In this video tutorial, we’ll explore the origins of the geared head, when and how it was used, and why filmmakers still use it to this day.When cameras moved to color process in the ’40s, they suddenly became too heavy for conventional friction tripods. So, engineers developed a device called a “geared head” that moved the tripod head on its vertical and horizontal axes via two wheels attached to gears. One wheel controlled the camera’s tilt — the other its pan.Geared Head vs. Fluid HeadSkill with these new geared heads became a requirement for camera operation in Hollywood. Cam ops were eager to show off their skills by such tricks as attaching a piece of chalk to the tripod head and writing their names in cursive.The geared head offered controlled, smooth camera movements at a time when cameras were increasing in size.When smaller cameras came along in the ’60s and ’70s, the fluid head took over from the geared head because it was cheaper to produce and took less specialized skill to operate. However, the geared head continued to be in use because of the smooth, controlled movements it offered.Operation and CostI set out to learn how to use the geared head, never having operated one before. It was initially frustrating, like controlling a camera with an etch-a-sketch, but I was able to gain dexterity after a couple hours.The main limitation to learning the geared head is the availability of a unit to practice with. The industry standard — ARRIHEAD — costs over $20,000 to buy and rents out for around $200 a day. I was able to borrow a cheaper, off-brand unit that I used to familiarize myself with the controls, without spending a ton of money.By attaching a laser pointer to the geared head, you can practice tracking using the wheels.I started by attaching a laser pointer to the unit and tracing a simple square on the wall. Once I could do that successfully, I moved on to the infinity symbol, which took around an hour to trace consistently.Once I had some success, I rented a pro-level geared head for a weekend and tried various shots. After some adjusting to the better, smoother controls, I was able to shoot with the camera and nail shots after one or two takes.It took close to five hours of total practice time to get an acceptable shot on the third take, but this was spread over a couple of weeks. I have no doubt that if someone was serious about operating a geared head, they could develop a professional level of skill pretty quickly.Cover image via ARRI.Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?“Saint Tropez” by Biba Dupont“Baton Rouge” by Biba Dupont“Lo Fi Highway Night” by Trending Music“Desire” by Trending Music“Retro Dreams” by Jericho Studio“Calling Your Name” by Magnetize MusicLooking for more film and video production tutorials? Check these out.Stylistic Goodies and Grit: A Film Grain Footage TutorialBuilding Your Own Car Rig — Commercial Insider Edition3 Practical Gore Effects for Your Next Horror ShortWhat to Put in Your Short Film’s Mood Board6 Lifesaving Hacks for Cropping Your Footage to a Wider Aspect Ratio
Elections to the three-tier panchayats in Tripura would be held on July 27, State Election Commissioner G. Kameswara Rao announced on Wednesday. Ballot papers would be used in the polls, the SEC said.The model code of conduct came into effect in the respective panchayat areas from Wednesday itself. “Elections to 6,111 gram panchayat seats, 419 panchayat samiti seats and 116 zila parishad seats will be held on July 27,” Mr. Rao told a press conference here.Altogether, 12,03,070 voters, including 6,16,893 males and 5,86,176 females, would be eligible to exercise their franchise at 2,623 polling stations between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the polling day, he said. The filing of nominations would start from July 1 and will continue till July 8. The last date for withdrawal of nomination is July 11, Mr. Rao said. “Ballot papers in white colour for gram panchayat seats, pink colour for panchayat samities and green colour for zila parishads would be used,” he said. Counting of votes would be held on July 31 at the block headquarters, the SEC said.