Riding off of the success of the Master 65, a heavy-duty fluid head designed for Studio and Outside Broadcast (OB) from last year's NAB, President, and CEO of Cartoni, Elisabetta Cartoni, is looking ahead to the release of the new steering P70 pedestal and more.
Q What new products/services has your company introduced since last year's’ NAB?
A At NAB 2018, we launched the Master 65, a heavy-duty fluid head designed for Studio and Outside Broadcast (OB) with our revolutionary patented cable counterbalance and super smooth fluid drag. The Master 65 filled a gap for camera operators who needed more payload capacity than a Master 40 but not as much payload as a Magnum head at a competitive price. The market response has been very positive, and the Master 65 has been an immediate success.
Q Finish the sentence: 2019 will be the production industry’s year of ____
A 2019 will be the production industry’s year of sports. For a long time, we have heard from both broadcasters and sports professionals that studios are being asked to do more with less. While we still see this to some extent in certain areas, this year we are seeing some significant growth in the sports industry. The current trend with both stadiums and universities is to contract with major outlets, such as ESPN and CNN, to design their own studios which will allow major outlets to live stream or broadcast events without the need and cost of bringing in an OB trucking company. This is very exciting as it will give stadiums and universities the opportunity to begin producing more content as well. With this in mind, Cartoni has focused on designing more tools for Studio, and OB production that offers premium quality, smooth movement and priced extremely competitively. At NAB 2019, we are introducing the new Steering P70 pedestal, a single-stage crabbing pedestal with almost twice the payload capacity as its competitors. The Steering P70 is really in a class of its own. It’s lightweight, portable and it offers studios and OB production companies the same flexibility and smooth movement as the elite pedestals at a fraction of the price. We also equipped the Steering P70 with a unique set of polyurethane wheels which ensures ultra-smooth movement. That’s not the only new product we will have at NAB this year. For the last two years, we have also paid particular attention to Outside Broadcast, both in the US and Europe. OB production hasn’t seen as much innovation as in the past. In this specialty, the gear tends to be heavy-duty, and the design hasn’t been updated since the nineties or in the case of the popular heavy-duty sports tripods, since the fifties. We created the new Sports 200, a heavy-duty sports tripod which improves the traditional sports tripods shape, material and ergonomics. These improvements make the tripod both lightweight and robust to make transport easier. We also created some other improvements to improve safety for the camera operator while retaining a unique, very rigid form factor which is essential for the free camera movement used in sports where you might suddenly go from precise motion tracking close-ups to sudden whip pans. With our mantra of constant improvement in mind, we designed the Sports 200 with an innovative profile using the same lightweight and robust materials used in aircrafts.
Q What motivating factor drives you to continue innovating year after year?
A In Italy, we say “If you stop, you are out!” The industry is changing so rapidly; we have to keep pace and be the perfect accessory for the new generation of cameras. We try to be tuned into the industry, whether its new cameras that are being launched or new trends. We stay abreast of current innovation and never take for granted the standard technologies. At the same time, we are seeing an increase in competition from the Asian markets who are challenging the leaders in camera support. Their technology is poor replicas of brands such as Sachtler, Vinten or Cartoni. To help offset this, we are constantly designing new features for the customer, and giving them new reasons to choose Cartoni, such as our best-in-class five-year warranty on most products. If you don’t keep improving, you are bound to decline.
Q How would you describe the energy around this years’ NAB show?
A The energy around NAB 2019 is extreme excitement! We will have a new stand, new communication, and new products! We are putting a tremendous effort in this and hope to be successful.
Q How has NAB evolved over the years?
A NAB is the world’s broadcast showcase. We have tried to schedule our new launches at NAB every year because it is such an excellent opportunity to reach a wide, professional audience. So far, it’s been the right choice. Over the years, we have seen NAB become a little less international, with fewer attendees from around the world. That said, US attendance has been and continues to be huge. I think this still makes NAB extremely valuable for brands because the US is the trendsetter in the broadcast and live sports industry. The decline in international audiences could be due to political reasons, such as the difficulty in getting a visa or could come down to cost. NAB is mainly an American (North, Central, and South) show. But it’s the place where trends are set, and deals get started.
Q Where can we find you on the show floor?
A We will be at C9020.