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Getting to grip with it by Mark Scotton, Cameragrip, B.Hague G etting the right equipment to ensure you add value to your production can be difficult, especially when there are so many products available that all seem to be offering different solutions. Creating moving shots can be done in a variety of ways by using products such as jibs, cranes, tracking dollies, sliders or stabilizers, the key is identifying which item is going to be best suited to your requirements and which version would be the best to purchase. Where to start? A good starting point for your camera kit is a sturdy tripod and it is worth investing in a decent quality tripod as it is not just used for mounting your camera. A tripod can be used as a base for mounting a slider tracking system, a camera jib, a DSLR camera rig or even a couple of cameras with a twin camera mount. Having a decent set of legs and a fluid head will give you greater options as you increase your kit so start as you mean to go on. Investing in a quality tripod from a renowned manufacturer such as Manfrotto, Libec or Vinten should give you a good starting point. Camera Sliders Camera sliders have made a massive impact into the tracking system market in recent years and are a great way of achieving a short tracking shot. Due to their compact size and the fact that they can be used in a few different ways makes them an ideal piece of kit. Two of the leading manufacturers of camera sliders are UK based companies and both the Glidetrack and Hague Camslide systems offer a variety of different lengths and options. Hague Camera Supports have also developed a motorised slider option that is compatible with the Glidetrack systems as well as their own Camslide range. The motorised system allows a much greater control when using a slider system, especially at slower speeds. Clamps & Brackets The amount of cameramen I speak to who constantly carry with them a range of clamps, brackets, spigots and adaptors is increasing and just investing in a few bits will really help ensure you do not get caught out on set. There is a dedicated “Clamps & Mounting Brackets” section on the Cameragrip website that has been described to me as an “Aladdin’s Cave” and offers an unbelievable range of different solutions. I would start by adding a couple of Manfrotto superclamps, some bowl mounts, a few spigots and adaptors and an adjustable arm to your cart and then tailor the more diverse clamps to specific requirements you may have. Remember these bits will serve you well for many years, covering several jobs, so a variety of different items that can be used together is very beneficial. Attaching cameras to a variety of strange positions can achieve some extraordinary shots or just simply help to capture a shot that is not possible with the camera handheld. 66 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY074FEB13.indd 66 11/02/2013 16:54