BERLIN, OCTOBER 19, 2016 — When Gerrit Piechowski, CEO and Founder of Berlin-based Modest Department, started his production company with four of his closest friends, their goal was to produce vibrant videos of the highest cinema quality. When he made the decision to create a documentary of the European cycling event RAD RACE “Tour D’Italia,” he used a full arsenal of products, including the Hypercore 98, Hypercore Prime and Hypercore HC8 Slim lines, from Core SWX, a leader in battery and charging solutions providing users the power to create.
RAD RACE “Tour D’Italia” is a nine-day ride from Rome to Milan. The riders covered 1,600km (994 miles) with an altitude change of more than 25,000m. The course took the riders through some of Tuscany’s most beautiful countryside, across the Italian Alps and over the Dolomites.
“For us, it’s about finding a balance between urban, authentic, valuable content and a professional workflow with the highest industry standard possible,” says Piechowski. “My first impression of Core SWX batteries, and the reason I wanted to use them, was the look of them. It’s pretty hard to make a battery look cool or professional, and between all the normal grey/black bricks, Core SWX was able to stand out with a good design. Apart from this, I started to read more about Core SWX and the benefits of using them. They communicate with our RED® gear, they are extremely reliable, feature P-tap and USB ports, and vary in size, weight and battery time. These were all important considerations.”
To capture the RAD RACE “ Tour D’Italia,” the team used a wide range of different Core SWX products. “For powering our RED® Epic Dragon and RED Scarlet-Weapon, we used Core SWX’s Hypercore 98s and Hypercore Primes,” says Piechowski. “For our DJI Ronin gimbal we used the Hypercore HC8 Slims. We also used the Core SWX Powerbase PB-70 for our Sony Alpha a6000, to power it the whole night for time-lapse purposes, which worked great. To charge all these batteries, I used the Core SWX Fleet Q, which is great for trips like these where you’re filming mostly 24/7. You don’t want to waste your time waiting for uncharged batteries.”
In addition to his Core SWX gear and cameras, Piechowski used the Canon L Lens Series plus a few Sigma Art lenses. Wanting to keep gear light and efficient, the team also used lightweight carbon tripods from Induro and a portable powerful light setup from F&V Lighting that included the R-300 LED Ring Light, two Z400 UltraColor Studio Panels and the company’s newest soft box. They also employed the Syrp Genie and an edelkrone Action and Target module for motion time-lapse shots. The team also captured several shots via drone with the DJI Phantom 3 and recorded all of their material on LaCie Thunderbolt and Western Digital hard drives.
“Especially for this project, the biggest benefit of having Core SWX batteries along for the ride was its USB-port,” says Piechowski. “Since all of the riders were using a Garmin to track their route/speed, etc., everyone needed their Garmins to be charged the whole time. Whenever we had a short break, the guys would ask me if they could charge their Garmins and iPhones again. I ended up being the biggest power bank ever. There was a lot of stuff to power via USB.”
Beyond the performance of his Core SWX gear, Piechowski is also impressed with the company itself. “The customer service of Core SWX is really amazing,” adds Piechowski. “I had one small issue that I told them about and without any questions or any complicated emails, I received a new battery in the mailbox a week later. That’s really impressive.”
For Piechowski, it’s not the destination but the journey itself that nets the richest rewards. His documentary about the experience on the road with the RAD RACE “ Tour D’Italia,” which he hopes to release in January 2017, makes that abundantly clear.