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Body Mount Rig

Published : 5th july 2004


Hey all,

I'm looking to build a body mounted camera rig that faces towards the actor as he or she moves a la 'Pi', for an unusual perspective on a music video shoot.

My main problem at the moment is what kind of vest would be best to buy to attach the rig onto, something cheap obviously (!) but also something that is capable of supporting the aluminium rig while being relatively unobtrusive to the camera's eye around the actors shoulders and chest etc.

It would need to support small three chip DV, Super 8, 16mm cameras. if anyone has any suggestions or has used or built a similar rig I would appreciate the help.

Sincerely

Ross Mc Donnell



>I'm looking to build a body mounted camera rig that faces towards the >actor as he or she moves a la 'Pi', for an unusual perspective on a >music video shoot.

Ross :

I have been doing some research along those lines and I have decided not to reinvent the wheel.

You don't say where you are from, but if you are in North America, try : http://www.doggicam.com/index.html and have a look at their body mount.

I have worked with it in the past and found it very easy to rig. As with any vest mount, your angles are limited, but overall it's fairly well thought out. Best of luck with your design.

Sincerely,

John Sheeren
Operator/1st. Assistant
Houston, Texas



A rather remarkable grip friend of mine in LA has built a variety of things like this on limited budgets, including one that allows the camera to track around the wearer radially.

I recommend that you give him a call or and see what he has going or what he could offer as advice...his name is Gonzo aka David Gonzales and he is reachable at 818 968-4404 (cell)

Mark Weingartner



Walter Klassen Designs has also come up with a very versatile rig. It's based on hid back-mounted Steadicam vest design but is greatly slimmed down.

The camera mounts to a rod that extends out from between the subjects legs (Is that a camera or are you just glad to see me?).

The vest can be hidden under clothes and is very small & lightweight--good for a video camera like yours. Check out his website.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Ferraflex - also has a body mount system made for lightweight cameras

www.ferraflexminicam.com

Paul Magee
Steadicam owner/op
Philadelphia, PA



>I'm looking to build a body mounted camera rig that faces towards the >actor as he or she moves a la 'Pi', for an unusual perspective on a >music video shoot.

On a short film where the director wanted the same look (but didn't have the money to rent a true rig like a doggicam) I came up with a poor man's process that ended up working very well.

The talent wore a climbing harness (not a full body one, but a waist down version) to which I attached two C-stand long arms on either side. At the other end of the long arms I added additional grip head which clamped onto the handheld rods of an SR3. Obviously this rig won't take any weight, but I stood right in front of the talent (facing them) supporting the camera and walking where he did, all the while monitoring on a clamshell that my AC held in front of me.

The whole thing worked quite well once we asked the actor to try and drive all his movements from his hips where we were attached. The main shortcoming of the rig is that the actor has to deal with more in front of him/her than just a camera, which means they have a little less freedom. Its also tougher to maintain proper horizon, though I think if I were to do this again I could minimize the problem. The advantages are simple; its fast, cheap, and adaptable to whatever camera you can support.

To see the film, like to

http://www.dirtypicturesinc.com/video/TIF_bigger.html

The body mount sequence comes about a minute or so into the 5 minute short.

It jump cuts through a scene where the actor walks through a deli.

Good luck to you.

Rob Barocci
DP - NYC