For those who’ve never come across it before, the Arri Trinity is an insane $50,000+ (and the camera) gimbal/steadicam hybrid type device that lets you make some really cool and unique shots. We featured it here recently when Potato Jet got to see and try it out for himself and it offers many obvious advantages over other filming techniques.
But most of us don’t have $50k lying around. So, what can we do? Well, we can just make our own. Sort of. In this video, filmmaker James Matthews combines his Zhiyun Weebill S with an old Flycam HD-3000 to produce the “Minity”, letting you get similar shots. Ok, so, it’s not quite the Arri Trinity, but for a hundredth of the budget, what can you really expect?
The basic principle is quite simple. Mount the camera onto your gimbal and balance it as you normally would. Then mount the gimbal to the top of the Flycam (or Glidecam or whatever gravity stabiliser you’re using) and then balance that. While it might seem odd and the final result is kinda funny looking, what it allows you to capture and the footage shown in the video speaks for itself.
A couple of things to note, as James mentions in the video…
First, the Flycam HD-3000 is fairly short, and apparently not very strong, as evidenced by the fact that the base fell off. So, you might want to look into a model that’s a bit longer and a little more substantial, like the Flycam Redking.
The second thing is that shit sort of rig can get extremely heavy, especially when you’re extending your arms out to push that camera into something or through something, leading to potential wobble. So, you might want to invest in a vest. You can also buy vest & stabiliser combos, which should save you a little money. Some kind of stand is also going to be very useful to be able to put it down when not in use.
Still, even with a slightly more capable stabiliser, a vest and a stand, you’re still coming in at under 1/50th the price of a real Arri Trinity. That sounds like a bit of a bargain for what you can potentially do with it.
James admits that it will definitely take some practice to get really good at it, although he seems to have figured out a good technique to get him started. He says he has no qualms about using this setup on commercial shoots for clients if the shot demands it.
It’s a very cool idea. I might have to pick myself up a gravity stabiliser and give this a go. Have you used this technique?