Film Production Equipment

Film production equipment can be a fascinating topic. It is really quite amazing to learn about all of the models and machinery that go into the creation of a film. Film making is, after all, the art of illusion. So behind the scenes is where the true action is.


For instance, consider the rigging involved in a movie with a lot of action. Named after the complex mast system of tall, large sailing ships, movie rigging consists of enormous amounts of winches, motors, pulleys, and electricity; multitiered stages with some platforms that might be 80 feet in the air; and maybe over 100 pounds of cables. And all of it has to be set up "perfectly" so that producers and directors can push a button to get whatever effect or scene they want from this rigging.


Some other film production equipment include dollies. They ride on rails which the camera mounts on to give scenes a special feel. A wheeled platform, the film production dolly typically has no handles, does have four wheels or casters (hence its other name of "caster board"), and an actual platform made of metal, wood, or plastic. One of the greatest pioneers of dolly use in film production was George Lucas.


Cranes are different camera mounts from dollies; their purpose, needless to say, is to provide producers and directors special effects that are different from those given by a camera on a dolly. We are familiar with cranes, of course, from skyscraper construction and other types of building construction and heavy ship loading and unloading. The Sci-Tech Dictionary defines the crane as "A hoisting machine with a power-operated inclined or horizontal boom and lifting tackle for moving loads vertically and horizontally."

This is the key to use of cranes and commonly used piece of film production equipment. Movie making might require the audience to see things from rather unusual or uncommon angles, especially if we are making science fiction or action-adventure movies. Cranes can enable flight shots, fly-ins, shots of people on the 100th floor of a tall building, and many other related types of shots.


A vast array of different types of camera holding brackets, including car mounting and hand held camera holding brackets, exist for film production. These bracket mounts can be extremely ingenious. They allow for untold numbers of moving shots, actions shots, special angle or perspective shots, and nearly anything anyone can possibly think of. However, the cameras that are put in these are for limited perspective shots or brief shots.


Clappers are used to provide a sync point for multiple cameras as well as setting timed starting points for "rolling" a camera to synchronize it with the soundtrack, including the dialogue. These are the famous checkered-painted pieces of wood "clapped" together to signal "action".


Cars have long been outfitted to show or to provide special effects in movies. From James Bond's tricked out spy cars to the Batmobile, from Hummer stunt cars to special offroad cars to Radical Camera Cars, special cars are a core part of a great deal of film production.

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