Using the V-Bag on “Mobius”
A few weeks ago I posted a review on Cinevate’s Dromos Hi-Hat. If you read that article – you may remember me saying that the Hi-Hat is a nice alternative to having to place your camera on the ground – and it is, opening a ton of creative possibilities. However, sometimes you just have to get a shot from ground level, because the story calls for it.
During the production of "Mobius" we had one such shot that could only be achieved by putting the camera directly on the ground. Putting an expensive piece of equipment on the ground (especially your camera – the most integral piece of equipment to your shoot) can be nerve racking though. And in the case of "Mobius" we were working with a prototype version of the C300 - so everyone was a little nervous to put it directly on the ground in the middle of the desert.
Our solution on set for this was to use the V-Bag.
The V-Bag is an inflatable bag of polystyrene pellets that you can fit to the form of your camera. When you evacuate air from the inside of the V-Bag – the polystyrene pellets hold their forms and keep your camera securely in place. Interestingly, it is the same technology that is used by paramedics for creating rigid support for victims with neck trauma, etc. So as you can imagine, we felt comfortable leaving the C300 prototype on the ground, without worry of it touching the actual cement or it tipping over. (*Note: the camera pictured at the left is not the C300 – we were a "little" busy on set to get BTS pictures of the VBAG in use unfortunately… with 50+ setups a day over 3 days… we had our hands full!)
The V-Bag allowed us to get the shot shown above by getting the camera at ground level. Of course the V-Bag has other applications other than putting the camera directly on the ground. It can create support on uneven surfaces, creating a level surface for mounting the camera where you otherwise couldn’t (if you check out their site you’ll see them use it on railing for example – which is pretty darn near\t). It also can be used to place tripods/light stands/etc. on surfaces that could be damaged (nice wood floors for example). The applications are endless – but what’s really cool is that the applications are unexpected. This is a unique piece of gear is that comes in handy where you least expect. Definitely something to check out – especially for filmmakers on the go.