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Looking for Mobile Phone Production Setup

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Cameron Dozier
Looking for Mobile Phone Production Setup
on Sep 18, 2018 at 6:10:10 pm

My boss asked me to put together a mobile phone production rig. She wants something to hold the phone, a little mixer for it and mount for the mixer, some sort of lav, preferably wireless, and a grip/mount to hold everything together and make it easy for her to carry around.

This is about the last thing on earth I would want to shoot with, but she wants me to put one together. I have been looking for a while and I can't find a simple solution for all those things. If someone could recommend a rig they have used or seen, I would really appreciate it.

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Blaise Douros
Re: Looking for Mobile Phone Production Setup
on Sep 18, 2018 at 8:08:53 pm

What you REALLY need to do here is get a new boss!

I kid...mostly.

What's the goal here? Livestreaming? If doing Facebook Live videos isn't the goal, shooting phone video presents a number of problems (like variable frame rates, auto exposure, etc) that can make working on the footage tough.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Looking for Mobile Phone Production Setup
on Sep 20, 2018 at 3:42:35 pm

For run-and-gun work that needs to be agile and flexible, covering short-duration events like a news, in situations where you don't want a tripod, I would start with a good monopod, one that has extendable feet and/or a step-plate that folds down (You step on the plate and with your two legs added-in, the monopod acts like a tripod, very stable and still.)

...maybe a Benro?

Add a phone holding cage like shoulderpod or one of thousands you can find in a google search...

For an audio mixer, maybe something like this:

or this:

and you attach it and the wireless receiver to the monopod with something like this:

or something based on the dimensions of the mixer.

Consider adding a shotgun to the iPhone mount as a second source or second option to a wireless... The Rode is a popular choice for this.

Consider an external backup battery pack too. Once you start using a lot of phone functions all at once, you can run out of juice pretty fast.

Add camera software to the phone, to better control the audio as well as iris and etc. Filmic Pro is popular.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Looking for Mobile Phone Production Setup
on Sep 20, 2018 at 3:51:44 pm

One additional thought; a Manfrotto Fig Rig would be a great way to hold all the bits together in an easy-to-hold system. I have a DIY version made from an old bike rim with slotted angle iron spot-welded across it, $5 but works functionally the same as the Manfrotto.

What I like about it for your application is that it makes hand-holding very stable and easy, almost like a Steadicam, and it has room for mixers, monitors, shotguns, wireless receivers, etc. My DIY version has no plate to make it able to attach to a tripod, it's strictly for hand-held only.

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Bill Davis
Re: Looking for Mobile Phone Production Setup
on Oct 1, 2018 at 9:07:02 pm

Here's my iPhone X field video quick capture rig.

The blue-tipped units are a pair of Sennheiser AVX wireless audio receivers.

Saramonic makes the Lightning connector to XLR audio mixer/adaptor they plug directly into and provides for real-time headphone audio monitoring.

The system mounts on a Fotodiox GoTough Grip unit I grabbed on Amazon. It has a quick release plate on the bottom for tripod use.

Filmic Pro let you target the lightning port for audio capture - so I get two channels of XLR audio input directly into the iPhone X.

Creator of XinTwo -
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.

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Mike Cohen
Re: Looking for Mobile Phone Production Setup
on Oct 2, 2018 at 4:17:10 pm

I would suggest spending the same money on a video camera. This has a few advantages:

You can have multiple batteries so you can shoot longer.

Removable storage. Phones fill up quickly shooting HD video

XLR inputs for audio with level controls and phantom power - no need for an external mixer

Headphone jack - I hear some phones are eliminating these

Built in tripod mount socket

Hand grip

If it must be a phone, the other responses give some great suggestions, but you can spend money to make a phone into a video camera, or just start with a video camera.

Good luck.


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