May 8, 2014

Learn How Kessler Makes Their Awesome Filmmaking Equipment in this Short Documentary

The DSLR revolution put the ability to create cinematic images into the hands of the masses. At the front end of this revolution, however, there weren't many movement tools designed for this new wave of cameras. Out of the massive demand came hundreds of DSLR movement and accessory companies, one of the most notable of which is the Indiana-based firm, Kessler. In a recent collaboration with Kessler, a Canadian production company called Cinescapes Collective produced an excellent short documentary/corporate video that showcases this unique company and the way in which they conceptualize and manufacture their outstanding filmmaking products. Check it out below.

Before watching, it should be noted that this is essentially an in-depth advertisement for the Kessler CineDrive product line, and an effective advertisement at that. With that said, this piece still provides excellent insight into one of the premiere camera movement companies in the world.

Preston Kanak, one of the primary shooters at Cinescapes Collective, recently talked with the folks at Fstoppers about this project. Here's what he had to say about how the project evolved during the period that they were shooting and editing it.

Although we could have completed the documentary in a much shorter period, we felt that it was critical to let the project evolve during this period and because there was no hard deadline for the project, we were able to let it breathe. This piece really evolved from its first assembly. By taking a collaborative approach to the edit, we were able to receive feedback from many filmmakers and adapt the structure based on this feedback. We had a baseline for production and had a few key points we wanted to hit but tried to remain flexible with the story and allow it to evolve over time. With us shooting this over six months, we were able to take a step back and revisit the project using a fresh set of eyes.

In the world of corporate video production, this process of allowing the production and content to breathe is a rare one, as strict hard deadlines are usually the norm. However, the results of the extended timetable are undeniable, as the video above has an organic and fluid feel that is often severely lacking in the world of corporate video.

To read more of Kanak's comments about the video, head on over to this Fstoppers article.

What do you guys think about this cinematic profile of Kessler and their CineDrive products? Let's hear your thoughts down in the comments!

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21 Comments

Personally I put kessler along with zacuto and especially red rock micro in with the companies who lept on the dslr wave not to serve the community but to fleece it. (way) Overpriced and at times pointless products, red rock micro we're especiialy shoddy with their quality, I know a music video company who stocked on several rigs top to bottom of their gear and pretty much had to bin it all within one season.

May 9, 2014 at 12:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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twc

Kessler is made really well, but I agree to the Red Rock notion... rubbish.

May 9, 2014 at 1:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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TOM

I agree 100% with the Red Rock Micro comment. Terrible products, and even worse prices. Zacuto has been extremely hit-or-miss for me in quality, but certainly not worth the price for just about anything they make.

However, I disagree about Kessler. Yes, they jumped on the opportunity to market toward DSLR folks, but every product of theirs I've used is absolutely top-knotch. I've yet to use a motorized slider or moco system that works as well as theirs. Pricey compared to lower-grade options, for sure, but I've never felt they are overpriced.

May 9, 2014 at 8:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I'm not entirely sure about this... I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for. With that being said, we purchased the Kessler Crane pocket jib and on our first outing in the desert the head's bolt became stripped after 4 setups and the mounting plate cracked. Needless to say we were not able to achieve our shots and the gear became a useless piece of luggage. I personally did not crank down the jib to the tripod neck so I am not sure if my colleague was taking it on an angle but the tolerance looked pretty poor based on the cracked mount. Again, you get what you pay for.. but sometimes products are just built poorly.

May 9, 2014 at 9:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bobhadababyitsaboy!

Sounds like you had a gorilla operating your jib that day out there in the desert , certian peices of equipment do neeed to be treated with a certain level of delecacy , a jib arm , with stress points and various tolerances , is on of them .

May 17, 2014 at 7:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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John Gabriele

kessler made quality products. the customer service wasn't great. but the good news is there are now other great products at more affordable prices. not correct to use documentary in the title if you later describe as corporate video or advertisement. use documentary style to describe. there needs to be some separation.

May 9, 2014 at 1:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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tim

Tim, while you're offering criticism, you should use present rather than past tense in referring to Kessler. They appear to still be in business....

