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Tall tripods

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Jason Newstedt
Tall tripods
on Apr 1, 2015 at 9:33:03 pm

I need to shoot footage that requires my camera to be above the average person's height so people don't pass in front of it when I'm shooting. Most of the video tripods I've seen are around 60" or so max height. What are some pro tips or accessories to use to get my camera higher up?
And please don't say to put my expensive camera & tripod on some chairs! :)

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Mads Nybo Jørgensen
Re: Tall tripods
on Apr 2, 2015 at 12:18:30 pm

Hey Jason,

[Jason Newstedt] "please don't say to put my expensive camera & tripod on some chairs!"

I am tempted :-)

There are a reason for why tripod's don't reach above a certain height, which I am guessing is to do with the weight of the legs -v- that of them not breaking, and your camera falling to the ground. Doing a quick search, the highest that I've found is 67" from Vinten.

However, of quick solutions, that is dependent on the environment you are shooting in:
1) ENG Dolly - easy to transport and may buy you that extra inch.
2) Pop-up stage (modular and transportable - might not be stable enough for operator.
3) Jib arm/crane - will need space + maybe second operator.
4) Scaffolding platform.

Check with your insurance before taking either option 2, 3 and/or 4 out on the road...

The cheaper version of the above is to seek out the high ground to film from, or strategically place your production staff so people can't walk in front of the camera.

All the Best

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid

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Rick Foxx
Re: Tall tripods
on Apr 2, 2015 at 4:35:05 pm

I have two of these and they are great as long as you don't need to move around. With the center column, you can get up to almost 90", which is more than enough to get you over the crowds.

2013 MacPro 6 core 3.5 gHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2012 rMacBook Pro, Areca ARC-8050, Final Cut Studio 3, Final Cut X, Adobe Creative Cloud, Logic X

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Bill Davis
Re: Tall tripods
on Apr 3, 2015 at 3:21:57 pm

The cadillac solution is a device called a Spyder Pod.

It's a dedicated shooting platform that separates the tripod from the operator stand and because it's built directly for this purpose, it negates the issue of setting up on a platform and having some knucklehead sit down on your shooting platform and shaking up your shot.

The biggest drawback of the "extra tall tripod" is that it puts the camera and camera controls out of reach. So you end up operating while standing on a chair. Which is lame.

The second best solution (after the spyder pod) is to remote everything about the camera (pan, tilt, focus, etc) so that the camera is separate from it's controls. Panasonic and others make camera systems that do this, but they're expensive.

Sorry, but it's not as easy as it seems at first glance. Not if you want stability AND control.

Good luck.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Tall tripods
on Jun 15, 2015 at 4:03:26 pm

Our center column Sachtler tripods get up over 6 feet, I often use them in this "up periscope!" mode in large crowds.

To get higher, I pack a hi-hat with c-clamps and an aluminum stepladder.

Or, you can make a Pole Cam from pvc pipe and a gopro.

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