The news from ACS France in March

par ACS France La Lettre AFC n°295

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The whole ACS team would like to thank the AFC for the latest Micro Salon which took place at the Parc Floral in Paris. It was great to meet everyone who visited our stand. Over the two days, we were able to present our latest technologies and respond to questions about our activities – but if you want to know any more about what we do – don’t hesitate to get in touch !

For those who haven’t yet had the chance to see it, you can find our new 2019 demo-reel that we presented at this year’s Cesars.


The Agito is a new generation of remote-controlled dolly system. It provides new perspectives in the making of your tracking shots as it can overcome the constraints of the traditional rail dolly track and offer the possibility to shoot from ground level. Its interchangeable wheels allow it to travel on any type of terrain at a maximum speed of 50km/h. Its typical runtime is one hour at full speed but it can reach four hours if used in standard conditions. We placed our Shotover G1 on the Agito to exploit all of its possibilities. Discreet and compact, the whole system is controlled wirelessly (the absence of cable being a plus while filming) with an operating range stretching up to 300m. It benefits from a high-performance 3 axis gyro-stabilization and a large range of suitable camera/lens combinations with an optical axis placed at 80cm from the ground which can be raised depending on conditions of use. This really handy miniature tracking vehicle will quickly become a permanent fixture on all of your shoots.

Multi Cameras Array

Designed specifically for the VFX department, the Multi Camera Arrays (Hydra or Trident) combine the top-end performance of the Shotover K1 with an installation of multiple cameras. This innovative concept gives an extremely wide field of view at a remarkable resolution. This allows re-framing anywhere within this massive frame.
A Multi Cameras Array allows for multiple plates to be filmed in one pass, with the cameras permanently locked relative to each other.
Equally, it can free-up green-screen shoots ; thanks to its six cameras, all locked to each other, a hemisphere can be created in which an imaginary camera can be then moved in three dimensions.
ACS France can propose two variants : the Hydra (six cameras) and the Trident (three cameras). The first solution comes ready to shoot with cameras and lenses, all you have to do is to decide what to film. The Trident shines because of its flexibility, it can take the three leading models of camera on the market, along with a choice of lenses.

Filming in Finland

ACS France recently took part in a shoot for a movie in Finland. The wintry conditions in Lapland weren’t to be taken lightly, with a daytime maximum of -20 °C at Sodankylä, North of the Arctic Circle, where we installed our equipment.

We rigged an AS350 helicopter with our Shotover K1 in which we had fitted an Arri Alexa 65, with Arri Prime DNA lenses. We used 34mm and 70mm lenses. During the rig, the local camera assistant told us of a time, on a shoot a bit further North when it was –38 °C and the lubricating grease in the lenses froze, locking up the focus ring…
Fortunately, we didn’t encounter these problems with the Arri lenses.

The shoot took place around Muonio and then in Kilpisjarvi, close to the combined borders of Sweden, Norway and Finland. At this time of year, there is only six hours of light per day and the sun barely gets above the horizon. At dawn, the thermometer hovers around -35°C which could cause problems with the equipment. To counter any possible problems, we mitigated against the cold – for example, the sensor of the camera doesn’t start below a certain temperature – so we had to derig and re-install the camera each night and morning and leave the camera on all day, during stand-by periods.

Condensation can easily form upon the filter and then consequently freeze. The invention and judicious placing of a heating element precluded this problem.
For its part, the Shotover K1 functioned perfectly, even in these polar temperatures.
As well as the low temperatures, the local weather wasn’t without its issues – low-clouds meant that the sky was as white as the ground and made it difficult to define the horizon at the other end of the ice lake.

The dewpoint was part of the local difficulties – meaning that at the wrong temperature/humidity, the blades of the helicopter could ice-up, making for dangerous flying conditions. Between each flight we had to wrap the helicopter in tarpaulins to allow for a safe take-off – the helicopter came equipped with equipment for this.
At these latitudes, the dawn light is absolutely exceptional and when lit, the landscape is stupendous, and we were able to garner splendid imagery. We thank the production for inviting us onto this exciting project.

ACS France
240 rue Hélène Boucher
78530 Buc
+33 1 39 56 79 80
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