TREADICAM – How to create filmmaking equipment on a budget.

By: Charity Gibson and Anthony Hubbard

Have you ever wanted to create an artistic, aesthetic look to your film without spending tons of money on equipment? Well, I have a solution for you. I call it the treadicam. It’s a tripod that converts into three different ways to use: steadicam, shoulder rig and tripod. Let me explain how I created this concept and put it to the test.


First off, I want to let you know where you can acquire the equipment you will need for this idea. The thrift shop is one place I know where you can come across tons of used camera equipment. I personally went to a few and bought a couple tripods for less than ten dollars a piece. This is super great if you are on a strict budget.

Once you have a tripod you would like to convert, you can easily look up various videos on the worldwide web that cover many ways to convert it. The link below shows you one example of converting a tripod to a steadicam. I did a similar thing to mine and was successful in using it with some added weight to the opposite end of the camera, to balance the weight. This in turn created some very smooth moving shots.

After a period of time, I wanted to try another approach. I realized I could easily change my tripod to be a shoulder mount by resting two legs on my shoulder, while the other leg extended down in front of me. This made it easy to hold on to along with the handle for a more secure grip. If I needed the tripod, I could just extend the legs and hook them back together.


After practicing all three ways with the tripod, I put it to the test. I entered a 72-hour film competition where I won Best Cinematography, Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor. I was extremely pleased with the results; I didn’t even spend twenty dollars to make a successful short film.



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