Lightweight Hothead

Hi all,

Looking for recommendations for a remote pan/tilt head – not under slung -- to build into a car mount. Doesn't need to be wireless (we're running power etc up to the mount anyway), but ideally wouldn't be huge or terribly expensive. We'll be mounting a minimally-built red, probably around 15 lbs.

Realistically, we're probably looking at the low end, but any input is welcome....

Any thoughts?


Ryan Damm
DP, Virtual Active
San Francisco, CA

You might want to look into the Talon Head by Ravensclaw

I think it is sold through Verizoom the guys who designed and built it come from motion control with the result that the bearings and gearing and motors etc are much more likely to be able to withstand the loading of a moving vehicle than some of the heads that are designed for light-weight jib arms.

I would suggest that you get in touch with the company directly or with pacific Motion Control in Lost Angeles to see about trying one out or finding out who has one in the bay area and give it a whirl it is avail with wheels and joystick - for vehicle work, you might find joystick works well (as it does in helicopter work)compared to wheels... or maybe set yourself up with both.... sort of situational not sure if you want to rent or buy

If you are renting (and maybe they sell them too)there is another way cool head that was really designed with this sort of thing in mind....

It was designed and build by George Nolan and is available through Geo Film Group in Van Nuys, ca - they have a website I think it is called the SL Cinehead or something like that... you can find it on their website.
George has made all sorts of specialized bits for exactly this sort of
application - remote head on a car mount.... very cool stuff

There are others that are probably way cool... these are two that I can attest to in terms of robustness and design because I have worked and played with both.

The guys who have built them are all friends of mine, but if I didn’t
think these were adequate solutions, I would not be mentioning them.

Mark H. Weingartner
LA-based VFX DP/Supervisor

>> You might want to look into the Talon Head by Ravensclaw

Hi Mark (and CML),

Thanks for the lead -- the Talon looks way, way cool -- unfortunately, it's bigger, better, and more expensive than we need. As a confession, we don't need the head to be all that good; we're doing some custom post-stabilization that's pretty forgiving. Not for the purists, I suppose, but definitely good enough for what we're trying to do.

I'm currently considering getting something not intended for cinema work (because our process is so forgiving), and trying like heck to talk myself out of building it myself....


Ryan Damm
DP, Virtual Active
San Francisco
Cell: 650-483-1541

Hi Ryan,

I'm not sure about specific advice on this, but is it possible to rig a head like the ones that come with Jimmy Jibs or Cam Mates? Those don't seem to be so expensive.


Graham Futerfas
Director of Photography
Los Angeles, CA -- Currently prepping in Dallas, TX

Check out the Doggicam systems. Created by a car shooter Gary Thieltges. I have not used but seen it on many occasions.

Karl Kresser
Cine Gear Expo
Los Angeles

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