Rigging Out My Red Gemini

When I first got into renting a Red and ultimately buying one, it was really hard to find out the best way to rig it out and build it for the work I was doing. My best bet was looking at the configurations I was renting and spending a ton of time looking at photos on Instagram. What I realized is there isn’t one ‘best’ solution and after having a Red for a few years, I’ve finally put together my perfect rig.

No matter what camera you are looking to buy, it is important to think about the bulk of the work you do and what will make you work the fastest on set while also being comfortable all day, multiple days in a row. I’ve found myself utilizing three modes (outside of gimbal) the most and it’s something I love about the Reds and Alexa Mini – the flexibility to build it out how I need it for the specific job. I have setup a page with Adorama for each of these builds. Click the headers to see all the components in one place.

Light and Compact

The brain of the Red is only 3.5lbs. Add on your lens mount, Red Mag, Red Display (7”) and a battery and most likely you are just under 8lbs. In this build I want to utilize the weight and have the smallest build possible. Paired with an EF mount and small zoom, you won’t draw much attention to yourself and capture moments quickly with little effort. However, you will also be limited on what you can mount to your camera. Here’s a breakdown of the parts:

  • Red Gemini
  • Canon EF Mount
  • Red DSMC2 7” Touchscreen Monitor
  • Red Top Handle
  • DSMC2 Base Expander
  • Wooden Camera Vmount Plate
  • Wooden Camera Side Cheese Plate
  • Wooden Camera Right Wooden Handle

Click Here for list of above parts

If I did this setup with EF lenses more frequently, I’d look to get the Red DSMC2 Side handle to gain control of the lens (including focus) on the handle. If you want more mounting options, I recommend the Wooden Camera or Red top plate.

Pros: Can grab this and instantly get to shooting. Low profile. Great for tight spaces
Cons: Not comfortable holding for long takes. Hard to handle with heavy lenses and a mattebox. Not much room for mounting accessories.

My Go To

Going off of the light and compact rig, I beef this up a bit which allows more control and more accessories to be mounted. This is also my go to when shooting on sticks.

The biggest changes are I add a Kessler Baseplate with 15mm rods. This allows me to set the camera down, quick release into my tripod and mount 15mm accessories. Flip the camera over and we’ve added the Wooden Camera Passthrough Top Plate. I take it a step further and add the Wooden Camera Master Top Handle (center section only). This gives me a much safer handle to hold the camera and pass it off to my AC. The Red Monitor mounts to the front of the top handle with a spud and accessory arm. When shooting in daylight, I mount my SmallHD 503 as well. A Teradek and RT motion get mounted to this top plate. To add even more control I have the Wooden Camera Side Handle. Especially when I have a focus puller, this gives me a ton of control of the camera and I can hold shots for a longer period of time. When fully built out, I add an EZ rig. Here’s a breakdown of the parts:

  • Red Gemini
  • EF or PL Mount
  • Red DSMC2 7” Touchscreen Monitor
  • DSMC2 Base Expander
  • Wooden Camera Vmount Plate
  • Wooden Camera Master Top Handle (center section)
  • Wooden Camera Side Cheese Plate
  • Wooden Camera Right Wooden Handle
  • Wooden Camera Side Handle
  • Kessler Base Plate w/15mm Rods
  • SmallHD 503

Click Here for list of above parts

Shoulder Rig

There is only a few changes going from my Go To Rig. The biggest is the baseplate. I swap the Kessler out for a Zacuto VCT Pro Baseplate. This also changes all my plates to Sony VCT. Love that system but this adds a bit of weight. Perfect for when on the shoulder, but a little too heavy to shoot for long takes off the hip. For handles I go between 2 options. The Tilta Universal Handgrip system is amazing. It allows you to finely tune how you hold the rig and allows you to safely rest the camera down. My other option to be more compact is to have a wooden ball on the left hand (acts as a palm rest) and a Wooden Camera Handle for my right hand. This is from Kino Grip.

The Red 7” becomes more of a utility monitor and gets pushed to the side, out of my way. I rely on the SmallHD 503 with an articulating arm. May upgrade to the Bright Tangerine Titan for this. Having rods on the back of the shoulder plate, I can move the Teradek and RT motion to the back. Gets it off the camera and acts as a bit of counterweight. Again, here’s the gear list with links on where to buy:

Click Here for list of above parts

Other Gear I Commonly Use

What’s great about the Red cameras is how personal you can make each setup. A lot of freedom and a lot of choices for rigging. The above is just what has been working best for me. I challenge you to try out your own setups and see what you like best. I enjoy rigging out my camera and I am always looking for better ways to do it. If you have a favorite way to rig your camera, show us! Would love to check it out.

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