When you're capturing video with a DSLR, not having some type of stabilization system can lead to some pretty awful and shaky scenes. Camera instability is not only painful to watch, but breaks the fourth wall. Once that the invisible barrier between filmmaker and audience is apparent, it may break down that magical relationship between the two.
Unless you're Deadpool. Then it's fine.
A tool to combat a shaky camera is the shoulder rig—a piece of equipment that moves smoothly with the camera operator, which creating smooth footage during production. Shoulder-mounted camera movements puts the audience right in the scene and let's them enjoy the it properly through a first person perspective.
With that being said, shoulder rigs can be extremely expensive, ranging from $200 to $1,000—as if everything else in the camera world wasn't already pricey enough right. Well, instead of spending all of that money, how about building your own with some PVC, like this one...
The Slanted Lens created this super cheap shoulder rig using just 25 bucks and the following tools and materials.
- 2 feet of 1 inch PVC pipe
- 90 degree 1 inch PVC bell end elbows (3 of them)
- 1 inch PVC tee (1 of them)
- 1/4-20 wing nut (1 of them)
- 1/4-20 hex nuts (3 of them)
- 2-1/2-20 machine screw (1 of them)
To see exactly how to build your own DIY shoulder rig for under 25 bucks, hit up the full video tutorial below. The whole project takes only a matter of minutes with the proper tools.