Camera operating can be tricky in its own right, but when it comes to being a one man band, where you’re in charge of both camera and audio – then things can get pretty difficult.
With the DSLR craze, it can seem at times ridiculous to build out a full-scale camera rig. In some instances, doing so can defeat the purpose of shooting with these cameras, especially if you’re going guerilla. Obviously, if you don’t have permits and are stealing shots, you wouldn’t want to draw attention to yourself with one of these DSLR cages. However, in a conventional shoot, DSLR cages can be extremely helplful.
What is most important in having a DSLR cage?
The main thing is that it numerous 1/4 – 20 threaded ports on the cage. This works well in adding your gear to the cage. What is the best way to do that? It’s with a noga arm or a friction arm. The common size is 7” and 11”. They work very well with monitors and sound recorders – like the Zoom H4N and Tascam DR100.
The reason for adding the gear to the cage is the most important factor – You want to be able to see what the camera is shooting, what your sound levels are and your remaining battery life, without having to move and look in any other direction. Having this information available is important because if things get hectic and you start to run and gun during the shoot, it is easy to forget things – like hitting record on your sound recorder!
Remember – it can be the out of sight, out of mind mentality. You want to have a mental checklist before the scene plays out. Make sure everything is up and running. That’s why having everything in front of you is the best way to go.
All of this may seem simple now, but in the field and on set, it can be a different story. Your goal is prepare for hiccups and with a DSLR cage and more importantly, having all of your gear visible all at once is a real life saver.
Simple I know, but it’s a major thing to remember.
You can check out more of Joseph Ort’s Filmmaking Stuff at Shadowmind Productions