My current equipment wish list…

Here at “Production Central” as I’m now starting to call my company, I am getting excited about completing the current stage of my kit. I’ve come to understand that the kit is never finished. Newer, better equipment is always coming out. There’s a great market on Craigslist for used gear. So, once you buy in, your upgrade costs are much lower than the price of admission.

First off, I’m looking to get a jib. I’ve been doing tons of research and I’m currently eyeing this guy, the Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler.

It looks like a brilliant design and a great price. I’m hoping there will be some reviews soon. I could see traveling with this even on some upcoming overseas news shoots!

Next up is a new slider. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting either a Kessler Stealth Slider or the Philip Bloom Edition Slider. There’s also the Edelkrone SliderPlus. They all look amazing, but the prices on these are just too high.

So this led me to eye the Varavon Lite 800 along with a Motorroid. Specifically, the OliviaTECH edition,which is currently on pre-sale for $580 with shipping. is having a Varavon special today (3/18) only for a total of $540.

It’s an investment that will increase the production value of my shoots. I am currently pitching jobs to a couple of larger companies and institutions. This gear will go a long way to making their videos look great.

New Redrock Micro Shoulder Pad and Accessories Now Available

Redrock Micro Shoulder Pad Annoucement

This is something I’m very excited about. Redrock Micro has announced the availability of it’s new shoulder pad and rig accessories.

I had the opportunity to try new shoulder pad out at Redrock’s booth at DV Expo in Pasadena a few months ago. I was initially very impressed.

Admittedly, I am a bit obsessed with my straight DSLR rig. There’s no one way and no perfect way to mount all the items you need to shoot for a day when using a DSLR camera.

Homemade Straight Shoulder Rig

One of the biggest problems I have encountered in mounting all these items to rails is the sheer weight. If you put 7 or 8 lbs in front of you, then you need to counter it with the appropriate amount of weight behind you. My rig comes in at about 15 lbs. That’s a lot heavier than the weight of a teeny tiny camera!

Basically, what many of us shooters are trying to do when building a rig is to replicate the ENG camera shooting experience while capturing that amazing cinematic DSLR look. Aaaand we are also trying to save a buck or two in the process.

I have tried 3 different shoulder pads. The two main issues I’ve had with these pads are that they cause shoulder pain and they lack the ability to reposition the camera horizontally. They don’t mold to the shape of your shoulder. So, it’s hard to get comfortable and even harder to get a level picture. I end up contorting my body to try to get a level image and at the end of the day, my back and body are tweaked.

I also like the idea behind Redrock’s microBalance Plus Cheeseplate because of the ability to slide the cheeseplate and counterweight left and right. Having lots of arm accessories on the left and right of the rig causes strange balance issues. My Roland R26 with XLR cables is mounted on the right and can cause the rig to lean to the right. My hope is that this will balance the rig so that it sits flat on my shoulder when combined with the new shoulder pad.

I have been shooting more news and docu-style these days. So, I’m looking to perfecting that all-in-one ENG camera experience, while maintaining the power of DSLR shooting. I’m going to test the Redrock Micro shoulder pad soon and will let you all know what my findings are.

The tension is killing me.

I’m impatiently waiting to open these boxes. Got this GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition and accessories from the local Best Buy by sheer luck. They just happened to get a shipment in and I just happened to be there!

The reason I’m holding off opening them is because I am waiting to find out if I’ll be going overseas for a news shoot next month. I plan on using the GoPro as a B-Cam for additional b-roll and interviews. Really curious to see how the scaling will look. In addition, I got a Steadicam Smoothee, for moving shots.

Will all these wonderful toys get opened? Or sold on the open Craigslist market if I don’t get a the job to cover the cost? Tune in for details! Should know in the next week or so. Hoping the fun begins soon!