On fast-paced shoots, you may not have the time needed to set up a gimbal or a steady cam, and sometimes just shooting handheld isn’t going to cut it.
This is especially true for run and gun shooters, and for a lot of documentary filmmakers.
If you are a run and gun shooter then a monopod is the perfect way for you to quickly get stabilised shots.
A monopod, like the name suggests, has one leg, unlike a tripod which has three.
This means your monopod cannot be free-standing, but it does give you more versatility when on fast paced shoots.
The monopod I use is made by Benro. It is the Aero 4 and is a a great, lightweight video tripod that also doubles up as a monopod.
It has a sturdy construction, a very smooth fluid head and also packs up small for when you are on the go.
It is one of my favourite tripods I have used and I’d highly recommend it for run and gun filmmakers that need to pack light. I’ll have a full review of this tripod very soon, so make sure to subscribe.
Buy this tripod on Amazon: UK | USA. If you buy through that link there is no extra cost to you, but I do get a little kick back and it really helps out this channel.
So what makes a monopod so good?
Well they have a small form factor that makes it easy to move around with.
With there being a single leg, it’s very quick to setup, and that leg plus both of your arms provides it with three points of contact for a very stable shot.
This means you can quickly get the shot when on time sensitive shoots.
Ways to use a monopod
There are many uses for monopods, but here are a few things that I regularly use my monopod for.
The first is B-Roll. On a lot of my client shoots, we simple do not have the time to set up a tripod or a gimbal, so I instead opt for the monopod. I can get smooth pans and tilts, as well as set the camera up in locations that a tripod may not be able to fit in.
The second way I use my monopod is with interviews. Sometimes I like to do interviews on location as the interviewee is talking us through something related to that place.
I find that the monopod gives the shot a smoother handheld look, drawing the viewer into that scene as if they were there with them.
Finally, I love to use my monopod as a type of jib. When fully extended you can get your camera quite high off of the ground, giving you the ability to do some boom type shots. This can add an extra bit of flare to your film, with some very unique shots.
This weeks question of the week is, have you used a monopod in your films? Let me know your answer in the comments below.