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None of the readers of this blog will be surprised to find out that I love discovering new gear & technology.   Recently I’ve been focusing a lot less on it, both on this blog and in life in general.

That being said, I’ve never lost the bug or the passion for discovery – I love being on the cutting edge, or what should more aptly be called the bleeding edge.

To that end I’ve come together with several partners to form a company called VISUAL BUDDHA with the goal of offering the most innovative products out there.

Simply put, we’re always searching for the best tools out there – tools that we need to better practice our crafts – and if they don’t yet exist, to find ways to make them come to life.

Until now my only choice was to work with large manufacturers and corporations, which usually equates to a painfully slow process marred in red tape and even more painfully:  compromise.  

I HATE COMPROMISE.   I’ve always been a dreamer and I don’t believe in cutting corners, especially when I associate my name with something.    Idealism can be a dangerous thing in business – but I think we could use a bit more of it these days, while also finding a way to combine it with a spirit that’s open to innovation and trying new things.

The friends I’ve partnered with each have more than 25 years in the cinema and photography business and this collaboration happened pretty organically.   We are all passionate about innovation and regularly find ourselves using high quality products to produce the best imagery possible.   And we’re each tinkerers and dreamers and, frankly, troublemakers to some degree.

Our goal together is to discover the best-of-breed products out there and to highlight them on our new site VISUAL BUDDHA.    The name of the site should hint at the fact that this isn’t your traditional venture, that we don’t take ourselves all too seriously, and yet that there is still quite a bit of experience and wisdom within the group to share with you.

One of my partners, Jonas Elmqvist, has shot nearly 1,500 commercials, 30 feature films, and just about every single music star from Madonna to Beyonce over the past 30 years.    As a veteran gaffer with this level of experience, needless to say he knows quite a bit about light, and our initial focus is on lighting tools.

We have several initial peices of gear up on the site that you can look at. 

Our goal is quality over quantity.    We do extensive testing with each piece of gear and stand behind it: we won’t put anything up there that we wouldn’t buy ourselves.  Period.

Given that I come from the world of journalism and I grew up following pretty strict ethical rules and practices, I also believe in the separation of church and state – or editorial content (this blog) and commercial content (Visual Buddha) – ergo the need for the new site.    I will be highlighting this new gear and my involvement in it on this blog clearly to make sure everything is transparent to all of you.

Another key goal of our group is education.   We all believe sharing our knowledge, and working with top filmmakers, cinematographers, camera operators, gaffers and photographers to teach you ways that you can best put this equipment to use.   Expect to see a lot of that on the site as we go forward.

For now, please check out the first product we’re highlighting below. I can say without reservations that this is the single most beautiful light of its size and kind that I have ever used, and that every DP and gaffer we’ve shared it with has echoed that opinion.  Feel free to check out VISUAL BUDDHA and follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook.

BBS Lighting AREA 48 LED from Visual Buddha on Vimeo.