Director's Monitor Cage v3 First Impressions: Chris Grubisa
“Growing up in Canada, the city of Toronto provided the backdrop of Chris Grubisa’s emerging career behind the lens. Chris was exposed to filmmaking early through his father, who captured home videos frequently. After borrowing his dad’s Handycam, Chris’ love for creating media became a driving force in his life. Rolling through his hometown on his skateboard, video camera in hand, Chris honed his eye for moving images and laid the groundwork for his content-creating style. Now, over a decade later, Chris co-founded Chrilleks with partner Aleks Lason and calls Los Angeles home.”
Tell us a little bit about Chrilleks and your production style.
Chrilleks is an award-winning creative agency that focuses on branded content. We’re based in Los Angeles and Toronto. We’re your one stop shop - taking care of all things content so you don’t have to. Chrilleks’ production style is efficient and simplified.
The social media world we live in moves at a rapid pace. We work with various types of brands from skincare to streetwear, food, beverage, automotive and fitness. That wide variety brings quite a few moving parts: production logistics, algorithms during posting times, trends, to brand identity. These all play a role throughout the entire project process for us at Chrilleks. We keep what’s necessary and work within that playing field, at a very close proximity to our clients.
What does your current camera and monitoring setup look like?
My personal current setup is ON POINT - it’s taken years to get here and I am very pleased with it. I capture with the RED DSMC1 Dragon Sensor, my favorite camera, and a shotgun mic. It’s dressed with Wooden Camera components and I pair it with a Teradek Bolt 500 which feeds to our Small HD AC7 hand-held set up and distributes straight to our client monitors for instant playback.
Chrilleks was the first production team to use our new Director’s Monitor Cage on a project - in Canada! Can you tell us about the production and the paces you put the DMCv3 through?
We were! And we brought it back to our home roots! We’re proud of that! The project was 10 days, 65 cast members, 5 locations per day. We experienced every environment imaginable: rain, shine, outside, and interior. We were continuously capturing and on the move. [The DMC v3] kept up the entire time! One of the coolest things was how easily it folds up.
What were your first impressions of the Director's Monitor Cage v3?
It’s definitely lighter and more robust. I was beyond thrilled to see the entire skeleton re-imagined. Tight spaces and camera gear go hand in hand and seeing that the cage fully opens means any issue can be resolved in seconds without tools. We’re in transit consistently and honestly the shaved-off weight means that WE WILL bring it with us. If our teams find any equipment too much to handle, more than likely it will not join us on set. The Director’s Monitor Cage V3 is always packed with our cameras.
The DMCv3 is essentially a BYO wireless monitoring solution. What other products did the DMCv3 allow you to bring together?
Our Small HD and Teradek solutions pair seamlessly into the DMCV3. The DMCv3 cage is fully customizable meaning our 1st AC / focus pullers have used the cage, our clients have used the cage, and our Directors too - of course. The cage does its rounds depending on the shoot. It’s a workhorse. It fits right into our family and our workflows
You have previously owned, and used, its predecessors (the original bolt-together DMC from 2014 and the Rubber Grip DMCv2 from 2017) - what were some of your reactions to the new upgraded features on the v3?
Pure excitement. The NO rubber carbon fiber handles immediately caught our teams’ eye! Things get sticky, chipped, slippery and worn down over a variety of shoots.
The DMCv3 carbon fiber structure holds up to all of that. The handgrips on other cages would deteriorate - that’s not an issue for us anymore. The placement of my Teradek receiver fits right in, and the mounts underneath line up seamlessly. Less thinking, faster prep time, more creating.
What types of shoots or productions would you say the DMCv3 is best for?
All types! We’re continuously using it on commercial, social media quick turn-around type shoots, documentary shoots.
The cage allows you to set it down, place it on a stand, or have it in hand, allowing the viewer to get right in there and walk up to the scene if need be. It’s fluid. That’s why it’s a crucial tool for our teams at Chrilleks.
You can learn more about Chrilleks and keep up with their adventures on Instagram and beyond. As for Chris - he never stops moving. In his free time, Chris explores other creative outlets via Be Right Back Creating Something and loves spending time with his dog, Sunny.