February 22, 2018

5 Ways to Utilize a Monopod in Your Cinematography

Tripods are an easy go-to camera stabilizer, but what about the monopod?

Stabilizing your footage is an easy way to increase your film's production value, but while tripods, gimbals, and shoulder rigs are often the popular choice among filmmakers, monopods also have a lot to offer. In this video from MasMash Films, learn five practical ways you can take advantage of a monopod's lightweight, compact design during your shoot. Check it out below:

Like any other stabilizer (or any other filmmaking tool for that matter), monopods are not going to do everything you might want it to. Every unit has its own unique, desirable features that may help in certain shooting situations but may not in others. So, it's important to understand both the benefits and limitations of a monopod.

For example, perhaps the biggest selling point of monopods is that they're light and don't take up a whole lot of space, which is great if you're shooting in a small or awkward space, like a closet or tight corner. This also makes them ideal to travel with since they can be broken down and stored in a backpack. You can do some pretty interesting camera movements with these things, too, if you utilize the bottom spike, or if you want more stable shots, you can attach a base to the bottom.

Of course, one major limitation to using one of these things is that it doesn't stand on its own. Even if you've attached that base I mentioned earlier, I wouldn't trust it to stay upright as it holds my expensive gear. Because you'll need a hand to keep it vertical, that means you'll only have one hand to operate and focus your camera.

With that being said, here are just five ways you can use your monopod on your film set:

  • Mount gear other than your camera to it, including lights, external recorders, and more.
  • Get some interesting POV shots by securing it inside a backpack.
  • Turn it upside down to get low angle tracking shots.
  • Create natural-looking camera shake by using a monopod.
  • Use a monopod if you're shooting in small spaces.

What are some other benefits to using a monopod? Let us know down in the comments.     

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