Monday, July 11, 2011


Tonight I'm gearing up to film a performance for my friend and long time collaborator, Jorge Rubiera and his band, Animal Tropical. They are making their NYC appearance tonight at The Cake Shop in the Lower East Side. Balancing a Paps Blue Ribbon budget and a desire not to spend any more money, I decided to pool together a bunch of loose parts lying around my apartment.

Tonight I created my first Frankencamera (insert thunderbolt and a screaming damsel sound effect here).

The core of the rig is a Zacuto Universal Baseplate, V3, and 12-inch rods ($530). Yep, it's an expensive baseplate, but it comes in very handy for my steadicam operating because it allows you to manipulate the side-side adjustments to help stabilize various cameras and setups. The camera is a Canon 7D ($1400), Canon 24-70mm lens ($1400) with a Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 2 ($375) and the follow focus is the IKAN Follow-Focus Cine-kit ($400). The light is a Bescor LED-70 ($70) and I'm using a small offset bracket from RedRock Micro as a handgrip.

Finally, after realizing that the rig was going to be too heavy for me to handhold the entire performance I decided to use a Manfrotto 244 Magic Arm ($100) and a standard super clamp as a shoulder brace and counter weight.

Sound will be recorded with a Zoom H4N mounted in the back of the room. A line will be either plugged directly into to the Zoom from the sound board or we will have to settle with capturing the ambient sound.

Pros: Perfectly fine to be used as a blunt weapon in the Lower East Side and it didn't cost a thing since I owned the stuff.

Cons: At $4275 Not cheap by any stretch of the imagine and definitely not appropriate for a paying client.

However, it good to know all those episodes of MacGyver didn't go to waste.

I look forward to posting the results of the shoot.


Chris Rank said...

if only there was a shot of you using said camera...

Jorge Rubiera said...

You forgot to mention the bolts in the neck, green skin, and the stitches holding together your various body parts. To operate the camera, one holds both arms out stifly in front of themselves.