During the pandemic Sony Artisan Michael Rubenstein relocated to a small town in Northern New Jersey. He noticed every time he left the house in this new location – going to the store, getting gas, going on set for work – he would pass the Bergen County Horse Rescue. This small farm with large red barns in the middle of the suburbs piqued Rubenstein’s interest. When he was recently tasked with creating a video using the new Sony FX3 camera and the 35mm f/1.4 G Master lens, it didn’t take long for him to zero in on what the subject for that project would be. “Right away I knew that I had absolutely, 100%, the perfect project for it.” He connected with the Horse Rescue’s director and made a plan to tell their story through film. The result is the powerful short film Rescue Horses.
Sony Artisan Michael Rubenstein takes the Sony FX3 to the Bergen County Horse Rescue to document the important work being done there.
After creating storyboards, shot lists and all of the plans needed for a short film, on the first day of scheduled shooting they got 30 inches of snow. While that threw a wrench in their shooting plans for that day, he still wanted to go to the rescue for footage of the horses playing in the snow. “I grabbed the camera, ran over there and spent five hours shooting in the snow. 40 mile-an-hour winds, about an inch or two of snow falling an hour – it was absolutely insane. And this camera just performed like a champion."
To say that Rubenstein put the camera through something of an inadvertent, and 100% unofficial, torture test is an understatement. “It works great in low light, and there wasn’t much light because there was a blizzard,” explains Rubenstein. “And while it’s not supposed to be waterproof, I'm telling you that there was like an inch or two of snow on this camera and it performed flawlessly. The autofocus worked great. It didn’t cut out. It didn’t overheat. It didn’t stop working. It didn’t short. I was super happy with it.”
At the end of the day, the camera did what a good camera should. It let the filmmaker tell a story and create something extremely powerful.
Learn more about the Bergen County Horse Rescue at bergencountyhorserescue.org.