DP & Cinematographer Kevin Otterness Keeps the Camera Rolling with Core SWX

Published on in Equipment / Tech Reviews

After investing in a RED Epic Dragon camera less than five years ago, it has always been extremely important to me to be able to keep it powered through an entire day. Core SWX allows me to do just that. 

For example, the Sony Playstation commercial shoots I worked on were all shot on-location with very little to no downtime. The minute I arrived on set the director wanted to see the picture so he could start framing up the first shot of the day. With that said, I have eight Core batteries in my entire kit. Not all eight are for the camera — two of the Core batteries are for my portable director monitors leaving me with six in rotation for the camera, which is more than enough power to get me through the day. 

My eight batteries are always in rotation using the Fleet-Q4S battery charger. This thing is fast when it comes to charging batteries. I never once throughout the day had to charge the batteries on the director’s monitors for the Playstation shoot. When it came to charging the camera batteries, they were finished charging within two hours. I did have to worry that I wouldn’t have enough battery power to run my RED camera.   

One of the four commercial spots were shot handheld for the entire day. I always use Core’s GP-TS Hotswap adapter plate on my camera with two batteries. It’s always a must-have for my camera to be balanced since it was going to be on my shoulder all day. The Hotswap gave me that counterbalance and continuous battery operation without ever shutting the camera down.

At the end of a production day, it all comes down to how efficient I can be and what’s going to make my job easier without falling behind schedule. I always tell my crew at the beginning of every shoot … if we fall behind schedule it won’t be because of the camera department.       

Kevin employed the following Core SWX products throughout his commercial shoots with Sony Playstation:

  • The Hypercore RED battery packs are durable, high capacity lithium-ion batteries that communicate with RED DSMC and DSMC2 cameras. The packs are equipped with features such as a multipurpose runtime LCD that provides remaining runtime down to the minute while powering a device as well as remaining charge time while charging. Other key features include storage mode to preserve the batteries from fully depleting while not in use, 4-stage LED power gauge, p-tap and USB to power additional accessories, and being charger compatible with many other manufacturer’s chargers. 
  • The Fleet-Q4S is a four position, simultaneous charger ideal for rental, ENG and cinema, providing the fastest charge times in the industry. The Fleet charger has four independent charge bays, allowing each bay to focus on the individual battery connected, completing a recharge on four 98wh battery packs in 2.5 hours.  
  • The GP-TS Hotswap adapter mounts directly to the existing v-type plate on the camera and allows for continuous battery operation. The batteries are not ”stacked” on one another which allows users to easily remove a depleted battery while leaving other batteries connected so there is no downtime.
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About the Author

Kevin Otterness
Kevin Otterness
Filmmaker Kevin Otterness owns and operates POSTHOUSE PICTURES, an independent production company. He produces and directs independent films, music video's and behind-the-scenes documentaries, and his clients have benefited from his artistic camera work and editing talents since 2000.

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