NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.—For nearly 20 years, FilmEd Academy of the Arts provided state-of-the-art production services and filmmaking training to high schools throughout Orange County, Calif. With demand for video production and digital skills on the rise, FilmEd has trusted the same brand that Hollywood studios and broadcasters trust for reliable, smooth performance, Cartoni, and in fact, they’ve been using the same Cartoni tripods for nearly 15 years.
“Well, we were looking around at a lot of different types of tripods that would work for a high school program. At the same time, we wanted to find a tripod system that would be industry standard so that our students would be learning a system just like the cameras we use that would propel our students directly into being able to work side by side with professionals. Cartoni was one of the tripods that was recommended by our vendor. We bought it and it’s ended up working really well for us,” explains FilmEd’s Executive Director David Junker.
Aside from simply teaching students about video production, FilmEd needed a tripod system that could meet the rugged demands of their broadcasting needs. As part of their program, they provide equipment to secondary schools to produce institutional broadcasts and cover school events. The organization also develops curricula for advanced media students, mentors film school applicants and provides core movie-making instruction in a series of two-week summer workshops for 9-12 grade-level participants. FilmEd is a sponsor for the “for student, by student” Orange County Film Festival, providing a showcase for Academy participants.
For equipment that was easy enough for a beginner as well as rugged enough to handle daily production demands, Film Ed’s top choice was Cartoni.
“We bought 20 Cartoni Focus HD tripods and we’ve been using them since 2006. That’s worked really well for us. We were using a prosumer sized camera by Panasonic but recently upgraded to the VariCam 35,” says Junker.
Despite the daily use, the Cartoni tripods have held up well for FilmEd Academy—even after more than a decade.
“We’re still using the Cartoni tripods legs that we bought back in 2006. The Cartoni heads have also been good, even with student use. Obviously, being used by students, the heads are going to take a beating. Sometimes students who are still learning won’t know how to care for the tripod so they may leave the lever out, or a lock on. In that case, Cartoni service, located here in Los Angeles, has been really good at helping us maintain the Cartoni systems over the years. The funny thing is that we are still using the exact same tripods that we purchased almost 15 years ago.”
Equally important to how heavy-duty the Cartoni tripods have proven to be, FilmEd Academy also needed gear that has been easy to use for beginners and extremely versatile to meet the changing demands of the academy education.
“I think that once students understand how to use the tripod such as how to care for the tripod and how to balance the tripod, then they really begin to understand how to make the tripod work for them beyond just getting a stable shot.”