has a silent hydraulic boom, plus an unusual two-stage hydraulic head riser that cuts down on a lot of equipment-changing time. It fully "crabs" (all wheels can turn either in unison or separately), and with eight big pneumatic tires no dolly track is needed. The only downside to this big boy is the weight: at more than 600 pounds he's a little heavy for location work, yet travels around the stage floor in our studio with ease.
Pans, tilts, dollies, and trucks are the most common camera moves you see, but our director often likes to add VERTICAL movement for an extra dynamic punch. We accomplish this with our Losmandy jib, which allows us to get crane shots up to about 14 feet high. This jib also compacts down tiny enough for use in almost any room, where even a very short crane or tongue move can add visual drama. Unlike the big crab dolly, at about 70 pounds the jib easily travels and is used on many of our location shoots.
There are some shots that are just virtually impossible without the Steadicam, the Academy Award-winning camera stabilization system that literally "floats" the camera in the air, free of the operator's movements. The result is silky-smooth shots whether walking, running, riding in vehicles, or even bounding up stairs. Although usually found only on major motion picture shoots, at Fantastic Plastic we are pleased to have our own Steadicam rig which opens the doors for all kinds of exciting visual production. The only downside is that our Steadicam has never paid for itself, and probably never will... but it sure is fun!
Of course shooting is just one piece of the puzzle. To see where the post-production happens for your project once principal photography is complete, visit the Studios page.