Cinematographer Paul Maibaum mounted the OConnor 2575 fluid head on a hi-hat and bolted the rig onto the flatbed of a tow truck for shots as the tow-truck backed through the wall of a motel in an attempt to rescue one of the “Sons” from bounty hunters. Photo courtesy of Tony Anderson.
Veteran cinematographer Paul Maibaum used OConnor fluid heads for production of the Fox Network television series, “Sons of Anarchy.”
“Sons of Anarchy” is a drama about the lives and inner workings of a Hell’s Angels-type motorcycle club based in the fictitious town of Charming, somewhere in Central California. Each episode is shot in seven days with Panavision Genesis cameras on OConnor 2575 heads.
Much of the desired look of the show features handheld shots. The OConnor 2575 fluid head was used to allow the camera to add some “float” to the shots. This allowed the camera operators to create a handheld esthetic by gently panning and tilting the head in small increments in a random manner. By adjusting the drag this way, it gave them the exact amount needed to duplicate the “edginess” that the show’s producers are looking for when the camera is in hand-held operation.
During the past season there were several episodes where much of the action followed the members of the motorcycle club as they traveled on their Harleys. Maibaum used a “camera bike,” a motorcycle with a steel platform much like a sidecar, where one or two cameras are mounted and operated in order to move with the cast on their motorcycles.
The tension and fluid drag of the OConnor heads can be set within a wide set of parameters. The head can be tipped just about straight down and, once the balance is properly set, it remains secure.