TRINITY: feedback from the field
Camera operator Daniel Schade shares his thoughts on working with the ARRI TRINITY camera stabilizer.
Based out of Los Angeles, Schade has a background of operating camera stabilizer systems, such as an artemis rig, on features, short films, broadcast productions, commercials and music videos. After recently working with TRINITY – the flagship of ARRI’s new Camera Stabilizer System – he spoke about his experience.
What are your thoughts on TRINITY, having worked with it?
TRINITY is the next evolution in camera movement. Imagine combining the unique angles of a jib with the freedom of a Steadicam – the creative possibilities become endless. Whether the DP wants to keep it simple for an easy walk-and-talk or asks for a more complicated running shot, I can trust the TRINITY to maintain a rock-solid and stable frame.
I think that TRINITY is a perfect puzzle piece that fits neatly into current production workflows. It not only opens up new creative horizons, but also might actually save a production time and money.
What new possibilities does TRINITY open up?
For the first time on set, TRINITY offers the ability to move a fully stabilized camera system (carrying a 50 lbs. camera setup) from a person’s feet up to above head height in one continuous move, while maintaining 360-degree freedom of movement and only taking up as much real estate as a regular Steadicam. This is due to the unique 2-axis design of the TRINITY. Adjusting the height by rotating the camera forward rather than to the side allows the operator to be agile and compact in tight shooting locations – for example when following an actor up a set of stairs in low mode.
In addition, being able to adjust the tilt independently via the joystick on the handle permits the operator to easily achieve hard-to-reach high angles, like over the shoulder, or extremely low angles, looking up.
Why would you use TRINITY over other stabilization systems?
The unique functionality of TRINITY makes it an asset to any set, and since the system is marketed by ARRI, I have total trust in its reliability. Being able to quickly mount pretty much any camera from a tripod to the stabilized head takes the same amount of time as moving to a traditional Steadicam setup, but offers greater creativity and control. Lens and filter changes can also be done more quickly compared to other gimbals, because of the TRINITY's powerful motors and software. Calibration takes less than 15 seconds, you can easily switch between five user-customizable presets, cabling is reduced and it consumes only 14 watts of power.
Basically the TRINITY feels like a familiar piece of gear from the first time you use it and I can't believe this ingenious design hasn't existed until now. It's like your iPhone – it just works. At last we can use true production cameras on a stabilized rig and work at the speeds that assistant directors and producers expect.
Will you use TRINITY again?
Definitely – I am excited to explore all of the as-yet unimagined possibilities a director might pursue to fulfill their creative vision. The TRINITY is a product with untapped potential and I am sure that ARRI will make it future-proof by improving the system from year to year. One day, I can see TRINITY being the ultimate production tool, whereby the camera and the TRINITY head advance as one unit from dolly, to stabilizer, to jib, to CableCam, covering all production needs.