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The MiniScope: A Game Changer

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Chapman Leonard can't afford to sit still in such a fast moving industry. Change is inevitable as each new TV show or feature film brings new creative challenges as directors and producers push for more production value at every level.

Much of the company's reputation has been built on the success of many technical achievements for some of Hollywood's most prolific film makers over the decades. Achievements that have earned the company its reputation as the leading manufacturer of camera support equipment world-wide.

This contribution was recognised last year in the US as CEO Leonard Chapman was inducted into the sports broadcasting hall of fame, cementing their reputation as the market leader for both film production and live broadcast television.

With many hi-profile Hollywood projects coming to the UK in recent years, Chapman UK have seen a huge increase in the use of the ever popular Chapman Leonard designed Hydrascope crane system, and their growing fleet of bespoke camera tracking vehicles. They've successfully supplied many of previous years and this year's blockbuster movies with game changing grip equipment and the expertise to support the ambitions of these large productions.

This however doesn't mean that they've shifted their focus away from the ever diverse and creative demand of Britain's TV industry. Chapman UK have just taken delivery of the very first MiniScope, a smaller, lightweight version of their Hydrascope telescopic cranes, which has already been proving a hit with all sizes of productions across the pond.

The MiniScope telescopic crane runs on electricity (as opposed to hydraulics) and require only one Chapman battery for an entire day's use! The MiniScope is fashioned out of magnesium and is light enough to be carried on a Chapman dolly, such as the new HybridIV or the Hustler – a perfect combination for studio use or where space is restricted.

The lightweight single-stage crane arm can operate in tight spaces, where traditionally you could not get a telescopic arm due to size/weight or access. The single-stage boom, compared to the multiple-stage Hydrascope arm, requires less counterbalance weight and can be operated without the use of electric power. Use of the boom and pan/tilt can be manipulated manually at the head, with remote tilts and pans only possible with the battery or mains power from a hand held control.

The arm can extend and retract at a rate of 3.5 feet per second and has built in end stops, to prevent sudden and abrupt movement to the camera head. It is designed with a single operator in mind, but it lends itself to conventional operation as desired. A new video on the MiniScope is in the works and will be available soon.

The MiniScope is causing excitement for productions in the UK, as it undoubtedly saves time over the course of a shooting day, speeding up the process of changing camera position between set-ups and is light enough for very small crews to use on location or in existing interior spaces.

Productions that might otherwise be limited in terms of creative camera movement, can now exploit the advantage of a telescopic arm without adding additional crew or the cost of using larger more incumbent equipment. Chapman Leonard UK/Europe as the sole supplier of the Miniscope and it is available for hire now.

The Miniscope comes in two sizes, the MiniScope 5 and the Miniscope 7. Both models offer great enhancements for TV dramas, live broadcast as well as smaller productions looking to add on screen production value, such as factual programming & documentaries, music videos and commercials.

The MiniScope can carry camera weights up to 150lbs and is compatible with the latest digital 2 and 3 axis CL remote heads for the very best results where camera movement is concerned. Another viable solution for larger productions who want the flexibility of a telescopic arm on smaller sets.

The MiniScope builds on the tried and tested design of the Hydrascope range, but more significantly it opens the door to productions previously unable to exploit the advantages of a telescopic arm to save time and enable creativity through outstanding design brought about by decades of experience, creating the very best camera support equipment available today.

For more information on the MiniScope please visit our website and for latest news and updates connect with us on Facebook – chapmanleonarduk, Twitter – @chapmanleonard and Instagram – chapmanuk.

Image: MiniScope.

This article is also available to read at BFV online here.


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