Perkal Chooses OConnor for “The Vampire Diaries”

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

When cinematographer Dave Perkal signed on for the new season of the highly unusual series “The Vampire Diaries”, he made sure his camera package included 2575 heads from OConnor, a Vitec Group brand. “I’ve used OConnor on every production I have been involved in from the time I was a loader, assistant and operator. Now that I’m a DP, they are on my camera order every time. Leaving OConnor off would be like forgetting to order tripods!” he explains.

“Our show is a bit different from your normal television episodic,” Perkal notes. “We opt for the more cinematic approach in our visual dialectic. We strive for big screen wide cinematic masters, the kind that evoke a gothic renaissance painterly style and juxtapose those with crushing 290mm close ups. There is no middle ground. The perspective is also very voyeuristic, moving through the foreground and creating off-axis shots to keep you wanting to see more. We move characters in and out of darkness to create mystery and suspense. What you see is as important as what you don’t see.”

To do this, Perkal shoots with a camera package that includes three Alexas, two Angeniuex 12:1s and a set of Master Primes. “And, two OConnor 2575s,” he adds. “Our Alexa camera with the Angenieux 12:1 and accessories weighs close to 80 pounds. The OConnor balances the load and delivers the precision and subtle smooth feel I’ve come to expect.

“We often use the OConnor heads to vamp move our actors with blistering whip pan speed,” he adds. “We look straight down into the sets and then whip pan high up into the corners. There are also times when we need to be at 290mm and have the precision and control of a gear head but maintain the versatility and freedom of a fluid head. OConnor gives that to me every time.”

The flagship of the OConnor Ultimate range of fluid heads, the 2575 series is specifically designed to provide ultimate control and stability for film style shooting with popular digital cinematography cameras. Operators appreciate OConnor’s stepless, ultra-smooth pan & tilt fluid drag and patented sinusoidal counterbalance system for true, accurate balance at any point in the tilt range. The 2575D is currently delivering.

Now in its third season, “The Vampire Diaries” airs on The CW Network.

For more information, visit: www.ocon.com

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