Friday, May 27, 2016


There are many words that are synonymous with the man who started KesslerCrane, Eric Kessler. The title of this blog says it all. If you are looking for innovative gear that will keep your budget INCREDIBLY low and yield results comparable to gear from Chapman-Leonard,  MSE and more look no further!

Kessler products are game changers and they fueled a revolution with support gear like their jibs and sliders while providing a low cost entry point even offering automated versions for both!  I know first hand working as a DP, Director and Producer exactly what the Kessler arsenal can do for your work as a filmmaker. If you never heard of this company I strongly suggest you check them out along with Zacuto at Cinegear 2016.

We've used their gear on countless documentaries for Natgeo, Discovery; feature and Indie films and TV series for years! This is NOT a paid endorsement, I neither work for Kessler or receive compensation. As a filmmaker I am compelled to share information and useful tools for the work we do and Kessler along with its founder is one company you should know about and can trust to support you as a customer!

I'll be reviewing some of the new gear, like Second Shooter from this company who has truly led the way in the realm of providing reasonably priced and creative gear on a shoestring budget!

Sunday, May 1, 2016


OK I bought into the Digi ProControl back in 2000 and still rely on this great versatile tactile surface for our music and ADR sessions. I have the main unit and one fader pack. As a whole it's been fairly reliable over the years until recently. Why am I putting this in our BLOG!? Because it was time consuming and frustrating especially dealing with AVID on obsolete Digidesign products and no one should have to work so hard to get info! So I'm sharing these tips for my fellow ProControl users!

Faders started failing back in 2007, a friends EDIT PACK went dead, Clock segment on my main unit went black on one of the counters, faders started failing.

So now what? Well I went out and bought another main control unit for 400.00 to scavenge parts but what if you just want the parts? Well hit and miss as there are some fader replacement parts out there on eBay and gearslutz but usually rebuilts and they break! Simple cure that worked 75% of the time, REMOVE THE BAD/SUSPECT fader and CLEAN IT ! Clean the rails with Iso Alcohol and voila reborn 3 out of 4 times.

Simple just remove all the small allen flat pan screws on the TOP of the unit then lift up,  (12-16 screws on fader & edit packs). Don't get stumped and start unscrewing any side or bottom screws, not necessary.

Removal means dissassembly to get it out. Basically take the TOP off and then go to the rear of the unit and unscrew the middle vented back panel. From top inside remove the 4 screws securing the display panel assy. to the bottom of the chassis so it can be lifted up and removed. Mark all cables that you may have to disconnect to clear the way for removing the power supply. NOTE:Sometimes it's an overheated connection on the Molex connector. If you need to replace the power supply this company, SAGER, has them. You can also eMail SKYNET for details
They are mostly SKYNET power supplies and run around $72.00-$85.00.  These guys repair them: SIRES.

Well this one requires removing the TOP. Unscrew all back screws, remove long vented panel by tilting back and up and out. More on this later as I have not tackled it yet. I'm hoping the Counter chips are plugged into sockets...

Hope this helps some of you and feel free to comment if it did!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

PHANTOM 4 vs INSPIRE Same Camera SPEC! Which one is right for me?

OK so maybe this is your first UAS aka UAV aka Drone purchase and you're confused by the astounding amount of products available on the market as a whole and even with the leading manufacturer DJI. Well lets just take a look at DJI's latest offering, the Phantom 4 and compare it to it's top of the line Inspire series!

The Phantom 4 is a remarkable machine with it's abilities to track a target, follow, Point of Interest, waypoint navigation and obstacle avoidance, truly amazing! Do they all work, well the tracking an object is at 60-70% success rate given our field testing which is still pretty good! POI amazing, you can basically set it and take a nap while it does the work! Flight time is up to 26 minutes by our calcs.

The camera is fully comparable to the Inspire! And one step up in that it does 120FPS. We did test that and the quality was NOT that impressive vs. 60 fps which both Phantom 4 and Inspire handle well.

Glaring differences are  dual operation Camera and Flight separate controllers, different camera options X5, X5R for feature film quality! The BLACK INSPIRE for the COOL factor, and
retractable gear and PAN capability with camera but seriously do you really need to spend that much money on the Inspire for these feature? Well that's your call, some of these features like the retractable gear and Pan capable gimbal are awesome features but as experienced and FAA compliant pilots we were well able to get around that feature set and get amazing similar moving shots. Just know the limitations to work around them...lFor example even  the P4 motors are mounted higher with the intention to avoid props in the picture well, high speed maneuvers and wrong angle to the sun can still bring the props into the scene so it's all about being aware and developing good pilot/filming skills to avoid the occasional propeller in frame and get similar results to the Inspire and it's remarkable camera capabilities. Take a look at these brief comparison charts and you be the judge. Happy and safe flying!