Here at No Film School we often talk about various pieces of gear. Unfortunately, the common sentiment seems to be that gear needs to be priced to own in order for it to be of any use to the readers of a site about low-budget and DIY filmmaking. However, focusing solely on the lower-priced gear can potentially leave people unaware of the gear that they would likely encounter on larger film sets. With that in mind, here's a brief introduction to a piece of gear that you will never own, but one that you may very well see on various sets, the Panavision Supertechno 100-foot crane.
Here's a fun little behind-the-scenes video of the Supertechno 100 being used on the Showtime historical drama, The Borgias:
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/76356679
And here are a few fun examples of the types of complex camera moves that technocranes can provide:
Perhaps the most famous example of what these systems can do, the opening scene from Robert Altman's The Player:
Of course, the chances of encountering a massive technocrane of any kind on a low-budget film are fairly slim. However, if you're actually looking to be employed in the filmmaking industry, rather than just making films with your friends from time to time, then having an acute sense of what pieces of gear are available, what each piece does, and how each piece works will make you an invaluable person to have around.
What do you guys think? Have you ever used a technocrane? Let us know about your experiences down in the comments!