Gyro Safety and Moving Rigs

Before you try any of these rigs on a moving vehicle, CONSIDER EVERY SAFETY ISSUE.

Listed are safety issues to check, but certainly not every issue:
  1. The operator can't fall out.
  2. The rig, camera or gyro/s can't come loose.
  3. The driver has sense to accelerate and decelerate smoothly, and drive sensibly.
  4. The driver has ONLY ONE JOB; to drive safely. (Not the director, producer, D.P. rigger etc. who are distracted with other concerns.)
  5. Drivers of other cars will not be distracted by your operation and crash.
  6. All government safety regulations are observed. (FAA, CAB, CIA, OSHA, DOT, Motor Vehicle Dept. etc.)
  7. Insurance is paid up.

Refer to Traffic Control for more safety issues and concerns.

I cannot stress too strongly the elements of safety with moving vehicles and camera rigs. I have had close calls with directors and producers driving before getting into higher budget jobs with enough trained professionals on the job. When testing and shooting with rigs, YOU absolutely NEED an EXPERIENCED DRIVER WHO DOES NOTHING BUT DRIVE. If there is an operator, camera person or grip involved with the rig, they should NOT be distracted by also driving. I recommend using experienced grips to drive when professional camera drivers are NOT available. They are usually more safety conscious. Even professional drivers can be distracted by the "glamour of the biz."

Filming provides potentially dangerous situations where the regular safety rules of an activity are often ignored because of the distraction of the different conditions provided by the filming. Problems usually arise. I have had people almost kill themselves trying to help us get a shot. Listen to the concerns of everyone involved. They might see dangers that the rest do not.

Mixing any camera related activity with other normal activities is dangerous. This includes driving and testing rigs besides production shooting.

© Copyright 1999-2004 Ron Dexter. All Rights Reserved.