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Be Not Afraid to Recoil - the filmmakers shoulder rig

Be Not Afraid to Recoil - the filmmakers shoulder rig

What does Recoil mean? Here at Zacuto HQ we use Recoil in our everyday vocabulary to mean 'a balanced and comfortable shoulder rig' and in sentences like, "Steve just saw the new Blackmagic camera. He's already Recoil-ed it!" At its core, a Recoil rig is a tool that helps you react with confidence and precision. And when combined with our 5.4 million pixel, 10,000:1 contrast ratio Gratical HD electronic viewfinder, you and your Recoil can really shine. (Want to get a rig and EVF and save $350? Jump ahead to find out how.) There's a famous adage that acting = reacting - but we all know that filmmaking = reacting, too. In order to prove that and help define what Recoil truly means, we asked filmmaker and Ted Talk alum Taylor Gahm to take us with him, and his Indie Recoil and Gratical HD bundle, to the set of his feature film, Be Not Afraid!. Now we have a new definition of Recoil, inspired by Taylor.
Recoil - verb - to shoot with instinct and film from the gut

Taylor's Story

Be Not Afraid! is the story of a prominent CEO who struggles to salvage his unraveling life while a misfit gang of irreverent angels serve only to make things doing nothing at all. I used the Zacuto Indie Recoil and Gratical HD bundle as my baseline shoulder rig. I wanted to get back to my roots of using a shoulder mounted camera with an EVF. That shooting style matched the needs of the story, and fell in line with my personal preference.

Be Not Afraid of Limitations

In any creative process, having too many options can overwhelm and stifle progress. I’ve learned (and am still learning) to embrace limitations while never settling for less. As filmmakers, we've got to make the best decisions we can in the moment– while knowing not all of them will be “right” or work out how we expected. And, if we're lucky, our most limited moments can become our most creative moments. For this film I chose the Sony A7s with Shogun because I liked the picture quality, low light capabilities, and cost. Minus a handful of super wide shots on the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA, I used the Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 exclusively because I wanted a cinematic look with the efficiency of a zoom. That lens is specifically made for 4k which was great. taylor1taylor bathtub If you let them, limitations can open you up to the reality of abundance around you instead of perceived scarcity. I want my audience to leave inspired, challenged, and entertained– and if they’re impressed to later find out how much we accomplished for so little, that’s just a bonus.

Be Not Afraid of Parkinson’s Law

No, not the disease! It’s the idea that the amount of time that one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task. I preached this message relentlessly to my cast and crew throughout the entire production process. Whether you’re making an indie or major studio film, writing a book or screenplay– or maybe just trying to finish your homework– I have found that a task takes as long as you give it. Use this to your advantage. Set unreasonable deadlines for you AND your crew. You would be amazed at what happens when you (with a straight face) tell a handful of driven, passionate, and wonderfully committed associate producers to go get you 20 locations by the end of the week.

Be Not Afraid to RECOIL!

Shoot with instinct and film from the gut. Making a feature film is incredibly hard. Expect nothing less. It takes a lot of hard work and luck and really good timing. It takes a lot of great planning and a million little miracles. And hope. Lot’s of hope. If you don’t have hope, then find some. And if you can’t find any, keep pushing forward and let hope find you. Making a feature film was a profoundly rich life experience for me. Definitely something to cross off the bucket list. I have no idea what making a movie is supposed to feel like, but this feature feels like it is making me and not the other way around.

Are You Ready to Recoil? (And save $350?)

When you bundle the Gratical HD electronic viewfinder with any EVF Recoil rig you save $350. (Plus you get an essential EVF Mount.) Be confident in your rig and your vision. We trust in our Recoil shoulder rigs and know you’ll be thanking us after only one day using our rig and EVF combination. Our Gratical HD is a professional EVF with a precision Micro-OLED screen offering unparalleled resolution, true blacks, gamma and contrast range. Features include HDMI and SDI with simultaneous cross-conversion, Vectorscope, Waveform (3D), Histogram, LUT import and creation and much more. Head here for more detailed Gratical HD specs. Our line of 9 Next Generation Recoil Rigs include the universal Indie Recoil, for all cameras including mirror-less and DSLRs, and custom camera packages for the Canon C100 & C100 Mark II and Canon C300, C300 Mark II and C500, Sony FS7, Sony F5/F55, cinema cameras like the RED Epic, Scarlet, One and Dragon, ARRI Amira and Alexa, AJA Cion, Blackmagic cinema cameras, Panasonic DVX200, JVC LS-300, Blackmagic Ursa Mini, Sony FS700, Sony PXW-X200 and many more. zacuto indie recoil shoulder rigzacuto c100 evf recoil shoulder rigzacuto c100 mark II evf recoil shoulder rigzacuto c300 c500 evf recoil shoulder rigzacuto c300 mark II evf recoil shoulder riggrid_06zacuto sony f5 f55 evf recoil shoulder rigzacuto sony fs7 evf recoil shoulder rig
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Watch the trailer for Be Not Afraid! at Taylor Gahm is a TED talking, award-winning short filmmaker, chart-topping music video director, internationally published photographer, stand up comedian, and thought leader from Houston, TX.
#withmycamera I get to inspire, challenge and entertain. - Taylor Gahm, Filmmaker
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