(April 12, 2012) Get The Shaft! In this economy we often here of people getting the shaft, but rarely do we hear of someone being happy about it. Believe it or not, some folks are highly anticipating the moment they can say “I got The Shaft.” So who’s responsible for this crazy phenomena? A professional cameraman by the name of Danny Dodge. Dodge recently launched a camera stabilizer he calls The Shaft. At first glance it looks like nothing more that a fancy stick that attaches to the handle of a camera, however upon further examination, it’s appears to be a finely made product with hidden advantages for both amateur and professional videographers. It allows them to quickly and easily get amazingly smooth moving video that would otherwise require bigger, bulkier equipment costing many thousands of dollars.
As a professional cameraman for Network Television, Dodge originally developed his stabilizer to specifically acquire smooth footage of a mountain bike as he ran along side of down a mountain trail. It wasn’t until years later and after several modification to his invention that he realized he has something that others wanted. Dodge recalls That every time he used The Shaft in from of other cameramen they would inevitably ask where he got it, to which he would proudly reply, “it’s the only one on the planet.” It wasn’t till after much coaxing from friends and colleagues that Dodge began making them one by one in his garage.
On a whim Dodge decided to take his product to a Denver video product show, where he was amazed at the response from attendees. “We packed the isle with people waiting to get their hands on one. Other vendors were sending people to our booth as well, saying, you’ve gotta see this,” Dodge said. “It’s such a simple tool, that people kept asking how it works. I have to admit, it’s so simple, just looking at one wouldn’t instill a lot of confidence in the product, yet when a person gets their hands on it, they quickly see how simple and amazing it is for capturing smooth video. The combination of gravity, inertia and the rotational stabilization provided by the internal bearings allow the camera to remain steady with almost no training. Honestly, it’s almost too simple. You don’t have to be an expert to use it, and that’s the best part of it,” Dodge said.
The Shaft comes in two versions, to accommodate cameras with or without a handle. Dodge says having a mini machine shop in his garage was ideal for refining the product. “If something didn’t work I could quickly try new modifications until it did work. It’s great to know you have something others want, but even better to know that what you give them is top quality.” In coming up with the name for his product, Dodge said it was easy, “if it looks like a shaft then call it a Shaft.” Needless to say, the notoriety of his products name has become quite the conversation piece.
Dodge and his colleagues have used The Shaft to film network television shows like Deadliest Catch, The Rest of Everest, and many other shows. “We don’t always film in the most easy to get to places, but The Shaft allows us to pull off shots we would never otherwise get. I like to brag that I can pull off the same kind of moving car shots seen on national TV for almost nothing compared to the money others are spending to get the same shot. In fact, I’ve used The Shaft to film several national ads. Talk about profit margin, I could buy a whole truck load of Shafts for what others are paying for the same shot.” said Dodge. “Anybody can operate The Shaft without training, but I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that I will gladly share with anyone who purchases one. Theres no better feeling than to see someone with a smile on their face say I Got The Shaft.” As a tribute to his product, Dodge will be offering an official “I Got The Shaft” t-shirt. He’s currently raising funds through a crowd sourcing web site called Kickstarter.com in order put his product into full production for world wide distribution. “By putting together the campaign on Kickstarter we’re hoping to raise the level of awareness for the product and generates sales that will allow us to offer The Shaft at a price point that will make it accessible to both pros and amateurs alike. Anyone wanting to purchase The Shaft should go online to http://www.Kickstarter.com
and enter the search term “The Shaft” to get to our project page. Funding should be complete by May 11th after which we will begin production,” said Dodge.
About The Shaft:
The Shaft is a cost effective way of achieving smooth, moving, hand held footage without requiring extensive set up, balancing or training. It weighs just 2.7 pounds, and can attach to most every camera on the market today. To see a video on The Shaft go online to http://www.gettheshaftnow.com
About Danny Dodge:
Danny is a Network cameraman and cinematographer with more than 26 years of experience to his name. He has won many national awards for his work, and has tremendous knowledge on the use of camera stabilization devices. His work can be seen on networks like Discovery, ESPN, NBC Sports, etc.