Creative Communities of the World Forums

The peer to peer support community for media production professionals.

Forums Cinematography Overhead Camera Mount

  • Overhead Camera Mount

     Todd Terry updated 5 years, 3 months ago 2 Members · 26 Posts
  • Daniel Schultz

    December 15, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Hi,

    I’ve been looking for a way to solidly mount a camera (DLSR, C100) overhead to get bird’s eye angle that is popular on a lot of these Tasty-style videos recipe videos.
    Example link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me3t6bM7cEg

    I’m not afraid to cobble grip pieces together or use parts from home depot if need be. The main thing is I want it to be solid, and I’d like to be able to mount my fluid head on it. It doesn’t really need to be portable since I’m using it in my home studio only. And raising the tripod all the way doesn’t get the same angle.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks very much,

    Dan S.

    Some contents or functionalities here are not available due to your cookie preferences!

    This happens because the functionality/content marked as “Google Youtube” uses cookies that you choosed to keep disabled. In order to view this content or use this functionality, please enable cookies: click here to open your cookie preferences.

  • Todd Terry

    December 15, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Should be easy enough to mount a beam of some kind (maybe just a 2×4 stud) at the right height across the area… either supported by large stands, or even homemade supports since it is semi-permanent in a home studio (i.e., pipes set in concrete buckets, etc.). Depending on the size of the room and the permanence needed it could even be attached to the walls or dropped down from the ceiling.

    In this beam drill an appropriate hole (either 1/4″ or 3/8″ depending on your head) and use a bolt to mount your head horizontally.

    There are scads of ways to do this, but this is one easy “Home Depot way”… shouldn’t be too hard, especially with such lightweight cameras.

    Let us know what you come up with.

    T2

    __________________________________
    Todd Terry
    Creative Director
    Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
    fantasticplastic.com

  • Todd Terry

    December 15, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    I should add that if this camera isn’t dedicated solely to this shot and it is needed for other shots too (and you don’t want to do a lot of mounting and re-mounting), you can always go the old cooking-school route of suspending an angled mirror above the shooting area instead, and shooting into that.

    A front-surface mirror is ideal, but you can probably get away with a regular one. And obviously you will have to flip the image in post to correctly re-orient it, but it frees up the camera.

    T2

    __________________________________
    Todd Terry
    Creative Director
    Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
    fantasticplastic.com

  • Daniel Schultz

    December 16, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Many Thanks, Todd!!!!

    Any thoughts on ways to mount the mirror (do love that idea, so simple)?
    Types of clamps, etc. Would you use c-stands? Any way I can get away with lightweight aluminum light stands (I own already, and don’t have any c-stands). Maybe I need to bite the bullet and get a c-stand or two.

  • Daniel Schultz

    December 16, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Oh…and I thought of one more question: Any other info leads about the mirror? Metal? Glass? Any particular type that would be easy for mounting? Thanks again!!!!

  • Todd Terry

    December 16, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Google “front surface mirror” and you’ll find a lot of resources and vendors.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t use stands… I’d just hang it from the ceiling or grid or whatever you have. That will be a lot more stable and keep valuable floor space clear. Buy or build a wooden frame for the mirror, one trip to Lowes or Home Depot to get some various hardware (hooks, wire, etc.), and you should be in business. A hooks-and-eyes arrangement can give you a sturdy semi-permanent setup that should be stable, yet easy enough to put up and take down on occasion.

    If you want to go the stand route, I don’t think this is a job for lightweight aluminum stands… C-stands (and sandbags) I think would be the bare minimum. Once you buy some real C-stands, you will curse your aluminum tripod-style stands. Don’t get cheap or knock-off ones though, get “real” ones, such as those from Matthews.

    T2

    __________________________________
    Todd Terry
    Creative Director
    Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
    fantasticplastic.com

  • Daniel Schultz

    December 22, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Okay, Todd, one more question if I want to go the camera mounting route.
    (And really appreciate your help!)

    I just watched a behind-the-scenes CBS video about how they do the Tasty videos at Buzzed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wBxq-BiYHA&t=2s

    And I took a few screens of their studio. It looks like they use 2 c-stands, then a crossbar to mount the DSLR and Monitor.
    I like the simplicity of the setup.

    10886_screenshot20161218at6.57.35pm.png.zip

    So, two questions: Do you what kind of overhead bar is that?
    And what kind of clamp do the use to attach the overhead bar to the two c-stands?

    Thanks again!!!

    -Dan S

    Some contents or functionalities here are not available due to your cookie preferences!

    This happens because the functionality/content marked as “Google Youtube” uses cookies that you choosed to keep disabled. In order to view this content or use this functionality, please enable cookies: click here to open your cookie preferences.

  • Daniel Schultz

    December 22, 2016 at 2:06 am

    Oh, and as a follow up, what do you think of this setup?

  • Todd Terry

    December 22, 2016 at 3:45 am

    Hi Dan…

    That setup looks fine, very workable. I would have suggested something similar for just using a DSLR, but I didn’t for a couple of reasons. One, you said you might use a C100, and while that is a small/light camera, it IS a fair bit bigger and heavier than a DSLR (and especially a bit top heavy)… AND you said you wanted to mount your fluid head on it. I thought the weight and “side heaviness” of that combo wouldn’t work quite as well with that kind of setup.

    But… but just a DSLR body and a reasonably small/light lens (which that is), a setup like that is pretty good. The “pipe” that is the horizontal bar is what they call “Speedrail,” which is essentially just, well, pipe. It’s used in all sorts of rigging. The hardware that is holding the camera (as well as the little monitor) is known as a “Mafer clamp.” As for the hardware that is holding the speedrail to the stands, I’m not sure what that exact hardware is… probably some kind of grip gear (that no doubt has a specific name and nickname that I don’t know) which is used to attach a horizontal to a baby pin.

    You might want to just browse through the entire catalog of stuff from Matthews… you’ll learn about all kinds of different hardware and grip pieces, seeing what’s out there might give you some different ideas that you haven’t thought about yet, and might come up with an even better way. It’s at https://www.msegrip.com/ and go to “products” and then “catalog downlowd.”

    T2

    __________________________________
    Todd Terry
    Creative Director
    Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
    fantasticplastic.com

  • Daniel Schultz

    December 23, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Really appreciate all the help and info—thanks Todd!

    So, yes, I originally thought of trying to mount the whole shebang with fluid head, etc.
    But then when I saw that setup (and know how freaking successful those videos are), I started leaning towards the leaner, more elegant rig. I only have prime lenses for my DSLR (Nikon D810), but I should be able to just raise or lower the c-stands to get the right framing.

    I did some looking around at Matthews, and saw some speed rail options, and I think I might have found the clamp that they used at Tasty. Does this look like it?
    https://products.msegrip.com/collections/showcase/products/backdrop-ears
    It’s called a backdrop ear.

    And would you recommend a thickness for the speedrail? Looks like they come in 1″, 1.25″ and 1.5″.

    Thanks again!!

Viewing 1 - 10 of 26 posts

Log in to reply.

We use anonymous cookies to give you the best experience we can.
Our Privacy policy | GDPR Policy