Friction Arms Get More Magical in this DIY Filmmaking Camera Rig

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Every once in awhile, a DIY camera rig catches our eye and makes us wonder why no one hadn’t designed something like this before.  The oRIGami Camera System is one such rig. Or should I say rigS, since it takes a set of simple friction arms and pairs them with a quick release plate to make something not only professional looking, but incredibly versatile.

The oRIGami Camera rig was created by YouTuber Chad Bredahl (aka Krotoflik) who’s channel is filled with very clever DIY rigs for creating gear on a budget. Bradahl likes to create Swiss Army style DIY filmmaking projects that do double duty (check out his RotoRig camera jib and shoulder rig). And though his channel had been quiet for a few years, Bredahl has made a triumphant return with this new five in one rig.

Bradahl likes to think of the Origami as the “one rig to rule them all,” and aside from the Tolkeinian implications from a DIY perspective he may have a point. The basic design of the oRIGami Camera rig incorporates three friction arms (aka “magic arms”) and pairs them with some handles and a specific quick release plate called the Giottos MG621. The benefit of using this particular plate is that it has several thread sockets on either side of the plate. One is a 1/4-20 thread, while the other is a 3/8-16 thread. A very interesting feature.

Bradahl took the 3/8′ thread and added a 1/4-20 adapter, and then screwed a pair of the friction arms into these threads, and added metal handles at the opposite ends. This created a handled setup similar to a “Fig Rig.” That’s configuration #1.

Then, retook his third magic arm and affixed it to the 1/4-20 tripod mount and kicked it out to the back to create a two-handed shoulder rig for configuration #2. Bradahl also showcased a single arm configuration for a simpler version of the shoulder mount as well. #3.

Next came a set of three roller blade wheels, which replaced the handles at the end of all three friction arms. These wheels convert the oRIGami into a table dolly which can also double as a slider that can move in any direction, including a 360° turn.  Bradahl referenced a DIY slider made by the Frugal Filmmaker known as a “Trolley Dolly,” that would use simple shelf rails as the track to move across very smoothly.  #4.

The fifth and final configuration is to use a DIY gimbal handle to screw into the tripod mount hold of the quick release plate to create a handheld Glide cam format. Bradahl admits it may take a while to organically balance oRIGami in this configuration, but thanks to the versatile nature of the friction arms, it just takes a little patience to dial it in. Bradahl still has to show us how to make that handle, but I suspect that will be his next video.

A sixth possible option, could be to add a three axis camera gimbal array and then you have handles for your own DIY MōVI.  Perhaps using a cheap handheld gimbal like the Polaroid handheld gimbal for GoPro that we reviewed last year.

Anyway, the oRIGami is completely collapsible and fits in a shoulder bag or backpack with little real estate. On top of that, the total cost to build this five in one rig is less than $100. And it looks very professional.

If you like it, give Chad a subscribe and a like for this one so he’ll come up with some more slick designs. Well done, Krotoflik!

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About James DeRuvo 285 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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