Atlanta – Cardiac Science
It was my first time in Georgia, and my first solo video shoot for Hinckley Productions. I was shipped off to Canton, GA with a steady cam gimbal and a 75 lb pelican case full of gear, taking on a camera bag and personal backpack as carry-on. I only brought one outfit for the 3-day shoot, and looking back, I should’ve been more prepared for the 90 degree Southern heat. But the shoot couldn’t have gone better! We shot 8 interviews in 2 days with me acting as director/ camera operator and a local sound mixer/PA.
Cardiac Science, an AED manufacturer, had previously worked with Hinckley Productions a few years ago to produce a promotional video for their brand. The company reached out to Hinckley again and asked us to cover a story on how a Cardiac Science AED saved the life of 6th-grader Caden Cherry the day he collapsed at school. That fateful day, Caden’s pulse had stopped during gym class and he ceased to breathe. The teachers had called 911, but the young boy was on the brink of death, and had been without oxygen for about 10 minutes. The school nurse revived him with the Cardiac Science AED before the paramedics reached the school. We conducted interviews with the Cherry family, gym coach, school nurse, and principal, all of whom were key players in saving Caden’s life. The interviews were emotional and moving recollections of the rescue and the boy’s triumphant recovery. Although the real hero was the Cardiac Science AED that was able to retrieve a pulse from Caden’s heart. The family now works to promote AED awareness and CPR training programs in schools and rec facilities.
The story was certainly moving- but my job was to capture it on camera. Our setup included two DSLR’s, a DJI Ronin, a sound kit, a light kit, and a lot of Redbull. Luckily I had help from a local PA who helped me load gear and navigate the Georgia traffic to several locations around Canton. I’d been a sound mixer and PA/grip for a few years before working for Hinckley, so that part was easy. Setting up the steady cam proved to be a challenge — but one I was able to overcome. The Ronin arrived a week before my trip, so I had about 5 days to learn the in’s and out’s of being a steady cam operator. I read the manual front to back and watched a lot of YouTube tutorials. This thing doesn’t mess around, and it took me about 45 minutes to calibrate the rig for the first time (now I can do it in about 5-10 minutes). I only used the steady cam for one day to shoot Caden’s soccer game, but it provided some of the best shots of the trip.
Many tears were shed (a lot by me) during the interviewee’s recounts of the day the 11-year-old collapsed. We captured all the passion, inspiration and heartbreak of this boy’s story and later edited it into a moving five minute video. Overall, it was an awesome experience. The final highlight was driving a rented gear van on the deadliest highway in the US during a 4 a.m. thunderstorm to make my flight back to Madison. It was quite the memorable first solo shoot!