Filming documentaries is hardly an easy feat. You contend with weather, environmental conditions, outside noise and un-trained talent. For freelance Cinematographer Neil Fernandez, owner of Lucky Finn Productions, this career path has literally led him to the Black Rock Desert shooting a short about Burning Man, along Route 66 filming “Alien Highway” for the Travel Channel to Bora Bora, Jamaica and the Bahamas to shoot various swimsuit campaigns. With an ever-changing project scope, and unpredictable circumstances at-large, Fernandez always opts for reliable, long-lasting equipment, such as Indipro Tools’ V-Mount Li-Ion and Micro-Series V-Mount Batteries, along with the company’s Quad Pro Charger, SafeTap Regulation Cables, V-Mount Mounting Plates and a variety of other accessory items.
“Fortunate as I might be to have my dream job, I wouldn’t be able to do it without the best gear,” explains Fernandez. “Second only to cameras, my top priority is my power source. In my world, the RED and Blackmagic reign supreme, so I want to make sure I’m supporting my cameras with an equally reliable complement, which, in my case is a variety of equipment from Indipro Tools. I chose the V-Mount Li-Ion and Micro-Series V-Mount Batteries as the backbone of my rigs because of product reliability. Though these solutions offer an unmatched level of power, it is the simplicity of the company’s designs that makes its gear affordable and reliable.”
Lucky Finn films includes a wide variety of projects, from documentaries and scripted productions to music videos and commercials, so Fernandez’s workflow changes from one project to the next. “I might be flying solo for something and working on set with a crew the next,” he continues. “The Micro-Series V-Mounts are small and compact, so they are perfect for powering my camera on a gimbal. This means I don’t have too much weight bogging me down as I run around the jungles of Africa, filming wild animals. The size, weight and power of the Micro-Series have gotten me through thick and thin.”
For direct documentary situations, Fernandez relies on a RED HELIUM camera, outfitted with Indipro’s 120Wh or 150Wh Micro-Series Battery, which lasts for a long time without the need for a charge. “In field situations, especially when you’re going out on solo adventures, you don’t always have the time or place to charge, so it’s nice to know you can make it through the shoot,” he says. “The Indipro Tools batteries are truly ready for anything; I’ve literally put these batteries to the test in a range of environments. “I took them to Burning Man for Ryan Moore’s 2018 documentary, ‘Ignite’.” During that shoot, the equipment not only helped me capture the event, but also stood up to the late-summer heat and sandstorms of the deserts of Nevada. They’ve also shown high-performance capabilities in the cold, nothing seems to affect them, and they’ve never let me down.”
Beyond the products themselves, Fernandez feels that Indipro provides invaluable support to independent filmmakers, allowing for mutually beneficial relationships that provide new insights between the manufacturer and users. “In my experience, Indipro is always willing to listen to filmmakers in order to reduce the stress that comes with fast-paced schedules and productions,” he adds. “It’s rare that they don’t already have a power solution to meet my needs, but they have even gone so far as to create custom solutions. They also take serious consideration of suggestions from me, and my colleagues in the industry, with regards to product ideas that might improve our workflow into the future.”
As founder/owner of Lucky Finn Productions, Fernandez has put his creative mark on a wide array of projects. The most recent of which include Travel Channel’s ‘Alien Highway’, Animal Planet’s ‘Extinct or Alive’, and Robin Humbert’s short film, ‘Fertile Myrtle’. He has also directed, dp’ed and edited the music video ‘Sunflower Seeds’ for L.A.-based platinum recording artist Bryce Vine, which has already received 1.6 million views. Prior to forming his own company, Fernandez worked in freelance editing positions for A+E Television Networks, MTV Productions, Lazarus Films and Go Go Luckey Entertainment, among others.