Introducing the ZeeGee
The new way to produce the organic look of handheld shooting with a new level of flexbility, control and comfort. Leveraging a legacy Steadicam®-style arm and vest, the camera floats in front of the operator and is easily controlled with immediate response.
The ZeeGee provides free motion in pan, tilt and roll axes, crucial to replicating the look of a shoulder-mounted camera.
By leveraging a legacy Steadicam® arm and vest, the weight is transferred to the operator’s body while offering the classic booming range of that system. Now a shorter operator can boom up to the height of a taller actor or down to a seated person. The arm removes the operator’s footsteps which are rarely desirable in a handheld shot.
The operator is free to control the camera via the handles on the side, or place a hand on the battery as desired.
The learning curve is very minimal, especially if one is already used to using a Steadicam® arm and vest.
Simply put: the ZeeGee does it all, and better!
The ZeeGee is a three axis cradle that provides unlimited pan, +/-60-90 degrees of tilt (depending on camera length) and +/-20 degrees of roll. It is designed to sit on a Steadicam arm post, (5/8” or 3/4” diameter depending on stabilizer manufacturer), and in 5/8” mode can also drop quickly onto a baby pin. Utilizing an industry standard 3/8-16” mounting platform, fore-aft adjustment can be done via sliding baseplate, or Steadicam dovetail via an SOS type plate.
The ZeeGee has been thoughtfully designed to make everyone’s job in camera department easier!
Initial balance can be done on the ZeeGee dock, which has a vertical balancing pin for fore-aft and left-right balance and an angle pin for top-bottom balance. Positive clamps, dialable height adjustment and engraved scales make finding balance repeatable and easy. Fluid dampening in tilt axis allows for fine adjustment of drag as desired.
A wide and unobstructed platform allow for most camera builds to be accommodated without reconfiguration. All three axes can be quickly locked in neutral position, so the camera stays put for reloads or rebuilds.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Handheld has always represented a frustration for the DP trying to light While on the dock, the unit can be panned and tilted to frame up for lighting, then locked in place.
The ZeeGee can jump from body mounted to dolly mounted to anywhere a baby pin can go in seconds. Need a low angle? Drop it onto a beaverboard—tons more control than a sandbag or saddle. Need to go super-high? A Norm’s pin on a mombo combo will get you up there in no time. It works great on moving vehicles, with or without the arm. Grab the shot, then lock it down and walk away.
What about compared to the rigs that hang the camera from above? The ZeeGee avoids the pendulum effect typical of those systems, plus it doesn’t protrude above the operator so there are no clearance issues. And walking shots will look far better due to the proven isolation of the Steadicam® arm.
There is no minimum or maximum weight limit to the ZeeGee. You can use camera that fits in the cradle, from an iPhone to 65mm.
Dolly-mounted, the ZeeGee really shines. The arm acts as a three-dimensional slider, allowing you to adjust the camera spatially to breathe with an actor or do subtle booms. You can push the camera out over desks, fly it over chairs, all while maintaining the feel of a camera on the shoulder. There’s no fatigue factor which makes it perfect for those endlessly long dialogue takes with little camera movement, and you can shoot at longer focal lengths without multiplying the shake beyond what is desired. And the combination of Steadicam arm and the hydraulic arm allows for 7+ feet of vertical boom!
In the late 2000’s, then-operator (now DP) Charles Papert was struggling with the awkward setups of the early 35mm sensor cameras in handheld configuration and came up with the idea of the ZeeGee. After building a successful prototype he moved on to other pursuits, ultimately passing off the unit to a young operator named Neal Bryant. Neal went on to utilize the rig so successfully on various shows that Charles was re-inspired to bring the idea to market. Partnering with Cinema Devices (makers of the Ergorig and Anti-Gravity Device), the ZeeGee is finally available for all operators to create amazing shots!
Love for ZeeGee
I wish I’d had this device at the beginning of my career. It gives me a look I like and one have been looking for. I want one of these in my quiver!
The ZeeGee ended up being so handy on a daily basis, it became our go-to rig for handheld shots altogether. We loved it and were able to get some really cool shots that would have been otherwise too challenging. I’ll use it again in a heartbeat.
Capturing the artist’s energy was very specific and exacting and needed an extended boom range but also immediate instantaneous reaction time, and the ZeeGee delivered! I don’t think I could have done that shot any other way, and the director couldn’t have been happier with the energy and versatility!
Order Your ZeeGee
Three axis center-of-gravity camera head for recreating the handheld look.
Mounting dock for the ZeeGee, recommended for working off Steadicam arm. With dual balance pins (specify 3/4” or 5/8” armpost size when ordering).