Perfect Horizon Camera Stabilizer


Brian Uranovsky TV-Bay Magazine
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by Brian Uranovsky
Issue 110 - February 2016

PERFECT HORIZON CAMERA STABILIZER

The Perfect Horizon is an innovative camera stabilizer for land and sea, and regardless of bumpy rides or rough waves, this stabilizing device keeps your horizon perfectly stable.

The Perfect Horizon (PH) won an ACADEMY AWARD as well as an EMMY for Engineering and Scientific Achievement. It has also featured in science magazines like Popular Science.

The Perfect Horizon can be mounted on a great variety of boats and has proved its salt for some spectacular filming sequences, including the opening sequence for the Olympics Opening Ceremony 2012. In 2012 BBC Features crew were delighted with the stable results for Sport Relief on the rough English Channel and the BBC Natural History Unit were able to hold their shots for extraordinary lengths whilst filming sharks in Hawaii, and fin whales in the North Atlantic off Ireland, thanks to the stability achieved.

In 2011 it was used for Discoverys Air Jaws 4 in combination with the Phantom HD Gold. The producers say they have world first footage as a result of the stability they were able to maintain, even in rough winter seas.

French commercial producers for Fructis shampoo, filming on a lake in South Africa, were also thrilled with the results.

The most imaginative use was in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in the sequence where Harry takes a wild journey on a triple-decker bus.

For the James Bond film Die Another Day it was used for the dramatic opening surfing sequence on a huge surf day in forty-foot waves. In the James Bond film Casino Royale it steadied the horizon for the speedy Venice chase sequence. It was also used in the latest James Bond Spectre in the water sequences on the Thames.

One big difference between the Perfect Horizon and other stabilisers is that it is small and lightweight, weighing just 30 lbs (13,6 kg) and only 9 inches (23 cm) high. It can carry loads of up to 150 lbs (68kg), doesnt get hot and takes about 15 seconds to spin up. All its seals are waterproof, so waves can easily crash over it without any damage.

With a Mitchell plate top and bottom it mounts directly on the camera tripod; then the fluid head and camera are fixed on top of the Perfect Horizon. We also have an adapter plate for 100mm tripod bowls. Set-up time is about 5-10 minutes, which is a considerable saving as other stabilisers can take many hours to mount. On shoots where time is of the essence, or the camera is roving from one set-up to the next, this can be a great advantage.

The primary advantage for the camera team is that the Perfect Horizon keeps the unwanted pitch and roll motion of a boat from reaching the fluid head and camera. Both are kept stable, which allows the camera operator to run the camera and fluid head in hands on fashion. The Perfect Horizon fits neatly into one pelican case, which fits in the boot of a car and travels as regular baggage on airlines. It can easily be transported from location to location.

In the UK it has been used with great success in filming Outlander, Sing Street, James Bond Spectre Thames water sequences, Vera 6, Channel 4s The Canal trip a non stop 2 hour shot.

The Perfect Horizon also captured the first footage of big-wave surfers at Cortes Banks, California, and is a regular piece of kit at big-wave surf spots Mavericks and Jaws in California and Pipeline in Hawaii. Here the PH is mounted on 20 jet boats that dart in and out of the swells to catch the action.

In the TV arena it has been used on programs like CSI, Fear Factor and Six Feet Under and is also put to good use in natural history programming as proven by the BBC when they shot their Alaska sequences for Planet Earth or Earths Great Events.

For commercials it has worked well for clients like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, Nike, Reebok and Red Bull.

Equally rewarding has been its use for filming sporting events like cliff diving, kite sailing, surfing, off-shore powerboat racing, motor racing and the Americas Cup.

The Perfect Horizon works with an electronic gimbal head, which uses sensors and motors to keep the upper payload platform level with the horizon. It has a group of level sensors that run though a computer system and drive the motors attached to the gimbal frame. It is extremely quiet.

It can be powered either by mains power, or with its own 24v batteries, which last up to ten hours. The batteries come in their own pelican cases, which are completely waterproof.

The Perfect Horizon works with all cameras, including the small and large HD range, as well as the new 3D rigs. The unit also comes with a dedicated technical Specialst DOP Brian Uranovsky SASC.

Brian is a regular KitPlus reader and if you have a story to tell or a review to write then do get in touch with simon@tv-bay.com Want to know more about this? Brian Uranovsky SASC MGTC Tel: +44(0)7758587687 Email: brianuranovsky@gmail.com


Tags: iss110 | stabiliser | stabilizer | perfect horizon | Brian Uranovsky
Contributing Author Brian Uranovsky

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