A Year With The Kessler Second Shooter

Levi is a filmmaker from Canada and is the man behind Leftcoast Media House. This past year he worked on and released his debut film about slacklining and highlining titled “Untethered. This film explores humans that are pushing personal boundaries within themselves that were designed to keep them alive, and yet, they remain calm, and they do the unthinkable. Levi set out to immerse the viewer in the community and lives of Vancouver B.C.’s flourishing slacklining and highlining communities, the characters that are pushing the envelope, and the emotions that motivate them to do so.

In the midst of creating Untethered, Levi began working with the Second Shooter and documented his time using it throughout the year. Below are his thoughts.

My favorite Second Shooter Features

MODULARITY: The biggest feature I love about the Second Shooter is the modularity. The options for different configurations are endless, and yet you are never committed to one exact setup. Sometimes I would use the pan and tilt head, other times I would just use the slider motor.  You can use it dozens of combinations with all of Kessler’s sliders. I often take a 2′ carbon stealth with me into the mountains and use a larger Cineslider when back at the studio or shooting time lapses where I want longer camera moves.

STRAIGHTFORWARD TIME-LAPSE SETUPS: Using the keyframes and the controller to trigger your camera, adding motion to time-lapses is a really straightforward process. I’ve used several systems previous to this that were extremely complex. The Second Shooter makes figuring out intervals and durations really easy. It has handy built-in duration calculators and each parameter is flexible making it really easy to add additional frames, or extend the interval. It also has awesome shoot–move–shoot functions which allows you to capture long exposures and not have the camera move.

ROCK SOLID INTERVIEW LOOPING: The looping feature of the Second Shooter is definitely the most frequently used when I am shooting.It’s amazing how much a controlled parallax slide can add to a very generic interview set up. With the pan and tilt head you can track your subject across an entire slide. This feature alone merits an investment into motion control. The ability to do complex timelapse moves is all just a bonus in my opinion.

BUILD QUALITY: The build quality is another feature that I’ve really come to appreciate. I am super tough on my gear, I take it with me everywhere and I am using it constantly. Throughout this past year, my equipment has held up brilliantly and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

USING THE MANFROTTO MAGIC ARM: A helpful tool to use alongside the Second Shooter is the Manfrotto magic arm. Using this arm I was able to place the camera off axis from the slider for looking down over my subject or doing time-lapse moves low to the ground. It is also helpful when shooting on tripod setups and you want to help support the other end of the slider to prevent weight sag

Shooting Untethered

When shooting Untethered I used the time-lapse function of the second shooter to help capture these gorgeous transition moments. These time-lapses were key to the edit and the way the storyline came together. The added movement helps give a sense of time passing and I used these shots to help separate the different scenes of the film.