For Emmy Award-winning wildlife cinematographer Andy Casagrande, getting up close and personal with the deadliest sharks on Earth is just another day at the office. When Casagrande’s services were called upon for Discovery Channel’s 30th installment of its hugely popular “Shark Week,” he dove at the chance, literally. To capture the underwater images of these powerful fish in their natural environment, Casagrande turned to Core SWX battery solutions, ensuring that none of the heart-stopping shark action was missed.
Casagrande shot 11 films for this year’s “Shark Week” installment. His travels took him all over the world, with stops in Mexico, the Bahamas, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. “Throughout all my travels I was using Core SWX’s Hypercore 9 Mini (HC9 Mini) battery,” he says. “Along with its small form-factor, the HC9 Mini is extremely reliable and you get excellent run time out of the battery. The HC9 Mini was a huge help in filming the first great white shark ever to breach on camera in New Zealand.”
Casagrande used the HC9 Mini to power the 8K RED Weapon and Phantom Flex 4K cameras used on his dives. “The HC9 Minis are great because they fit really well in the small, compact Gates underwater housings that I like to use,” he adds. “The battery is super low-profile, rugged, grippy and great for the field. While filming Orcas in New Zealand, there was a lot of jumping off small rubber boats, so I had to use a smaller camera housing for the new 8K RED Weapon camera. The HC9 Mini was the best battery to fit into the smaller camera housing and gave us a very small footprint.”
Measuring in at 3.54 in. x 4.65 in. x 1.90 in. and weighing only 1.4 lbs. (861.8 g.), the HC9 Mini is the perfect solution for lighter and more mobile camera setups. The battery is available in three versions, including V-mount, RED-specific and a Gold Mount compatible with Anton/Bauer chargers.
In addition to the HC9 Mini’s reliability, Casagrande likes its powering abilities. “What’s really nice about the HC9 Mini is its two different taps,” he continues. “It has a Ptap, so you can power any Ptap accessory, which is huge. It also has a great USB port, so you can charge your phone or GoPro, or run any USB-driven technology. Core SWX also added protective plastic caps, so, if you are out in the elements, there is no direct water or moisture hitting your Ptap or USB.”
With travel becoming more and more difficult due to restrictions on battery sizes, the HC9 Mini is easy to transport. It provides 98wh and, because of its size, users can fly with an almost unlimited amount of them. The battery also clearly states that it is air travel compliant, making it legal and safe.
Throughout his filming, Casagrande found the HC9 Mini to be reliable, fast-charging and very versatile. “All around, Core products have been very helpful with my filmmaking during the past year,” he adds. “It’s easy to see why the HC9 Mini has become my favorite battery.”
The HC9 Mini is a 98wh (14.8v) battery with a 12A load. With the latest in Lithium Ion technology, the battery also comes with an LED back-lit run-time LCD on the front of the pack, which allows users to know how much capacity is left when in use and indicates remaining charge time while connected to a charger. This allows users to plan their shoots down to the minute. The RED-specific version can communicate directly with a RED camera’s LCD/VF. The HC9 Mini’s battery cells are encased in an over-molded, rubberized housing, providing additional protection against accidental impacts that may occur when operating in rugged conditions.
“Shark Week” is television’s longest-running and eagerly awaited summer TV event, delivering all-new shark stories, and incorporating innovative research technology to reveal compelling insight on some of the most unique shark species in the world.