May 9, 2014 at 7:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Don

+1 on the fleecing of the industry comment.

Is this a long form commercial for Kessler? Did they pay for this article to be written?...haha

May 9, 2014 at 1:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Adam

I have been working on an open source moco system for a few years now. google search "Cinematic Motion Control" if you are interested.

May 9, 2014 at 2:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Definitely an ad and not a documentary.

But I don't understanding people saying they leeched on the DSLR crowd. They are a company. They saw an opportunity and created great quality product in response. Now they make products both for DSLR and bigger systems that are higher priced. If you are unhappy with that, it's maybe because DSLR is still all that you can afford working with. Don't be angry at Kessler.

My Kessler pocket dolly has served me great for almost 3 years now. I regretted buying Red Rock Micro gear the day it was delivered to my house.

May 9, 2014 at 7:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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"There's nothing that I found more fulfilling in life when you see someone frustrated with anything, you know, no matter what level in life that you're dealing with this issue on, and you can fix it"

If they would apply this to customer service, I'd weep for joy.

May 9, 2014 at 9:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Josh

I already saw this video in Chinese .... and for a lot less too ...

May 9, 2014 at 1:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

I like that Kessler stuff, because it is almost modular. So you can combine/upgrade things quite well. And it is solidly made.

May 9, 2014 at 5:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tom DoP

Even if the company paid for the video to be made, which they very well might have, they make solid products and I have only had incredible customer service experience with them. My pocket dolly is amazing, and is rock solid in every way. I have had a couple of other cheaper slider options and would never go back.
Also I love how people don't understand basic economics. If they are first movers in a market that has a demand they can set the price points because they are just that first movers... Take an economics course thats how the market works. Also just don't buy the products if you feel they don't justify the price and wait for more affordable options.

May 9, 2014 at 10:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Shane

I'm personally more pointing towards zacuto than kessler but some things are overpriced of theirs, zacuto though I mean £250 for a single hand grip, thats just dispicable and I know I can not just buy it, I do just that and even though my company has moved away from dslr runnin' and gunnin' I cant help but look at people like philip bloom throwing that stuff at his 'fans' as a neccasaity when we got on just fine with cheaper gear that was designed to empower people with the restricted budgets and worked just fine.

May 10, 2014 at 9:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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twc

Jumped on an early release of Cinedrive, but ultimately returned it. Honestly, it was rubbish rife with issues. Their support was decent, but I was gypped out of shipping costs for their faulty product.

May 11, 2014 at 3:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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SMStudios

I've rented Kessler gear often in NYC and always found it to perform well and consistently. I have to say this video was very well done and changed my perspective for the positive. I've seen them partner closely with less than credible "experts" who spend more time blogging than shooting (especially paid shooting); and though one makes a small appearance here; it was nice to see real filmmakers using the equipment for a change vs. just those that claim to be while constantly self-promoting.

May 16, 2014 at 4:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ronen

I don't really understand the comment that 'Kessler fleeces' anyone. If one doesn't like their products or service, one shouldn't use them. Do they misrepresent their products? Do they not have a return policy?

Is there a company somewhere that covers the shipping costs for returned items purchased online?

Perhaps we should read our gear review blogs more critically. It ain't the readers who keep this free information afloat.

May 16, 2014 at 6:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tw

Wow. Can't believe the negativity here. I met Eric at the Kessler booth at NAB this year. An extremely friendly and passionate person that loves making quality film-making gear. To all the haters... piss off. You haven't made anything. It's always the guys trolling at home on their computers that have the most wisdom, right?

May 20, 2014 at 5:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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True that. but its usually those same couch people who think a better product will make them a better filmmaker, hence, they are probably Kessler customers. :) As long as it is againt a company and not a poor little human being, let the haters hate, buddy. It's a part of cyber life and it's a damn funny read.

May 21, 2014 at 12:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Rafael

True that. but its usually those same couch people who think a better product will make them a better filmmaker, hence, they are probably Kessler customers. :) As long as it is against a company and not a poor little human being, let the haters hate, buddy. It's a part of cyber life and it's a damn funny read.

May 21, 2014 at 12:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Rafael