In this final chapter let’s take a look at some important systems, rigs and tools.
A teleprompter is a device with a beamsplitter mirror that reflects text off a page or monitor to a person facing the camera directly:
The camera records the talent, but the talent does not see the lens. He or she sees the printed material reflected off the beamsplitter mirror. This gives the impression that the talent isn’t reading off a script, but speaking from memory or even impromptu.
A cheap teleprompter can be constructed with a beamsplitter mirror and a tablet:
Less than $2,000
EyeDirect Focusing Device
Here’s a video from EyeDirect explaining their unique system:
More than $2,000
ProLine Studio-19 Teleprompter
The ProLine version includes free prompting software and can be read up to 27 feet away.
Don’t let the name throw you off. You’ve probably seen footage from it a million times, and by now it’s probably a cliche.
A SnorriCam, chest cam or body cam is a rig connected to the body of the talent in such a way that the camera faces him or her directly. When the talent moves, his or her position relative to the camera remains constant, while the background moves.
Here’s a video of how it works:
Such rigs are usually custom made for specific shots, using arms and rods from existing rig setups we’ve covered already. When the weight of the camera is large, vests and belts support the rig and spine.
Here’s a tough lightmeter that’ll last you a lifetime:
Want a free light meter? Check out the Free Exposure Meter.
Neck and Wrist Straps
It’ll be a rare person who loves to hang a video camera of his or her neck. For anyone who enjoys having dead weight hanging from their necks, a good neck strap is a must.
If you’re planning on shooting your camera still photography style, a great wrist strap is a safety net as well as some relief from wrist fatigue.
Zeiss knows how to make lenses, and I’m sure they know best when it comes to cleaning them, too!
We’re not usually in a sensitive environment, and circuitry is enclosed within a protective shell. But there are occasions when you might need to open computer equipment for troubleshooting, or maybe you’re just using a device you soldered together yourself!
For a simple strap:
To place gear on the ground:
A demagnetized toolkit:
We’re done! I will be making minor changes or corrections to this guide when possible. If there are major additions, you’ll find it in the Addendum, which is sort of the 30th chapter in this guide.
We started with a camera body. We added components to it in a methodical fashion, until we had our workflow figured out. Then, we put the tools together to form a rig, our very own. Finally we learned how to rig up for special applications and how to pack and ship our gear.
This ends the comprehensive guide to rigging ANY camera. We did it all: DSLRs, Prosumer cameras, modular cameras and high-end cinema cameras. You now know everything you need to get started.
Now, go forth and produce something brilliant. See you in the field.