Eve from her Ruins

Piotr Jaxa using the Sony EX3: The filming of author Ananda Devi's novel "Eve de ses décombres" took place at different places

Troumaron, a run-down quarter in the suburbs of Port-Louis, the capital city of Mauritius: The life of four young people in an area of the city marked by sadness and unemployment becomes a fight for survival. The escape to another country fails and ends in a catastrophe. In the novel, "Eve de ses décombres" ("Eve from her ruins"), the Mauritian author Ananda Devi paints a sad picture of the tourist paradise. In Mauritius, the Swiss-Polish cinematographer Piotr Jaxa made a motion picture based on this story. Shooting was done with a Sony EX3 accompanied by the SOOM tripod system and the FSB 8 fluid head from Sachtler, a Vitec Group brand.

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Filming on the small island in the Indian Ocean was a rare event. Since a motion picture industry does not exist on Mauritius. “The available equipment and personnel were limited and required a certain amount of improvisation talent on the part of the team," explained Piotr Jaxa. The inhabitants always made the crew feel welcome and weren't bothered by the presence of the camera. Thus, the actors were able to easily blend in "among the natives" during much of the filming.

SOOM tripod system and the FSB 8 fluid head: Versatile and dependable

For professional cinematic realization, Piotr Jaxa chose to shoot the movie with a Sony EX3 camera mounted on Sachtler’s multifunctional SOOM tripod system and the FSB 8 fluid head. "Since 1982, I have repeatedly worked with Sachtler equipment and have always had good experiences with it,” said Jaxa. “No other tripod offers as many different positioning possibilities as the SOOM does. In addition, it is very stable and offers light handling." Combined with the SOOM Tube, the SOOM XL system was ideal for high camera positions – up to 250 cm –, especially when filming in tight places.

With a payload range of 1 to 9 kg, the 75 mm FSB 8 fluid head was just right for the cinematic requirements. Mounted on the FSB 8 and equipped with the follow focus, matte box and an HD monitor, the Sony EX3 was able to perform pans smoothly and precisely at all times.

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Tropical climate and difficult transport conditions

The equipment was in use every day. Rough transport conditions, salt water, high humidity, and plenty of dust and sand took its toll on much of the filming equipment. "The robust Sachtler Equipment was just the right material for such conditions," said Piotr Jaxa. The SOOM tripod system proved itself convincingly during use, always quick to set up in the right position and working very dependably. The "all-in-one" concept of the system was also advantageous. Since all the parts of the SOOM system are stowed in a bag and can be easily transported, it saves space and shipping costs. The crew also appreciated the SOOM’s ease of reconfiguration from one function to another. If the SOOM Tube is not needed for a particular scene, it can still be conveniently left in the SOOM TriPod and is immediately ready for use as a SOOM XL system. The system’s simple operability also makes it possible for less experienced crew members to quickly and comfortably use it.

Sachtler

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