September 21, 2013

Grip Gear & Safety

When shooting, there will be times when rigging a camera can become necessary.  Perhaps its to get a great shot from a difficult angle or because the camera needs to be left in place.  In these cases, you’ll want to turn to some safety standards for rigging your gear.

  • Cardellini Clamps – This jaw-style clamp is essential due to its adaptability.  It can be used to clamp onto round, square, or rectangular tubing as well as onto flat objects.
  • Mafer Clamps – This style of clamp is designed to take a lot of pressure.  It works well for dealing with irregular shaped objects (and often has a rubberized grip inside).
  • Flexarms – These articulating arms let you create a rigid arm to hold items in place.  Using thumb-screw locks, then can be tightened down.  They usually need to be combined with a Grip Head to be useful.
  • Grip Head – The grip head allows for pins and other grip equipment to be joined.  Notched holes can hold pins while a system of teeth let the head rotate when released and lock tightly when tightened.
  • Carabiners and Safety Chains – These metal loops can quickly lock into place.  When combined with safety chains, you create an extra level of safety if your grip gear fails.
  • Safety Cones – When shooting at ground level a set of small safety cones helps people spot equipment.  You can often pick up small sets at sporting good stores.


One of my favorite places for grip gear is FilmTools out of Hollywood.


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About Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. He is the Publisher of Photofocus and Creative Cloud User as well as an author on Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.


Cinematography, Gear, Gear, Photography