Walking into manufacturing with a Dedleg


Paul Zanders TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Paul Zanders
Issue 98 - February 2015

I've been a freelance recordist since 1999. I've been lucky enough to be busy, working with many crews on some major shows like The Apprentice, Masterchef, X Factor, Top Gear, and many documentaries and corporate videos. I've worked with some great cameramen and some fantastic sound recordists. I enjoy what I do very much but for me and fellow recordists there has always been one big problem in that we have to wear the equipment we use.

We wear headphones, we wear a recorder, we wear a mixer, we wear radio mics and batteries and this stuff gets heavy!

We operate out of a bag that carries all this equipment in front of us so that we can mix various inputs and monitor the results on headphones. After you've been wearing this for 10 hours you get, unsurprisingly, backache. It's unpleasant, it's distracting and, as hard as you may try, you can't ignore it. Long days end up being a test of your stamina as well as your skill as a recordist.
I was working on a multicamera show, with just me as the recordist. I was running 6 radio mics, radio links to cameras and had a very full heavy sound bag. I couldn't get a boom mic in close enough because a couple of the cameras were on wide shots so the whole show was recorded on radio mics. I found myself standing in one spot for long periods wearing all this stuff and I ended up with a bad back. We had a week's break halfway through and my back was still aching badly so I decided to sit down and think of a solution. I came up with Dedleg and spent the next 6 months trying to find someone to make it.

Eventually I found the Manufacturing Advisory Service, or MAS, a service provided by the Government that is very much into promoting manufacturing in the UK.

Very much into new ideas, they have links with factories and designers all over the country. I had a couple of interviews. They didn't really know the industry but it seemed obvious, if you've got a heavy bag and you're standing still, why not have some sort of support? They understood, and I think because I was so serious about doing it they decided to help me. They offered me a grant, and put me in contact with Burrell Innovation, a design company which could design gear for manufacture.

Burrell completely got the idea. I explained the budget I had in mind, how the product should work, and how I wanted it to look. They produced drawings, put forward suggestions, then we settled on a final design which would work for manufacture as well as for a practical product.

MAS puts you in touch with people who they think can help you. You go to them and they give you a quote for what they think it will cost to do the drawings. You go back to MAS with the quote, and they will make a decision as to whether and how much they can help with a grant towards that cost. It's not the full cost, it's a percentage. You get three grants a year, decreasing in percentage.

Dedleg might never have happened without this help. Burrell Innovation and MAS have both been terrific in this. When I was looking earlier on line and visiting engineering companies I felt that they were only interested in manufacturing the product, and not really interested in the proper design.

Burrell produced the design and made a mock up of it. With that and the drawings they'd done I went to a major television industry manufacturer and asked them if they were interested in the idea. They seemed keen, but took a long time to reply, delaying me by almost three months, and eventually said, because they were busy, they couldn't look at it until 2015. I didn't want anyone else getting there first, so I decided to go for it myself.

I had five prototypes made. The monopod was aluminium, and heavier than I had wanted. I decided to upgrade to carbon fibre, so the price I had in mind at the start had to go up slightly.

I talked to the designers about it, and I also talked to Steffan Hewitt at Polecam Systems. He was very helpful, and put me in touch with carbon fibre manufacturers. They already had the tooling for the size of poles I needed, which made it cheaper. So now I had reduced the weight of Dedleg, making it a better product.

I had taken the first drawings to an IP attorney and applied for a UK patent. I've got a registered design in Europe and the US, and a patent pending in the UK.

I'm now in preparation for BVE. I did a press release which was well picked up. We've got some journalists coming to see the product, and some overseas distributors. A lot of sound recordists are coming.

Ever since I thought up Dedleg in August 2013, a week hasn't gone by when I didn't wish that I had one already. I use it a lot now and I love it. I used it on Masterchef a few weeks ago. Four recordists, including me, trialled it throughout the day. We used it in and around a restaurant, each one of us was recording 8 tracks with heavy bags, and at the end of the day, none of us had back ache. Problem solved.

www.dedleg.uk.com


Tags: iss098 | dedleg designs | sound recordist | support | production design | product manufacturing | Paul Zanders
Contributing Author Paul Zanders

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • PHABRIX QXIP support for SMPTE 2110

