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Nino Film Blog | April 24, 2014

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VBag Philip Bloom Edition Video Review

VBag Philip Bloom Edition Video Review
Nino Leitner

I first encountered VBags through a friend and colleague of mine, and it immediately struck me as an intriguing idea and concept. VBag stands for Vacuum bag, and the technology behind it was originally only used by emergency services to stabilize accident patients for transport.

A VBag is a bag filled with tiny plastic pellets and it’s very lightweight and flexible when there’s still air in it. You can use it to very quickly position your camera in places where a tripod simply couldn’t go … you can use objects around you as a base for the VBag, and form a base for your camera with it. Just bend it into the right direction, wrap it around the camera, attach the pump to the valve, close it, pump – and very quickly, it will solidify in exactly that position. And it will stay right there as long as the valve is closed. It’s a very fresh approach to position a camera (or even small LED lights, for that matter) without having to tear locations apart or resort to Magic Arms and Croco clamps.
We shot some short car scenes for the NBC Universal TV series “GRIMM” as well as car backplates (for green screen) here in Vienna some months ago, and we used a bigger V-Bag to shoot the side window perspectives – my buddy Bobo simply rolled down the window, put the V-Bag around the door and formed a base for the camera – he then held it and it stayed totally in place, which is essential for shooting plates – you don’t want that image to jump around in the back suddenly, when keyed into the green screen backdrop. Shooting something like that would possible be much more difficult if you did it differently (having to put the camera on a car mount on the side, which requires lengthy police permissions here in Austria). We still had to put the camera on a car mount for the backdrop of the back window, but the V-Bag saved us a lot of time for the side window shots.

 

The VBag Philip Bloom Edition put into position, stays rock solid!

The VBag Philip Bloom Edition put into position, stays rock solid!

 

At that shoot, I really discovered how useful these bags could be, but honestly, the size of the (so far) smallest V-Bags was too big for most of my uses. With most cameras shrinking in size, be it DSLRs, an FS100 or the C300, I want my gear to fit my new needs well too – we all carry and drive around too much gear anyway. But it’s better, faster and more efficient to carry the right size of whatever you need – be it a tripod, lens or a V-Bag.

When Philip told me that he helped V-Bag come up with a smaller version of their bags, I was intrigued instantly. They also got rid of the usually “external” separate pump and replaced it with a small pump that is permanently attached to the V-Bag Philip Bloom edition. Nice! One more piece you cannot forget in your studio now when going out to a shoot.

 

 

In all, I am very happy with the new VBag and it goes with me to all my shoots now – it just “lives” in my car and I take it out when I need it (which happened two times last week already!). Very useful and it got me thinking in new perspectives now (plus, those handheld low level shots aren’t handheld and shaky anymore).

The VBag Philip Bloom Edition is now available for $249 or €198 from Vbag.com – they have very generously provided me with a 5% discount code for my readers! Just put in “ninofilm” in the appropriate field on their shop page and the 5% are deducted from your total.

 

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Pump and valve - all permanently attached. You can't forget it at home!

Pump and valve – all permanently attached. You can’t forget it at home!

Comments

  1. Frank Glencairn

    +1 on the PB VBag – best piece of gear I bought in 2012.

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