There isn’t a cinematographer alive who hasn’t looked at footage at some point in his life and thought, “If only I could have just grown my arms a few inches—right there.”
Now he can. All it takes is ProArms, the telescoping option for the fatigue-fighting Ready Rig GS weight-bearing videographer’s vest. Wearing a Ready Rig lets the operator of small-format cinematic cameras—such as cameras from Sony, Canon and RED—take up to 90 percent of the gimbal and camera weight off his arms. Ready Rig transfers that weight to the torso, primarily the hips. Adding the ProArms extends the camera another 12 inches from the operator—especially useful in overhead shots, and for wider lateral movements.
It’s like having a jib. A 6-foot operator using ProArms can extend the camera nearly 10 feet in the air.
Every Ready Rig hangs the gimbal from two carbon-fiber arms so that the camera and monitor seemingly float in front of the operator. With 90 percent of the weight gone, a camera and gimbal not only appear to float, but also feel that way. ProArms increase the Ready Rig payload from an already stellar 30 pounds to 40 pounds. With the recommended 90/10 percent weight shift, a camera operator will feel a mere 4 pounds of a 40-pound payload.
Ready Rig ProArms features:
Ready Rig GS significantly simplifies carrying a camera while tracking shots, walking, running, passing through doorways, climbing and descending stairs, even jumping or riding on a self-balancing unicycle or hover board. Need to get that camera into a car? Ready rig can be worn and used in all except the smallest vehicle.
Ready Rig weighs just 10 pounds. It adjusts to a variety of body types and sizes. It’s compatible with a wide range of gimbals and compact cameras. And it’s made in the U.S. from quality materials: machined aircraft-grade aluminum, carbon fiber, 1000D Cordura fabric and military-grade plastic.
Assembly of a Ready Rig takes a few minutes. You’ll need to connect the shoulder supports and the support arms that actually shift the weight of your gimbal and camera. Swapping out the standard arms for ProArms also is quick.
You’ll spend a few more minutes adjusting the vest to fit your body. If you’ve got one camera operator who’s 6 feet tall and weighs 185, and another who’s 5-foot-8 and weighs 140, simple adjustments make the Ready Rig comfortable for either user.
To store the Ready Rig and transport it, simply disassemble and place it piece-by-piece back into the carrying bag.
The camera operator can adjust the Ready Rig support arms for weight distribution of the gimbal and camera using quick-release latches. It’s not complicated; it’s just simple lever technology. Lengthen or shorten the arm settings and change the weight distribution instantly.
If you have two operators with different preferences, Ready Rig will accommodate each with adjustments that take only seconds. Want to change the weight distribution for new shooting conditions? Just try a new setting on for size—it’s that simple and that fast.
You determine how much of the camera and gimbal weight you want on your body, and how little of that weight you want on your arms. The recommended setting is 90 percent body/10 percent arms. With a 30-pound maximum payload, that takes 27 pounds off your arms—no small improvement. With a 40-pound maximum payload for ProArms, you take 36 pounds of weight off your arms. That’s a weight reduction not just during shooting but also when walking around the set and blocking shots. A reduction in fatigue speeds production and elevates results.
The back of the vest has a perforated “cheeseboard,” so some equipment can be mounted there—a battery pack, for instance, or a RED Brain—to reduce arm weight even further.
A small portion of the weight is transferred to the shoulders, but most of the weight is distributed throughout the hips. Because of that, the operator’s back is spared the strain of the transferred weight. All weight-bearing surfaces in contact with the body are padded for comfort.
Because the weight on the arms is reduced, and because the Ready Rig lightens the camera and gimbal during lateral and spring-loaded vertical movements, shots are smoother and more professional. Ready Rig moves the camera overhead from shoe-top level effortlessly—all with no unwanted camera movement or shaking. It also smooths tight turns made with the gimbal.
A gimbal and camera mounted on a Ready Rig clearly improve a camera operator’s control. With a camera and gimbal only, the videographer can raise the camera to arms’ length. Appropriately mounted on the arms of the Ready Rig, the gimbal-mounted camera will extend higher—nearly 9 feet with a 6-foot operator—and it will get there in a more fluid motion. With telescoping ProArms, that height can go to nearly 10 feet.
Need to drop to a shoe-top height? Again, Ready Rig allows efficient, fluid movement—with the monitor in plain view.
Although Ready Rig is designed to fit in close quarters and make tight turns—inside a phone booth, for instance—it also can swing a camera out wider than could be done with a handheld gimbal. While the normal setup is for the gimbal to be mounted by heavy-duty Velcro straps to both Ready Rig arms, an optional setup is connection by strap to one arm only. That allows swinging the camera out wider to the connected side, and to a shorter distance on the opposite side. Mounted to just one arm, the camera still raises and lowers completely—and steadily. A gimbal-camera combination mounted on a Ready Rig also can be canted for Dutch angles.
The lifting capability comes from multiple bungee cords. Lateral adjustments are manual, and up to the operator, but supported by the weight-shifting levers. Again, there are no motors, so there is no noise.