Published : 14th December 2004
Does anyone know of a mechanism used to film a coin rotating slowly? I think the mechanism has two sharp pins that press into the top and bottom of a coin, allowing it to be rotated in the front of a camera.
I need to film a coin doing this, and I think I saw a piece of equipment that would fit the bill, if I could only remember where...
By the way, I have to use real coins, so using large scale mock-ups is not an option.
Washington, DC - based DP
You can get an executive hobby toy that houses an electromagnet and is specifically designed to "float" coins and other metal objects. I believe they have to have some iron content or be otherwise affected by a magnet. I've seen these things at stores that specialize in desktop knick-knacks or kid's science projects. Some time on Google should turn something up.
>Does anyone know of a mechanism used to film a coin rotating >slowly? I think the mechanism has two sharp pins that press into the >top and bottom of a coin, allowing it to be rotated in the front of a >camera.
There are a few homemade rigs around used for shooting jewellery. The one I know of is from prop master Hugo Chimmelli in NY. Don't have his number on-hand but he is listed in the NYPG or from IATSE local 52.
It is a ring about 20" in diameter which can rotate on itself. There is another axis to rig onto which rotates separately from the ring. It is halfway around the ring so that you can get a two axis rotation. It's a little funky but works well. Say Hi to Hugo for me if you talk to him.
Hope this helps.
Hi there CML'ers,
I wasn't specific on my earlier post. I am filming a coin rotating on its vertical axis, this has to be a slow controlled turn, free of vibration. Someone told me of a mechanism that used to pins or needles that touched the coin on its top and bottom. The pins are then removed digitally during post, and I am not permitted to damage the coins (no soldering).
Washington, DC based DP
>Does anyone know of a mechanism used to film a coin rotating >slowly?
I attempted this same shot for a company that sold the state quarters with a map to set them in. I positioned two tapered, sharpened nails, onto a medium size C-clamp. A grinder is a nice tool for this. Then, with the smallest drill I could find, I drilled two small indents into a couple of the featured coins. With varying pressure on the C-clamps - a touch of graphite - I could get the coins to spins idly for a couple of seconds. The post folks were pleased. They easily keyed out the nails. If you lock the coin to the camera via gobo arm or whatever you could pan the camera up and down for a 'movement through the air effect'. (Of course, that could be keyed in.)
You'll need to use a diopter or a macro lens.
This is the cheap route. If you can find that mechanism that'll rotate the coins slowly... then you can obsess over how to light them.
Edwin Myers, Atlanta Dp