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Filming from low angles on a Flat Hat enables level and stable shooting on uneven terrain.

So this is what I've made, it's called the Flat Hat. After using traditional hi-hat boards for years on tons of different projects and finding creative, but frustrating ways to straddle the rig or pile sandbags around to prevent it from wobbling, I figured there had to be a solution.

It's pretty simple but works great. The 4 legs easily adjust in height so getting the board to sit on uneven terrain without a wobble takes only a few seconds. Usually a turn or two from each leg and the board achieves perfect stability.

Tested with a popular 100mm ENG tripod head and the 4" legs, I was able to achieve a level shot with the Flat Hat at a 30 degree angle and almost 4" of clearance on the high side. The board can support camera rigs weighing up to 95lbs and measures 16" x 16."  Without the legs extended the Flat Hat sits 1" off the ground.  Each leg also features a rubber sole which helps prevent sliding. 

This setup opens up the possibility of low angle shots without the hassle of carrying sandbags or apple boxes to level the terrain.

Reward Levels

The models shown below do not have a polyurethane finish or the branded logo, rest assured though all the boards that ship will be finished, branded and numbered.  Also missing is the canvas bag which I have to order in bulk and then customize.

Flat Hat shown with 2" legs installed
Flat Hat shown with 2" legs installed
Flat Hat shown with 4" legs installed and the optional 2" legs
Flat Hat shown with 4" legs installed and the optional 2" legs

Versatility

Below are a few examples of what you can do with the Flat Hat.

With the 4" Legs fully extended and a 30 degree angle it is possible to level a tripod head
With the 4" Legs fully extended and a 30 degree angle it is possible to level a tripod head
The feet of the legs swivel which allow them to sit flat on any surface
The feet of the legs swivel which allow them to sit flat on any surface
Filming from an uneven spot like this is easy and stable (100mm base is not included)
Filming from an uneven spot like this is easy and stable (100mm base is not included)

Where the funding goes

To keep the costs down I need to buy all the materials in bulk. I wanted to make sure everything was manufactured in the U.S. which comes at a price but I feel it's well worth it. Two pieces of equipment I need to purchase are a drill press and a logo branding iron.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are always risks and unforeseen challenges but at this point I'm confident that going into production of the Flat Hat will be smooth. This is well beyond the R&D stage so if/when the project is funded it's going into full scale production and delivery of the boards are only a couple months away.

FAQ

  • After much discussion, I think the handle will be a great addition; here is what I'm working on. I've designed a removable handle that can be used to turn the legs and now I'm waiting on machine shops to get back to me. Once I get all the info I will post it here.

    Last updated:
  • I've loaded the board with 190lbs and it stood sturdy. Also, the legs are threaded through brass inserts that are permanently installed into the birch.

    Last updated:
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    12 backers

    Thanks for contributing! For your donation your name will appear on a special dedication page on the website.

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    10 backers

    Along with your name on the website you'll receive a 5"x7" canvas drawstring bag with the Flat Hat Logo. Free Shipping anywhere in the U.S.

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    SUPER EARLY BIRD! Receive 1 Polyurethane finished birch Flat Hat board with 2" legs. It will be branded with your unique customer number and also include the 5"x7" canvas travel bag. This will retail for $150 after the kickstarter campaign, save $85 and receive free shipping to anywhere in the U.S.

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    5 backers Limited (20 left of 25)

    SUPER EARLY BIRD! Receive 1 Polyurethane finished birch Flat Hat board with 4" legs. It will be branded with your unique customer number and also include the 5"x7" canvas travel bag. This will retail for $155 after the kickstarter campaign, save $85 and receive free shipping to anywhere in the U.S.

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    Add $35 USD to ship outside the US
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    1 Polyurethane finished birch Flat Hat board with 2" legs. It will be branded with your unique customer number and also include the 5"x7" canvas travel bag. This will retail for $150 after the kickstarter campaign, save $25 and receive free shipping to anywhere in the U.S.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $35 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $130 or more
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    0 backers

    1 Polyurethane finished birch Flat Hat board with 4" legs. It will be branded with your unique customer number and also include the 5"x7" canvas travel bag. This will retail for $155 after the kickstarter campaign, save $25 and receive free shipping to anywhere in the U.S.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $35 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $135 or more
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    2 backers

    1 Polyurethane finished birch Flat Hat board with a set of 4" and 2" legs. It will be branded with your unique customer number and also include the 5"x7" canvas travel bag. This will retail for $160 after the kickstarter campaign, save $25 and receive free shipping to anywhere in the U.S.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $35 USD to ship outside the US
Funding period

- (30 days)