We all remember that feeling -- learning how to ride a bike for the first time. Most people can get right back on a bike and start riding again even if it's been years. That sort of muscle memory is the idea behind the SnapFocus Follow Focus System from MidasMount. Take an item many are familiar with (bicycle handles in this case), and apply it to filmmaking to get the most intuitive follow focus ever designed. The Kickstarter project has already been backed by people like J.J. Abrams and director Jimmy Hayward, and the price-point for the entire rig is well within the reach of independent filmmakers.
Below is the Kickstarter video:
I've see plenty of interesting DIY gear, and I've made some of it myself, but using bicycle handles is an ingenious idea. Not only is putting your hands on a bicycle second nature to most people, but it finally allows you to pull focus and shoot ENG style shooting with a DSLR. There are options that currently exist at a much higher price range, but if you're looking for a DIY project and how your gear looks is the last thing on your list, this is an interesting item.
Here's a video which was shot with the SnapFocus system:
The project has already reach their goal with nine days left, but that doesn't mean you still can't get in on the action. The SnapFocus starts at $400 and will only be available through Kickstarter for the foreseeable future. If you want the shoulder mount as well, it will cost you a little extra. The Midas Mount Hitchhiker Shoulder Support plus the SnapFocus will run you $800. That may seem a little steep, but keep in mind that this isn't plastic or flimsy construction -- this is a follow focus made from metal parts and it's going to be able to take a beating.
What do you guys think?
Disclosure: MidasMount is a No Film School advertiser.