    PHABRIX QXIP support for SMPTE 2110

  • PAM-IP and ST-2110 support from TSL at NAB 2018

    PAM-IP and ST-2110 support from TSL at NAB 2018

  • 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos support by Halo from Nugen Audio at NAB 2017

    7.1.2 Dolby Atmos support by Halo from Nugen Audio at NAB 2017

  • Virtual and Augmented Reality support with the Arrow Fx7 from Miller at NAB 2017

    Virtual and Augmented Reality support with the Arrow Fx7 from Miller at NAB 2017

  • Miller Camera Support at IBC 2016

    Miller Camera Support at IBC 2016

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • Cineline Fluid Head from Miller Camera Support at NAB 2014

    Cineline Fluid Head from Miller Camera Support at NAB 2014

  • Hague Camera Supports at ProVideo2011

    Hague Camera Supports at ProVideo2011

  • Skyline 90 from Miller at NAB 2017

    Skyline 90 from Miller at NAB 2017

  • Combo Live 55 Pedestal from Miller at NAB 2017

    Combo Live 55 Pedestal from Miller at NAB 2017

  • Libec HFMP Monopod at BVE 2017

    Libec HFMP Monopod at BVE 2017

  • Miller Cineline tripods at IBC 2015

    Miller Cineline tripods at IBC 2015

  • Miller Compass tripods at IBC 2015

    Miller Compass tripods at IBC 2015

  • Air Alloy Tripod System from Miller Fluid Heads at IBC 2014

    Air Alloy Tripod System from Miller Fluid Heads at IBC 2014

  • CueScript EMC prompter and control surface at IBC 2014

    CueScript EMC prompter and control surface at IBC 2014

  • Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

    Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

  • Libec ALLEX slider system at NAB 2014

    Libec ALLEX slider system at NAB 2014

  • Camdec at BVE 2014

    Camdec at BVE 2014

  • Ianiro on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

    Ianiro on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

  • Polecam at BVE North 2012

    Polecam at BVE North 2012

  • Vinten at NAB 2012

    Vinten at NAB 2012

  • Polecam at NAB 2012

    Polecam at NAB 2012

  • Sachtler at BVE 2012

    Sachtler at BVE 2012

  • Thear Technology Limited at BVE 2012

    Thear Technology Limited at BVE 2012

  • Sachtler at IBC2011

    Sachtler at IBC2011

  • Polecam at IBC2011

    Polecam at IBC2011


Articles
Peli Air 1507 Review
Phil Vinter Originally named after a bird that carries its precious cargo through the skies, it was, perhaps, only a matter of time before Peli released its Air range.
Tags: iss133 | peli | peli air 1507 | trekpak | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read or download PDF
OB999 Accelerates Hill Climb Broadcast
Nick Collier Over the last century, The Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb has been attempted by some of the world’s most accomplished racing drivers striving to be the fastest up the 1,000 yard, 1 in 6 gradient track.
Tags: iss133 | ob999 | blackmagic | atem | multicam | videohub | cleanswitch | premiere pro | hyperdeck | Nick Collier
Contributing Author Nick Collier Click to read or download PDF
Ruth Matos Interview - A Career Unfolds
Ruth Matos We first met Ruth when we employed her as a student to help with our live studio at BVE in 2013. We were struck by her determination, passion and ‘I’ll do anything to help’ attitude. We became friends of Facebook and have since seen her career in the industry develop and unfold. We thought it was about time to catch up and share her inspiring story of where she is now, how she got there and the challenges she has faced along the way.
Tags: iss133 | interview | filmming | career | education | Ruth Matos
Contributing Author Ruth Matos Click to read or download PDF
The Pace of Change
Dick Hobbs - new

The youngest human to stand on the moon (so far) was Charles Moss, the lunar module pilot of Apollo 16. Charlie had a wonderful claim: his father witnessed the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, and lived to see his son on the moon.

Does anything capture the speed of technological advance better than that? The whole of the history of powered flight in one lifetime.

Tags: iss133 | state of the nation | st2110 | st2110-10 | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
Taking on a self employed placement year
Joshua Round The idea of being self-employed or freelancing has always been somewhat terrifying for me. There is a level of uncertainty and responsibility that comes with the freedom of being self-employed, the likes of which makes me wonder why I chose to give it a go for my placement year as part of my university course - (BSc) Television and Broadcasting.
Tags: iss133 | placement year | university | student | education | portsmouth | Joshua Round
Contributing Author Joshua Round Click to read or download PDF