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Camcorder User


Rick Young is a European based Producer/Director who runs a production company called Digital Production. When the Minisaddle was produced, Rick travelled the world producing a videotape titled Invention of the Decade which is available through these pages. Rick produced an article for the English magazine: Camcorder User about his experiences filming his climb to Mt. Everest base camp in Nepal. Excerpts of that article follow.


The trek took eighteen days to complete. After arriving in Katmandu (4500 feet above sea level) we flew in a M1-17 ex-Russian military helicopter to the town of Lukla (8000 feet above sea level). The change in environment was striking: snow-capped mountains towered above us and I had to resist the urge to film everything around me.





Over one shoulder I slung the camera, over the other, a light-weight camera-mount known as the Cinesaddle. Innovative in its simplicity, the Cinesaddle, built by Cinekinetic, is a waterproof canvas bag which is filled with beans, similar to those used inside of a beanbag. The canvas is shaped in such a way that the Cinesaddle wraps itself around the camera and provides the perfect mount for any surface such as the ground, a rock, ledge, or whatever is available. In effect, the Cinesaddle replaces the tripod in most situations and is a lot easier to carry and use.


All other camera accessories were carried by a personal porter assigned to me, others were carried on the backs of yaks, which meant I could only access these when we arrived at camp in the evening.


The weather conditions got worse before they got better. We encountered snow and ice as we climbed higher into the mountains. I concentrated on filming the difficulties the group were experiencing, their responses to the changing environment, with plenty of interviews dealing with the group's physical and mental reactions to the expedition.



The trekking became quite difficult beyond 14000 feet. The air was noticeably thinner and I found I was filming virtually everything off the Cinesaddle. The Cinesaddle is so lightweight and easy to use it became a necessity rather than a luxury. I'd have thrown away my tripod a lot quicker than I'd have parted with my Cinesaddle. With the risk of praising this invention to excess I'd say 75 - 80% of my footage was shot from this device.



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