Have you ever wondered: what does a Grip do? In truly timeless 90’s Docu fashion, Mark Vargo, ASC takes us on a journey explaining the role of the grip department, with insight to popular camera and light modifying tools they use day to day. With filmmaking becoming as accessible and self-sufficient due to today’s technology, many people are coming into the industry with a do-it-all-yourself attitude and have never, and maybe will never, come into contact with a traditionally structured professional film outfit. That means that when you check out the Behind the Scenes of your favourite Hollywood movies, you have no idea what that Craghopper clad, burley guy holding a piece of metal is doing. Believe it or not, you shouldn’t really have to keep an eye on your reflector leant up against a camera bag and light stand as you delicately try to poise the camera on a slider & double stacked tripod head. In a professional production, there is a whole department that deals with that for you. Mark Vargo’s video above does a good job highlighting the key roles of a grip, whilst going into a little detail regarding popular used tools, such as grades of gobos (light modifiers that “go between” the lights and the talent). Outside of Hollywood movies, Grips are widely used in the commercial industry, as well as high profile corporate, narrative and music videos. The smaller the jobs are, the more blurred set roles can become. Basically speaking, the Grip Department is responsible for camera and lighting support. The key word here is support, where they never usually touch a light fixture or piece of camera kit, just the supporting elements. Mark Vargo describes them as skilled technicians drawing experience from highly technical vocations. I couldn’t have put it better myself.Read more
The new XPRO Monopod+ range of monopods from Manfrotto adds new fluid control and pan lock for greater control. Manfrotto has announced a new family of monopods that combine new technologies in camera support. The XPRO Monopod+ will be available in both aluminum and carbon fibre, with carbon fibre models being considerably lighter. The monopods also have a new fluid base system that smooths out the panning movement. From our test on the show floor this seems much smoother than the previous ball mounting on the monopod foot. This can also be locked for rigid support. The ‘Quick Power Lock’ clips have also been re-vamped to provide a more secure hold on the sections, and also reduce slipping when using heavier camera and lens combinations. The Manfrotto XPRO Monopod+ family is available in a number of configurations, either without a head where the camera can be screwed directly onto the monopod with a spring loaded 1/4″ screw, or alternatively with a 2-way head or fluid video heads attached using the 3/8″ screw. You can purchase the monopods from October with prices ranging from €188 for the 3 stage aluminium monopod (no head), up to €296 for the 4 stage carbon fibre monopod.Read more
Once in a while I find myself struggeling with a very common piece of gear: the 15mm rod. Either they are too long or too short for the given task. The Italian company Lockcircle seems to be dedicated tackling this problem with their freshly announced Lockcircle RodRunner. The Lockcircle RodRunner system There you go! The concept of combining different rod lengths is not new but this new concept by Lockcircle looks very promising due to its compact size and well thought out kit approach. The company is known for their well-built products and this new product is no exception: Entirely mastercrafted with Genuine 5 Titanium, CNC machined and calibrated from billet titanium bars for a long lasting quality and toughness! Lockcircle RodRunner – starter kit With the starter kit you’ll get everything you need in order to build your own custom 15mm rod: 6 rod element (2 x 1″ | 2 x 2″ | 2 x 3 “) 4 rod joints 4 rod caps With a little bit of math you can easily create rods up to 11″ (if you ever need that) with 1″ increments. With this set you should be covered for every task you could imagine regarding rod support. Just one 2″ rod for attaching a handle? No problem. Another 5″ rod for an one-sided follow focus? No problem, either. If this still doesn’t cater for your needs, there’s more. Lockcircle offers an extension set for the DIY guy in you. Lockcircle RodRunner – extension set With that, you’ll get even more possibilities, especially when you need longer rods for your type of setup. The extension set contains: 6 rod elements (2 x 2″ | 4 x 3″) 4 rod joints I think this would be a great addition to my gear bag. No more rods flying around somewhere either being too long or too short (or untraceable). All you need is one well-ordered case with eveything in it in terms of rod support. If you want more, get a second case and you’re all set. Very nice! Pricing and availability Although there’s a little bit of time left as delivery of the RodRunner sytem is scheduled for June 25th, the starter kit and the extension set are listed in the company’s own online shop for $179 each (you have to scroll down a little bit). They are also available for pre-order through B&H. Learn all about the Lockcircle RodRunner system on their dedicated micro site.Read more
Atomos just announced a firmware update for their harddisk recorders that brings the long awaited Avid DNxHD codec support. People who have been using the Atomos Ninja 2 and Atomos Samurai field recorders were limited to the use of the Apple ProRes codec the devices support. Last year Atomos announced the addition of Avid DNxHD, but up until this point people have been waiting for the upgrade to happen. The new firmware is already available for download here: LINKRead more
We thank our sponsor B&H who has made cinema5D’s news coverage of IBC 2012 possible. Get your gear through B&H to support this platform: www.bhphotovideo.com Here’s another video with Arri at Philip Vischers corner who presented their new camera support lineup to us. As I’ve mentioned numerous times Arri gear really stands out and in this regard I also found their new designs very ergonomic and pleasing. You can get the Arri support gear at the Arri Pro Camera Accessories website: LINK Oh and here’s the C300 handgrip adapter they also brought out recently in case you didn’t know. Like!Read more
Yesterday I talked about the problems of using the Scarlet-X with a conventional HDSLR rig (or any other lightweight, handheld rig for that matter). On the left (click on it) you can see one possible solution that will be offered by rig manufacturer Letus. In a phone conversation with Letus president Hien Le Tu he made it clear to me that they had cracked their head open to get their design right. You might have heard about the “MCS line” by Letus which they have also developed in collaboration with acclaimed Hollywood (and HDSLR) shooter Shane Hurlbut asc. They’re offering packages for Canon HDSLRs, 1Dx, FS100, F3 and now also Epic and Scarlet-X.Read more
Daniel shows us 2 very affordable ikan follow focuses. The F3 is really a friction kind of device for the cameraman who wants the pulling all for himself. You can attach this to any lens and it will allow you to pull the focus with your “free” hand. The FGK is a conventional geared follow focus unit at a very competitive price. Both units are part of the ikan “Elements” system. As far as I can tell that’s a dslr camera support system with a lego kind of approach: You can create different setups out of many modular pieces. If you’re interested in this system you should check wether or not it can be easily collapsed and put together and let us know. Because in my experience rigs with many knobs and points of articulation can be difficult to work with albeit being versatile.Read more
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