Unlock cinematic movements with these popular grip rigs

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Let your inner scorsese out with these cinematic Grab maneuvers …

One popular term that gets tossed around quite a bit in film circles (and yes, any Facebook movie discussion) is the word cinematic.

Merriam-Webster.com defines “cinematic” as “from, in relation to, suggestive or suitable for motion pictures or the filming of motion pictures”, while Martin Scorsese seems to define it primarily as anything but Marvel films …

But what does the term actually mean for filmmakers and video professionals these days? I think when people say “cinematic” they mean “high quality” or maybe something like “what we see in big box office movies”.

These cinematic elements are mostly production related as well, with most of these great cinematic examples having to do with great cinematography.

So, for everyone who wants to do more of their recordings or projects cinematic, is one of the best ways to add movement. And we’re not just talking about simple and simple camera movements like pans or tilts, but also more complex and sophisticated movements that require different rigs and setups.

Let’s take a look at these different grip rigs, from tripods to dollys to car mounts and techno cranes, and see how they can be the secret to cinematic movement in your movies and videos.

The most cinematic grip rigs

As you can see in more detail in the video above from In the deep cine, Movement has long been one of the best ways to make a shot or scene more dynamic, exciting, and memorable.

In the earliest days, a movie camera couldn’t even move. In the course of technological advances, simple panning and tilting have given way to more advanced techniques such as zooms and dollies.

Filmmakers have since unlocked all kinds of movements and controls, but as the sophistication of footage and movement increases, so does the need for more advanced rigs and setups.

Let’s take a quick look at some of these best grip rigs for adding cinematic movement.

Fluid tripod head

Credit: In the deep cine

Tripods with fluid head

The first type of grip rig the video discusses is a pretty standard one. Fluid head stands can be found on most professional film and video sets as these have become the most popular tripod shape in recent years.

As the name suggests, these “fluid” head stands are ideal for a variety of types of movement. You can pan or tilt with ease as these tripods are very responsive and very customizable.

These tripods come with a variety of leg attachments as the video shows, as well as numerous options for what you can do with the fluid head tripod when combined with other types of rigs (more on this below).

I like how in the video we get a shoutout for a specific brand and even a model as an industry standard. And it’s true that O’Connor 2575D is one of the best options out there and can be found on most high quality production kits.

Transport trolley

Credit: In the deep cine

Dolls

Tripods are pretty standard, however, and I would argue that you don’t really bother with “grip rigs” until we move on to dollys and the like here. Simply put, the dolly movement will look absolutely cinematic to most viewers.

If you look at cinema history, dolly recordings have long been the favorites of fans and audiences as filmmakers have consistently found new and creative ways to use the gentle and almost limitless movements of the dollys.

In the video we get a basic breakdown of what dollies are and how they work. In fact, they are quite heavy and unwieldy. And sometimes laying tracks can be a chore, both in terms of personnel and hours of work.

The results speak for themselves, however, and if you have the budget, invest in (or, more likely, rent) options like these Chapman Leonard Super PeeWee II will help make your projects look pretty … cinematic.

TechnoCrane

Credit: In the deep cine

Technocranes

Technocranes are taking a big step up from dollys. These gigantic contraptions are most likely to be found in large blockbusters and action movie sets.

With a techno crane you really unlock all axis movements, as almost every type of shot you can dream of is pretty much possible. However, as the video shows, these things aren’t cheap.

To rent a techno crane you have to pay tens of thousands of dollars in rental fees and tons of other expenses as you have to rent a truck and have a massive crew to handle all of the features, controls and safety precautions.

However, if you are in the market, the video recommends the SuperTechno 30 which can stretch up to 22 feet and unlock all kinds of cinematic movement and controls.

Hostess tray

Credit: In the deep cine

Hostess trays

Finally, the video ends up using one of the many car mount options available to filmmakers these days: the hostess tray. Not sure why this is the last as it pales in comparison to the techno cranes, but car mounts are indeed a huge part of film production using Grip Rig.

If you’ve ever seen a student film that the filmmakers didn’t quite figure out how to fit a camera into their car, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

A hostess tray is a great option for pretty much any type of car shot or scene. It’s not too difficult to set up and manage, even considering the complexity of rigs.

The hostess tray is also unique in that it attaches to both the bottom and the side of the car and when properly assembled it is one of the safest options on the market.

It also has its own unique quirks in that it picks up the same bumps and vibrations as your car actually does, which can help create authenticity – but with the risk of bumps.

The video recommends hostess trays of both Matthews studio equipment or Griptech, but if you’re really into cinematic car mounts, there are many options out there.

But what do you think Is movement key to making your projects more cinematic? Or are there any other techniques or grippy figs that you prefer?

Let us know in the comments below!

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