Going Steady with the Halo Rig HD
Written by Peter Bohush | Posted by: NewEnglandFilm.com
Steer your way to steadier shots with the Halo Rig HD camera stabilizer.
The Halo Rig HD camera stabilizer, from HaloRig.com, is a low-cost circular rig for handheld shooting that improves the stability and fluidity of shots. Think of it as the poor man’s Steadicam. Or even the poor-man’s Varizoom.
The Halo Rig HD is a 3/4 round tube with a flat bottom. It’s sort of like a steering wheel with the bottom cut off. A lightweight camera or camcorder attaches to the flat crossbar, allowing the operator to “steer” the camera.
The Halo Rig is simple to use, although any hand-held apparatus takes practice to execute smooth moves. It’s just like driving a car. Hold the wheel in front of you, and tilt, angle, raise or lower to swing the camera around in front of you.
The rig allows the camera operator to move around effortlessly, improving the stability of handheld shots. The rig can even be held low to the ground, or attached to an extension arm for highly creative shots.
This circular camera stabilizer design was first popularized by British director Mike Figgis, for whom the name Fig Rig derives. Manfrotto markets the original, fully circular Fig Rig (approx. $300, available via retailers.) Halo Rig’s full-size, semi-circular model retails for about $170 including the quick-release plate. They also offer a smaller “mini” model.
Halo Rig’s flat-bottomed version allows the operator to set the rig down without the need to attach it to a stand. Functionally it works the same as the full-round version.
In practice, the Halo Rig is a pleasure to use. Fluid motions are easily achieved right away. The two-handed operation limits the user from being able to adjust camera controls while shooting, unless some kind of remote control is mounted to the rig. On the plus side, pre-drilled holes and cold-shoe mounts allow the user to easily mount boom mics, wireless receivers, LCD lights or other add-ons.
The Halo Rig can probably facilitate any kind of hand-held move that a Steadicam can, with the exception of running full speed, which would be awkward holding the Halo Rig out in front. Not impossible, but it would require some skill.
But walking along with actors, swooping in, out, up or down and even Dutch tilting are done with ease with the Halo Rig HD.
Related Media: Halo Rig HD Product Review by Peter Bohush
Halo Rig HD is available from HaloRig.com and on their eBay store.