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Weightless Rig for Stabilizing Shots
  • I thought I would share a solution I came up with for solving a problem we encountered during our recent shoot. We're shooting a feature and we've been happily using the "Beginner's Rig" available on the personal-view.com deals section here, which I highly recommend. Most days we only shot for 1-2 hours and it wasn't continuous shooting, so the camera operator, although occasionally getting tired from the weight of the rig, was able to rest by putting the rig down. Then we had a day where we shot for 5 hours, not all continuous, but the weight of the rig really tired her out. So after that, we had 1 final day of shooting, and that day involved a lot of coordination with set building, actors, etc., and we had a tight time frame (2 hours) to shoot what we needed for that day. So I created what I called a "Weightless Rig", which is pictured below.

    The way we were using the "Beginner's Rig" was different than typical shoulder rig. The camera operator often pressed the shoulder padding into her stomach or chest area, and that combined with 2 hands on the handles, gave us 3 points of contact for stability. I needed to replicate that. What you'll see in the picture below is the final Weightless Rig, which I covered with black gaffers tape. It consists of 3 parts: a cheap quick release plate ($7 on amazon.com), a sponge typically used for painting ($3 at Home Depot), and 2 round/cylindrical wooden sticks ($2 at Home Depot). I tied the sticks to the bottom of the quick release plate with duck tape. I then used scissors to cut holes in the sponge and inserted the sticks. Then taped everything with gaffers tape. The whole thing weighs maybe a 1/2 pound max, and really worked to give us stable shots without adding any weight that a rig typically does with it's metal parts.

    I'm sure we're not the first to do something like this, but I hadn't seen anything like it, and thought it might help someone who needs something really super lightweight for stabilizing shots. Hope this is helpful.

    Weightless_Rig_Pic.jpg
    1920 x 1440 - 1M
  • 2 Replies sorted by
  • @matt_gh2, I'm being a bit of a dolt and not really being sure I am envisioning this in use correctly... Do you think you might be able to snap a pic of it in use by someone?