The Extendable Mid Arm Swivel.
This is why I designed it.
I wanted to be able to quickly and safely place a camera very high and low while not having to extend my center post at all or use a super post.
Most operators understand or do it unconsciously that on most common sled designs when flying a 34 lb camera package (my common avg weight) there is roughly about a 3:1 ratio when telescoping your center posts to achieve a higher or lower camera lens position. Or another way to think about it is for every 3 inches of inner post extension you get about 1 inch higher or lower with the lens. We also understand the effects on performance a longer center post has on your operating which may include slower sled response, additional vibration it may induce and whether or not you have any center post left to extend to get those few inches you are looking for.
One can use an arm post to get a camera higher or lower by 3, 5, possibly 8” or more and I have done that over my career. I have also bent and saved the sled and camera more than once doing that. I feel once you start lifting a camera 5 plus inches on arm post especially tube style arm posts it is a matter of when it will bend or snap, not if. Working around crew and actors safety is number to me at all times not matter what I am doing. So I designed the Extendable Mid Arm Swivel to fill my needs a while ago. In addition we are not just about the ability to offset 4-6 inches, we are talking up to 12” lengths safely.
There are 3 interchangeable posts in the Extendable Mid Arm Swivel that will become the standard interchangeable post lengths. Currently I have 4 post lengths for the first batch and may continue with 4 on the second run. But for now I feel these 3 lengths will work nicely.
1) 2.8” for no extension like your standard mid arm block
2) 6” for high or low mode work.
3) 12” for high or low mode, full length not needed.
They are held in position and removed with a turn of a single 8-32 SHCS on each block.
Here is what it does for the operator and what I was demonstrating at the Stabilizer Expo. When changing the swivel posts half the time I would show the operator how to do it while still suited up with the arm attached to their body which is very quick. Other times I would just set the arm down so they could see what I was doing.
1) Without changing the arm post or center post length operators could quickly (15 sec- 1min) take and raise the camera in high mode by 1- 14” higher from its standard highest point. By doing this you have of course raised the lowest point the arm goes by that same amount.
2) Again without changing the arm post, flip your gimbal handle over and use a J bracket or change your center post length. Operators could quickly (15 sec- 1min) take and lower the camera in low mode by 3-4” without have to push down on the arm at all to achieve that lowest lens height you would achieve by pushing down on the arm.
I still can have the full range of boom up/down and no concerns of hitting the lower portion of the arm while walking/running. As an operator I never would allow myself to hit the lower portion of the arm during any shot previous to this device. You as an operator would only go as low as you could with the lens height to prevent this from happening unconsciously. Now you do even have to push down on the arm, you could of course if you wanted. Pushing down on any arm of course draws it closer to your body which also can inhibit your movements, not anymore.
Initially I was hoping for a lower mode lens height and had plenty of interchangeable post to do it. But your physical hand can only reach so low before you can’t touch the gimbal any longer.
3) There are no performance effects on the arm. It feels and performs exactly as your arm currently would without the swivel.
4) Currently it is made to fit the pro arm only, both versions.
There are two other live television steadicam operators that have been using my Extendable Mid Arm Swivel since the Academy Awards show this year. With a handful of other ops that all worked together at the same time on the show. The eye level to extreme high mode shot achieved by Tore L. was completely un-steadicam like in his ability to keep it booming up higher and higher to the end of his take he was asked to do.
To answer Robert’s statement, the live TV op’s are being paid extra for not only the Swivel but also a bump in operating rate. You would have to contact him for specifics, I seem to remember somewhere in the $200 a day for the swivel and $15. Per hr additional. The rest of us operators well?
This device is not for everyone like anything I design and manufacturer, it starts out selfishly for me. It would have never have been brought to market and have been able to keep it a low profile item for a long time. It was at the Academy Awards Technical Achievement ceremony that I was informed by Tore that he was positive Garrett Brown had observed it. I immediately filed for the Utility patent. After all Garrett knows what he is looking at and I can only assume that he could see what Tore was able achieve.
Garret’s observation is speculation on my part only, but I cannot take a chance. I don’t make arms, this is why I kept it under wraps. Any arm manufacture I feel would have immediately made this a standard design on the arm, of course patented the design and offered it as option or standard item.
That leads into questions I received at the expo, “if it will be available for other arms”?
I will have to wait and see if the market demand is there. The costs are over twice as expensive to design and build an asymmetrical Extendable Mid Arm Swivel like the model CP 2, 3 arms Vs arms that have a symmetrical design. I addition arm manufactures have not kept a standard size in this mid arm swivel section of the arm.
No extension.JPG 77.33KB
5 inch extension.JPG 76.31KB
5 inch ext. low.JPG 79KB
10 exten. low.JPG 80.12KB
10 extension.JPG 71.58KB
14 extension.JPG 67.79KB