PortabilityPosted: June 7, 2011
Filming equipment can get cumbersome. The more professional equipment more so. With a full shoot, you’re looking at the camera itself, tripod, any motion equipment (dollies, steadicams, jibs and rigs), as well as any extra lenses. That’s not to mention the lighting kits, microphones, cables, clapperboard, etc..
These are fine if you happen to have a large studio in your house, but if you actually need to film on location, it can get unwieldy. This is why you need runners. What’s a runner? Skillset.org define it as:
Runners help everything to run smoothly and provide a range of support in every area of film production. On big budget features there may be several Runners: Production Office Runners, Floor Runners, and usually one Runner assigned to each of the main departments – sound, camera, art dept and editing.
So runners generally have several jobs, including lugging heavy bags of equipment around. Obviously this is useful for higher budget films – allowing professionals to avoid doing things that might harm them (and therefore effect their career – imagine a 50/60 something professional trying to carry a large camera bag, they might pull their back out!).
The irony of portability within the film industry is that before the 1970’s (or so), cameras were heavy – and were pretty much confined to studios. It’s only when lighter cameras were developed that studios sold, rented and reused for television their studio space. Since then, rigs and equipment have become more intricate, meaning that more equipment was needed to pull off good visual qualities (in terms of camera and angles, rather than the specific quality of the footage).
So what’s this all about? A history of Hollywood? Nah! You can get books on that which give you far greater detail. The point is, is that there’s a lot of equipment out there, and with the advances in technologies creates jobs. Special effects is a prime example, giving way to CGI, which then employs professionals to get computer generated graphics just right.
Overall though, transport is often an issue for transporting equipment. When I eventually learn to drive, I will probably invest in a van or other larger vehicle, simply due to transportation of more and more equipment. Just make sure that if you’re not professional filmmakers (i.e. you’re not getting paid a whole tonne of moolah) that you have people that know how to use the equipment.