Every rig that I have in our Hurlbut Visuals HD DSLR rental division is Redrock Micro. Why, you ask, when there are so many rigs out there to choose from?
I met Brian Valente in March 2009 – right when this whole DSLR revolution was just getting started. Redrock was fabricating rigs to try to turn this still camera into something that could function as a motion capture device. In viewing all of their rigs and innovative inventions, I felt that Redrock would be the only rig that would hold up chasing the Navy SEALs through swamps, shooting out of helicopters, storming beaches on high speed zodiacs, or running on the top of an Ohio Class Nuclear Submarine in the middle of the Atlantic. The rigs were well thought out and beefy enough, while having a quick conversion quality that increased my speed.
Redrock designs give you the ability to create and build anything that you desire. They make you feel like kid in a candy shop. At HV rentals we are constantly reacting to the ever-changing HDSLR platform by re-configuring and re-tooling with Brian. Redrock is there every step of the way.
Let’s talk about customer service. Access to customer service is a huge advantage when owning your gear. Things break and bend. Accidents happen. Redrock has been all over customer service in a way that many other companies should stand back, take note, and copy their model. They are organized, personal, quick and attentive – four qualities that rock in my book.
The Elite Team members and I roll out with 2 hand-held styles and 1 studio style.
Man-Cam: This looks and feels like half Steadicam and half hand-held when operated correctly. You can start low on the ground and use your arms and legs to boom up and follow anyone or anything. I love this mode and it was my go to rig with the Navy SEALs. I was able to be up close and personal with this rig, much more than a shoulder mounted rig. It gave me an intimacy with the Platoon and a style of movement that you really have never seen before. This is revolutionary. All of these handheld and studio configurations change so quickly with Red Rock’s newly released Really Right Stuff quick release baseplate. Speed is of the essence when re-configuring your camera on the set and this has made if fast, and efficient.
Shoulder Hand-Held: This looks and feels like a 35mm motion picture shoulder mounted camera, along with the added weights that provide stability and counter balance required to balance a still lens or cinema style glass. You can set it up to be remote or manual focused. The Anton Bauer quick plate can be mounted to their counter balance weight system for ease and comfort, and also slides to the right to offset your on board monitor if necessary. I have been shooting a lot out of helicopters recently and this gave me a beautiful stable platform to move and react to whatever the Navy and the Marines threw at me.
Studio Mode: This mode is for mounting on dollies, cranes, cine-sliders, tripods, anywhere you have a head. It gives you the ability to counter balance cinema glass to help you operate as well as balance remote heads on cranes.
Remote Follow Focus System: This is something that will be out very soon and I feel will blow peoples minds. It is so smart and user friendly. Stay tuned.
Micro Tape: This unit goes hand in hand with your remote follow focus system and is also coming soon. Helping you gauge distances is not only essential for a seasoned focus puller but also for filmmakers learning this art, and it is an art. I am asked so many times how I deal with focus on the 5D. I let everyone know that my focus puller does it. He is the most important crew member on the set when it comes to bringing your creative vision to life. Through experience they have a zen like ability to gauge distances without using anything other than their eyes.
Micro EVF: This is the next part of the puzzle in completely turning your HDSLR into feeling and operating like a film camera. I cannot wait to see what Redrock has in store for us. All of the problems with on-board monitors, seeing focus on them, light contamination, framing and the weight will soon be eliminated. Stay tuned.
What rigs do you roll out with? I would love to hear your comments and suggestion to help all of us perfect our craft.