1st AC, Sam Hall, Stays Core Driven with Maverick

In 2021, the film industry was introduced to Core’s Maverick battery. This 605wh block battery was the first of its kind created by Core and has made its way on all types of sets. We recently added the Renegade line of block batteries to give customers even more options to power their devices. With their reliability, faster charging, and multiple outputs for power, choosing Core block batteries is an easy decision when powering your set.
We hear stories all the time about how The Maverick lasted all day on a show or commercial, saved a shoot with its multiple outputs, and how the internal charger is brilliant with just an IEC needed to charge. We spoke to Sam Hall who utilized a fleet of Mavericks last winter in the elements and how it handled the extreme conditions of the various film locations.
Sam Hall is a 1st (who came up as a 2nd AC and still occasionally 2nd’s) in the Western side of the states and is based in Denver Colorado. After working in Los Angeles for nearly 8 years, Sam continues to work all over the Western US and also specializes in cold weather conditions. He recently had Mavericks from the rental house Cinemashot out in Denver on a National Car Commercial. Four cameras were on the shoot, including one Sony Venice on an arm car and one on sticks. The other two insert cameras were Sony mirrorless cameras. The production locations were all off-road, on rugged mountain roads up at 10,000-14,000 ft in elevation.

All locations were exteriors on site in the middle of the Colorado Rockies – somewhere in between Buena Vista and Telluride, CO in mid February 2023 – in snowy conditions varying from -17 degrees fahrenheit to about +20 degrees fahrenheit. After filming in the elements all day, the crew only had a garage to park the Arm Car and Camera Truck . With temps dropping close to -17 to -18 each night, the gear stayed around 50-60 degrees. So still not warm – yet warm enough to charge and keep all the Core Mavericks and HyperCore SWX 150’s charged. Many batteries stayed off charge and still had 90-95% while sitting inside the Arm Car and the camera truck.
When asked how the Maverick performed, Sam answered, “The Absolute best – in my 10 + years in the business, I have never had a battery last near 6 hours on the arm car while powering the spray off, camera and accessories. Most block batteries only safely last 1 hour to 1 1⁄2 hours. Common Practice is to check block batteries in the arm car within the first hour, and again after about 1-2 hours (depending on how good the cells are in the block battery). Pushing three hours is dangerous!”

The Core Mavericks powered the rig for 4-6 hours in freezing and sub freezing temperatures – the crew was running two at a time on the arm car before swapping. Even in the cold snow and elements, they could have lasted the whole day without any issues.
“To my surprise, when I took the blocks off the arm car, one battery read 71% and the other read 56%. We all thought it was an odd coincidence….but it kept happening. We had discovered how good these batteries really were! We swapped batteries two times per day on the arm car (four in total for powering multiple accessories ) and never did the batteries drop below 45-50%.” The B-Unit (Studio/Stick and Handheld team) only went through one block battery per day.
Sam said that he and the A-Cam 1st laughed it off and didn’t believe them at first! “We had twelve of the Core Maverick blocks for two Sony Venice cameras. Our 1st AC’s are used to other block batteries dying in the cold and always needing extra blocks. We only ever had 3-5 out each day. And used the same ones the next day – as they charged all the way up overnight. So we had at least six blocks that just sat in the cases on the camera truck….” – Sam Hall
When asked about the other features the Mavericks brought to the table, Sam said, “Their longevity of cell life in cold weather. Also having USB and D-Tap ports for powering other items was a huge help 100% a must on any car shoot – you have options to power almost any accessory (or charge your phone)!. And 100% AN ABSOLUTE NEED on cold weather jobs. I won’t be accepting any other block batteries ever again! I was impressed and became a strong believer in these blocks.
Core Blocks will be my go to from now on! Core is on top of their game with strong power solutions for the cinema market. All their block batteries flawlessly fit into dolly boxes, in trays and are built for current specs across the market. Plus having the charger internal to the battery makes charging very easy and versatile.”
This is just one of the many stories we hear about the Maverick.
Thank you for your time Sam.

Please go check out his Cold weather tips on his blog and check out his instagram.
Stay Core Driven!

Author: mstanley

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