Blueshape is not only a leading battery company that powers productions across the film industry, but it also empowers filmmakers to think eco-friendly. As a V-lock and Gold Mount battery manufacturer, Blueshape creates some of our favorite products from waterproof batteries to award-winning generators.
In addition to outstanding products, Blueshape also leads the industry with its environmental practices, from how it manufactures products in its plant in northern Italy to how it packs and ships its products to us filmmakers. Simply put, Blueshape is the future.
BLUESHAPE AT 2022 CINE GEAR
Filmmakers Academy stopped by the Blueshape booth at the 2022 Cine Gear Expo. Blueshape’s John Morgan shared some of the latest advances, including its carbon-neutral batteries and PG700E AC Power Generator which won multiple awards at NAB 2022.
Watch the full interview at the Blueshape booth to stay on top of all the latest advancements!
INSIDE BLUESHAPE BATTERIES
Blueshape’s battery cells are encased in automotive-grade resin and their own secure box before they are placed inside the battery. Instead of contact tabs, they have a contact plate across the top. The gasket not only waterproofs the battery but absorbs through little holes that collapse downward.
The V-Mount and 3-Stud mounts fit into metal plates inside the resin itself. Previous Blueshape models had four pegs which they now expanded to eight pegs that are placed into even stronger studs.
For the layperson – this is a durable battery! When you’re on any production, Blueshape’s batteries can handle pretty much any condition. Other brands of batteries, however, are not so durable. Inside their batteries, you could probably see for yourself a lack of quality. For example, they tend to use glue instead of resin to hold the components together – not so good! And a glimpse at the loose wiring is revealing in and of itself. If you drop the battery, chances are it will break.
BLUESHAPE BATTERY MODELS
Blueshape supplies various sized batteries for all productions – high-capacity batteries that travel safe for flights (under 100Wh) but last a long time for many cameras. For these purposes, Blueshape has 90Wh and 150Wh. The blue label indicates that it’s a 9 amps service – something that used to work with older model cameras. Now that they require more power, Blueshape offers batteries with more amps.
Blueshape’s most popular battery models in the U.S. are the 95Wh HD and 140Wh HD Minis. They are both V-Mount and 3-Stud (which Blueshape calls Gold Mount). The HD on the label means that it’s a 12 amp service.
Now, Blueshape provides an HD Plus line of batteries that include 100Wh, 190Wh, and 290Wh. The red label signifies the HD Plus and they are primarily used for lighting but also work on power-hungry cameras like the Sony Venice (and Venice 2) and ARRI Alexa LF & LF Mini. They are a 20 amp service which means that you can use them on a light and not destroy the battery.
|PRO TIP: Just because the battery powers a device doesn’t mean it’s correct. If there’s a light that takes 15 amps and you use a 9 amp battery, it will work for a short time but then the light won’t work correctly or the battery will fry. Conversely, if you place a 20 amp battery on a device that only requires 9 amps, it’s not a problem and draws what it needs.
The HD Plus batteries work well for LED fixtures like the Aputure 600D, 1200D, and the Nova Series – allowing these fixtures to run on battery power in the field, giving you more versatility when shooting in locations where getting generator power or house power just isn’t an option.
The Blueshape SPLASH series are waterproof batteries available in 100Wh, 190Wh, and 270Wh. Instead of D-taps, they have seals to keep the battery safe from water. As long as the contacts face downward and are not exposed to weather, you can pour water over them if you want. The SPLASH series was designed before the popularity of LED lights. So, lights like quartz and halogen and similar bulbs that get extremely hot couldn’t deal with rain. However, with the SPLASH series, the rain won’t halt production. You can slap one of these batteries on and keep working through the downfall.
While all of Blueshape’s other batteries are 1P54 rated, the SPLASH series is not. As John Morgan of Blueshape states, “That means you can have them out in the rain and it’s not going to destroy your battery.”
GRANITE LINK APP
Say you’re on a job and you step away from the camera but want to confirm how much juice is left in the battery. The Granite Link app allows you to pair to the battery to get information about the state of the charge, pack voltage, actual load, expected time to empty, cell temperature, remaining capacity, and full charge capacity. The app provides all the details you need to know with confidence the condition of your Blueshape batteries.
If the battery is on a device, it details the expected time to empty. Conversely, if the battery is on a charger, it will denote the expected time it will reach a full charge. The app also populates with the millivolts for the four groups of cells. They fluctuate depending on the amount of charge. Now, if they vary where one cell group reads at 3900 while the other is at 3400, then you can determine that it’s going bad. Then, you can send it in to get it serviced before experiencing a drop in performance.
