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People who know me know how much of a fan I am of dynamic movement in my shots. Dutch tilts, tracking shots, crane shots – I love ‘em all when used in the right way and in the right place. Now it’s easy to plan for shots like these in a controlled environment such as a commercial or studio production but much more difficult (and not always desirable) when shooting overseas humanitarian work, disasters, and the like. In the past, it just hasn’t been feasible to lug around the equipment necessary to make solid, tracking dynamic shots and don’t even think about bringing the jib.
There’s been a wave of new products on the market designed specifically for the DSLR filmmaking crowd that helps mitigate the large, expensive gear you need to get great dynamic shots – but I haven’t seen anything that doesn’t add significantly to my equipment footprint – until now.
Enter Rig Wheels.
Years ago, Lance Lundstrom and I traveled around the globe together covering humanitarian projects for a large NGO. He was a great sound guy to have on a shoot. We lost track of each other for several years but then he resurfaced as the entrepreneur who came up with the idea of RigWheels. I have to admit that when I saw the first product, I didn’t see much in the way of application for me at the time. Well, RigWheels has grown significantly since then and has a number of cool new products and tools. For the first time, I can imagine using some of these products in the field – and I’m not concerned about having to bring extra cases of gear and extra weight along when I travel to far-off places. The basic rig wheel kit and mounting plate will easily disassemble and fit into my existing travel kit and, because of it’s versatile design, I can use almost any kind of pipe, PVC, or other similar material that can be found virtually anywhere. Suddenly, I have a new tool to add in my arsenal – something simple to use, easy and quick to set up, and something that will add a new dimension to my shooting.
In the coming weeks, I’m going to be testing various location setups using readily available materials and trying out combinations of my Cinevate rig with the idea of using this kit on my next trip. I’ll be posting how-to videos and, hopefully, give you food for thought on developing your own creative ideas for putting these tools to use in your own production arsenal. Stay tuned.