William Adams of ShadowCast Studios has kindly allowed me to use an excerpt from a blog he did (with a link back) as it explains something far better than I! That is, building a camera rig from a base unit such as the SmallRig 3299 that I am hoping to get from Videoguys soon for my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro.
It provides a more stable platform for filming than can be achieved just by holding the camera directly in your hands, but it still allows some motion which is great for making more intense, dramatic action shots. It gives you a handheld look without excessive jittering and shaking that would distract the audience. When you want to be completely stable, a rig can easily be mounted to a tripod or other support.
We have been using a camera rig for years in many of our productions, and even though we now have motorized gimbals and steadicam systems, we still find our shoulder mounted camera rig very useful in many situations, such as shooting exciting action shots. It also provides a great deal of extra versatility that other supports can’t.
A rig is, in our opinion, the best support platform to start out with using, and one you will continue to find use for throughout your production career. We won’t cover every accessory you can mount on a rig, but lets look at some key elements of a camera rig that you should remember as you build your own!