There’s also a “Find Me” button that allows you to locate a specific battery. When you press it, the indicated battery flashes the top LED red and green. This is especially useful when you have a lot of batteries on set. In Shane Hurlbut, ASC’s case, he may have 20 of the same battery at a given time. So, he can simply press the “Find Me” button to find the exact one that you’re looking for.
BLUESHAPE CHARGING STATION
CGR4 CHARGING STATION
Blueshape’s newest charging station is the CGR4. They had many requests for a four-place, three-stud charger which resulted in this model. The charging station is housed in an HPRC case. It’s very rugged and packs in six amp boards for quick charging and all four work together simultaneously. Not only does it work with Blueshape batteries, but other brands as well.
CVS4XL CHARGING STATION
The CVS4XL is Blueshape’s BEST V-Mount charging station. Its touchscreen is extremely useful for displaying an accurate readout of the charge on your batteries and getting the same information that you would via the Granite Link app.
For example, a Camera Assistant can set up the battery charging station on the camera truck with the ability to see the charging readouts in a dark environment without having to physically check each individual battery. You’re now increasing time for your camera team to work on more difficult tasks – every second counts on set!
If you’re in a studio environment where sound matters, you can even turn the fan off. The CVS4XL has an automatic temperature sensor so it will continue to charge. If the charger heats up a little too much, it will slow down the charging rate while still continuing to juice up your batteries.
Blueshape chargers all include the 14.8V Output via XLR Connector and when plugged in serve as a power supply. The new models (including the two-place models) no longer need plugged in but still provide a 14.8V Output. This comes in handy on dollies or if you require more power than just one battery.
The Blueshape Dual Charger is designed small and slim, allowing you a small footprint. It’s a great option for filmmakers who often work in corporate settings and need a little more power. It’s even functional for a light.
BLUESHAPE AC POWER GENERATOR
The PG700E AC Power Generator won Product of the Year and Best of Show by B+C Magazine at NABSHOW 2022.
- Pure sine wave inverter
- Easy portability with trolley case
- Shock-proof enclosure
- IP67 waterproof
- Charge status indicator
- Dedicated status and alert indications
- Silent AC source
- Integrated quick charger
With the harm of fossil fuels and environmental issues in mind, Blueshape created its 1200-watt battery, zero CO2 emissions power generator. It includes a self-contained charger and inverter with a 240/110V Output.
You can determine the charge status of the generator from a helpful screen inside the case.
Plug in your power strip and from there you can power the lights that you need. The generator feeds up to 700 watts an hour (with a 1200 watt capacity).
“If you’re going full [power],” Morgan says, “you don’t quite get two full hours out of it. On the other hand, if you’re going at 400 watts, then you’re looking at a much longer time.”
The AC Power Generator works well for LED lighting. For instance, you could power a K5600 Joker 400w HMI with ease.
The generator is also easy to move since it closes up and a handle extends out into a roller case. That way, you don’t need to lug the weight around. Trust us, your back will thank you!
UPCOMING BLUESHAPE B-MOUNT
With the release of the ARRI Alexa 35, Blueshape developed prototypes for its B-Mount model that they displayed at NAB 2019. They hope to start the development and shipping of their new B-Mount batteries in December of 2022. This times out perfectly with the ARRI Alexa 35 and their main production.
Blueshape’s initial B-Mount is the 24V – the 48V is currently in the works.
With the release of the ARRI Alexa 35, Blueshape is thrilled and ready to power the camera system by the end of the year. The Alexa 35 is a 24V camera and consumes more power than any other camera on the market. It was designed to capture a 4.6K image in ArriRaw Open Gate with the ability to capture higher frame rates in different 4K modes. That’s certainly exciting news for cinematographers everywhere!
BLUESHAPE IS ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS
Blueshape is also green! At the beginning of 2021, Blueshape made more than a few changes. First off, Blueshape no longer uses Styrofoam packing. Instead, they use completely recyclable cardboard forms. On top of environmentally friendly packaging, they consolidate shipments. Rather than ship five days a week, Blueshape makes bigger shipments twice a week which, in turn, saves on jet fuel overall.
The factory itself installed solar panels for the manufacturing process. Now, Blueshape generates three times more electricity than it did previously from those solar cells.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Blueshape always seems a step ahead of the trends of the film industry. We at Filmmakers Academy cannot wait to get our hands on the PG700E AC Power Generator and are chomping at the bit for the upcoming B-Mount batteries!
If you want to support environmentally friendly technology on your upcoming projects, we really recommend Blueshape’s products. We know we are!