Based on the successful film franchise of the same name, The Purge (2018) is an American horror-thriller television series, set in a dystopian near-future ruled by a totalitarian government. Much like the films, the series revolves around a 12-hour period when all crimes, including vandalism, murder, arson and theft, is legal once a year. As the clock winds down in a fictional U.S city, the characters are forced to reckon with their past as they discover how far they will go to survive the night.
Filmed on the streets of New Orleans the series features menacing action sequences that effortlessly keep viewers on the edge of their seats until the final moments. In creating this anarchic atmosphere, the series writer James DeMonaco went heavy on stunts and special effects, meaning they needed a remote camera head that offered precision, ease-of-use and versatility. It’s no wonder the series camera operator, Joseph Arena opted for a Mo-Sys L40.
“Because of the nature of the show the L40 was an asset for me. It allowed me to perform fast and solid moves been. We used it a lot also just on a conventional dolly. Sometimes we were in very tight spaces and having a small foot print option been able to not put so many people around camera was great. The cinematographer Kevin McKnight was very animated about having this option and especially for small sets. We wanted to be wide and close to the action and so that allowed us to not interfere with the light coming from different angles since. Also, we had some sex scenes and been remoted gave the talent a certain level of privacy.
The Mo-Sys L40 is very versatile rigid and fast. It is easy to set it up and very it’s strong head with lots of torque on the motors. I was impressed by the back-pan upgrade and being able to track back pan shots with very long lenses. The weight payload is very high for this kind of head size. The wheels console feels very good and responsive with almost no delay. We also did some very low almost to the ground shots. We were very happy to accomplish that without having to use a periscope. We did underslung the head and flipped the camera attaching it from the top handle. This became a must have tool on my kit and I would recommend this head to any operator.”Joseph Arena, SOC
Camera Operator • The Purge