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