Vinten Spodnik’s First Choice for Two Teen Comedies

Both “iCarly” and “Victorious” are now airing at various times throughout the afternoon and early evening schedules

Cinematographer Michael Spodnik recently geared up for two Nickelodeon teen comedy series. As soon as the shows began loading in, Spodnik went to Vinten, a Vitec Group brand, for his support. “It’s always been Vinten support on stage, ever since I started in the multi-camera world,” he says. “This year it’s Vinten Studio pedestals and Vinten Vector 750 heads.”

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Both camera setups for his shows, “iCarly” and “Victorious” are similar. They are shot HD multi-camera pedestal with an occasional dolly for single camera elements. “Our four main cameras are Sony 1500Rs fiber optically connected to studio decks and hard drives off stage,” he explains. “The Vinten Vector Studio heads are great and easy for our operators to use and tailor trim to the moves we make to tell our stories.

“’iCarly is a very funny show based on the life of a smart teen named Carly Shay. With the help of her best friends, she produces a web show called ‘iCarly’ that features funny skits, bizarre performances, and crazy antics. We often use six-and 12-inch risers to get extra elevation on our peds for this show.

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“During one episode, the iCarly group went out into the woods in search of a half raccoon, half beaver creature. We shot a practical RV on stage in a very large wooded forest set. We needed to be able to shoot high through the RV windows and then lower in the forest during the same shot. The Vector heads are stable enough to make this transition easily during the elevation drop and pedestal movement.”

Spodnik’s second show is called “Victorious”. It is the story of a young woman attending a high school called Hollywood Arts. The show is filled with music and dance. “We shoot a lot of musical numbers that rival many large live stage performances” Spodnik explains. “We go between telling a story to capturing dynamic song and dance scenes. Versatile camera positions are a must with a large cast that at times are all dancing during a song. We move fast and the camera moves have to be stable when following the action.

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“During one big episode a group goes to an Eastern European country to perform and by mistake gets thrown into jail.” he explains. “The group escapes after performing a large song and dance number in the prison yard. The Vinten’s helped us capture many camera positions in a short time frame.”

Spodnik often finds himself shooting 20 pages a day on a tight shooting schedule. “We can’t waste time waiting on camera or pedestal problems,” he says. “The need for strong production and support equipment is key to meeting the challenge of working in the fast paced world of multi-camera television. We have it with Vinten.”

Both “iCarly” and “Victorious” are now airing at various times throughout the afternoon and early evening schedules on Nickelodeon.

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