Tag Archives: Fig Rig


Brendan Cusker over at ENDmedia caught a few posts on Cheesycam about the new Express35 rigs showing up in DSLR world. In the description of Brendan's video he states he needed a run and gun type stabilizer that will allow him to shoot in clubs along with support for a Follow Focus system. Working with owner Chris over at Express35, here's the configuration they came up with to suit his shooting style. It looks like handles off to the sides provide principles of a Fig Rig stabilizer while keeping things quite compact. Bottom rails on the rig are there to support the 'future' Follow Focus system. This looks to resemble the popular Redrock Micro Captain Stubling DSLR bundle, except that even after a Follow Focus system this custom ENDmedia / Express35 rig will only be about 1/3 the price.

above: Redrock Micro 'Captain Stubling' with follow focus

Nice config guys, and excellent demo of the unit, looks pretty stable. Feel free to contact Express35 and make sure to put in a good word about Cheesycam and ENDmedia.

[Update] This rig is now offered with a shoulder pad, upgraded HD Handles, upgraded knobs, and optional counterweight.

Run-n-gun trio
find-price-button Express35 Run-N-Gun Trio with Shoulder Pad (optional counterweight)

Just happened upon a couple of videos that linked back to the blog. Here's the original articles they were referencing.

Wow, these guys really know how to DIY! I'm glad the videos they shot are much more creative than my forte 'on the floor of a bedroom with a carpet background'. I really hate to post this up right now, Vimeo is having issues with their Play Stats. It would be great for these guys to see how many plays they get for their hard work.

I very much appreciate these guys linking back to the blog, and I ask as much as possible that everyone does, so that we can point others to all of this information for budget film makers. Most importantly thanks again to these guys for taking the time to inspire others to try DIY equipment too. Details of their videos are pulled from Vimeo.

DIY Shoulder Mount

Inspired by www.cheesycam.com I decided to save myself a few bob and build my own shoulder rig for some stabilization action. Works pretty well, and am pleased with it. I have a few long screws on it....but i can cut them to length later.
Looking forward to getting some use from it now!

DIY Fig Rig

Here is our very first attempt at a DIY rig. The plans came from CheesyCam and we thought we take the rig to our good friends at Rustworks for some metal cutting and assembling. Enjoy the video. We had a good time putting this Fig Rig together.

830 Bransten Road
San Carlos, CA
(650) 593-2276

Big thanks to: www.cheesycam.com

Shot with the Canon 5D Mark II

Visit our website: www.calixteworks.com


Wow, it's amazing how a simple product from the aisles of a home improvement store can be transformed into so many different things by so many different people. In Video world, this is actually becoming a quite popular little DIY stabilizer and feedback has been great about the stability of the tool. Here's a couple more rigs that are popping up.

Kelly Bailey's DIY Rig

Jonathan Olshefski's DIY Rig

Franklin Anciano's DIY Rig

And here's a couple of Photos submitted by Sean Brown. The rig was used somewhere in their 'Lightface' film project.

Check out the Video trailer below shot in what I believe is the Canon 550D / T2i. I get lots of emails, so if I've missed anyone else, or if you have one to share, let me know, thanks.



Jeff Ello sent this photo in to share his build of the Cheesy DSLR Cage I posted about. It's a Behind the Scenes snapshot of a short flick titled 'Disorient'. Seen in this photo is the recent DIY DSLR Cage / Fig Rig / Stabilizer that was also featured on Cinema5d.com. Jeff made some additional modifications with free swinging handles on the side. I've asked Jeff to send in more photos and information about his project and his rig. The strut channel works perfectly for mounting accessories such as the LCD monitor Jeff has in his image. Very cool! If you haven't checked out the DIY Cage, read my article here: https://cheesycam.com/?p=966

Now i'm not always very clear about my DIY builds, so Marcus V Warner & Brian created their version of the CheesyCam DIY DSLR Cage with alot more detail on the parts list. I'm calling this the LP version because they really get thorough on the build and it's about 20 minutes or so. So if you can't get through understanding my video, check out Vimeo user Vitaphone's below.

They even have a detailed parts list on their Video page at: https://vimeo.com/12362135


Since the dawn of HD Video DSLR's there's been some random and weird stabilizers being made by so many different companies. One thing is for sure, they are out to capitalize and mark up equipment from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Not to say they aren't functional. In fact many of these new DSLR cages and Fig Rig style stabilizers work well for these small cameras. You know me though, there's gotta be a way to make something cheaper, just as functional, and still look damn good.

Well i've been looking at a couple of different designs, and thought about what I needed from each one of the stabilizers above. First, I wanted a handle. Handles are a great way to get some really low shots. Secondly, my hands needed to be spaced apart. It's proven that spacing your hands further from the camera can really help stabilize your footage, even helps when walking. Third, I needed something to mount extra gear like a DSLR Cage. Finally, stay away from PVC. PVC is great, but doesn't give it that professional look or feel. After careful consideration and a trip to Home Depot, here's the latest DIY Camera Stabilizer from Cheesycam.com.

My goal was to merge a couple of different products and functionality into a very very Cheap DIY DSLR Stabilizer with Cage function. Another goal was to step up my game and make it look a bit more techy and something not so 'DIY'. I think I did well this time around for approximately $30.00. Actually it can come down much cheaper if I could find a shorter rail and cheaper handlebar grips. Unfortunately I wasn't shopping for a deal, I had this idea stuck in my head that needed to get out. It's a bit of a rush job, but I really wanted to share it with the community. I'll go back and refine it later with some hot shoe adapters and a quick release plate.

I have a ton of photos, and a parts list i'll put together later if anyone is interested. The video should explain more about what you need and how I put it together. The hardest part was cutting this rail. I have more information about this rail in my photo gallery, I was able to take a picture of the Price tag / Description from my iPhone. After cutting the rail, I was able to purchase everything for straight bolt on without any further modifications needed.

Here's a real basic parts list:

  • 2 Hex Bolts (6" long 3/8 size)
  • 2 carriage bolts (6" long 3/8 size) Use these for the top, they give you nice finished look
  • 2 3/8" coupler nuts
  • 2 - 1/2 X 12" pipe rods
  • 1 - 1/2 X 10" pipe rod
  • Bike handle grips
  • Black flat matte paint
  • 1 - 8-10 ft strut channel bar
  • Enjoy the DIY video on how I made it (below).

    Update: Really good questions coming in, i'll try to answer a few.
    Reader: Have you thought about off setting the camera so that with the lens it's balanced front to back?
    CheeseyCam: Yes, this is where the quick release plate comes in. I decided on the Monfrotto 357 (found here) to give me that lateral as well as something to quickly move from the DIY cage to my 701HDV Fluid head. I wanted the camera more forward originally so that it is actually balanced with the handle (above). For shots that require using the Handle, it's much more balanced being slightly forward. Hopefully the Monfrotto 357 will help by sliding the camera either foward or back depending on what shot is being taken.

    Monfrotto Quick Release 357, click image

    Reader: If you were to use electrical conduit for you end pieces it might make your rig lighter.
    Cheesycam: Yes, I wanted to get something as close to 'off the shelf' as possible. I may try Conduit on the sides, but the top Handle I feel will work better if it remained as a Steel pipe. Conduit normally comes in super long lengths and requires additional cutting. It is lighter, and cheaper, just a little more time consuming though with the cutting. For information on the HotShoe mounts I plan on using, check out this article https://cheesycam.com/?p=723

    Ok well it's getting late, i'm tired and i'll get to showing it off more later. Leave some comments, ask some questions, and please don't forget to share, twitter, facebook, digg, etc. (use the icons below).