SETLA FILMS ON LOCATION
A trained paramedic, Thaddeus Setla stumbled into a career in video production about 13 years ago, when he started producing short training videos with a consumer camcorder. These days, his San Francisco-based company, Setla Film Productions, is focused on high-end productions for the Web.
“I saw a need,” he recalled. “I realized I could impact more lives through video production than one patient at a time in the back of an ambulance. As technology and editing software improved, it allowed me to create more professional products.”
Setla travels the world visiting healthcare providers to produce Code STEMI, an online documentary series on http://CodeSTEMI.tv. “That’s where our audience is,” he explained. “They don’t have the money to travel and visit other EMS systems, so it is my goal to share that knowledge and experience with our audience.”
With his industry knowledge, Setla can ask pertinent questions to help EMS professionals share stories and procedures in an effort to improve patient care. It is his dream job, but Setla does face challenges on location, particularly with equipment. He shoots with two Sony F5 CineAlta 4K cameras, but has limited crew (when he’s not working as a one-man-band) and does not have the manpower to transport excessive gear and accessories.
Late last year, he completed shoots in Raleigh, N.C., and Phoenix using his new Zylight F8 LED Fresnels. The lightweight F8 means he can leave heavier C-stands at the office, and the light collapses to less than four inches thick for easy airline transport. “The whole goal is to have compact, dependable equipment,” Setla said.
While less bulk in the travel kit is a plus, performance and flexibility are Setla’s most important factors in the field. With little or no location scouting, Setla has to be prepared to light a huge firehouse or a small office. Interview setups on location tend to be quick, about 10 minutes or so, and very little of that time is devoted to setup for the F8. He says the light has worked better for him than 1×1 LED lights he’s used in the past, and appreciates the F8’s integrated battery connection and AC power options.
The 5600K lights have been particularly effective while shooting scenes in the ER, where the installed fluorescent lighting adds a green tint to skin tones. Setla is able to bounce light from the F8 and get “beautiful” skin tones. He has been using his F8s since October, and the results from his recent shoots prompted him to purchase Zylight’s IS3c, a large panel cyclorama and beauty light that can serve as a background color wash light or as a wide soft light.
“The output of the F8 is invaluable,” he added. “It handles better than anything else I’ve ever had. My Zylights are now an essential part of my production kit.”