In the Arctic with Litepanels

Cinematographer Sabine Streckhardt worked with the Litepanels MiniPlus for the 360°-Geo documentary "Spitzbergen, eisige Insel"

Berlin filmmakers Sabine Streckhardt and Lutz Neumann filmed a documentary in Spitsbergen for the TV program "360°-GEO Reportage" on Arte, a Franco-German TV network. They used the MiniPlus compact LED production light from Litepanels, a Vitec Group brand.

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Since 2007, cinematographer Sabine Streckhardt and writer Lutz Neumann have filmed multi-part documentaries and reports for German television together. In 2009, they traveled to the Arctic on behalf of the TV network ARTE 2009 for the documentary "Spitzbergen, eisige Insel" (Spitsbergen, icy island) as part of the program "360°-Geo Reportage". There, the filmmakers accompanied a German marine biologist and logistician who supplies research stations and vessels with equipment, food, and mail. Sabine Streckhardt captured the rough landscape and the picturesque fjords as well as the people of Spitsbergen, using a Sony PDW-700.

Filming under extreme conditions

Most of the filming took place outdoors or in remote research stations. "In order to film a reindeer hunt, for instance, we had to march through 25 kilometers of difficult terrain with the camera equipment on our shoulders and 30 kilograms of baggage," reports Lutz Neumann, who directed the production. "The MiniPlus was ideal for this because it is handy and lightweight," explains Sabine Streckhardt. Another advantage when filming outdoors: the MiniPlus from Litepanels can be powered by snap-on batteries that allow for over eight hours of operation. "The MiniPlus enables fast workflow. Annoying setup and dismantling times are no longer necessary.”

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Stepless dimming for natural light

The bright, soft illumination of the Litepanels MiniPlus can be dimmed from 100 to 0 percent, using an output control knob. It can also be done by remote control from a distance of up to 7.5 meters. "The stepless dimming allowed us to create a natural illumination even in extreme low-light situations. Color shifts are minimal when dimming," reports Sabine Streckhardt. For even more control Litepanels MiniPlus offers interchangeable conversion and diffusion filters that slip into an integral frame to achieve light variation.

Sabine Streckhardt and Lutz Neumann's most recent production is the multi-part documentary "Die Donauten" (The Danube travelers) for the TV networks ZDF and 3sat, set to be broadcast starting December 9.

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