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Camera Moves on ‘The Americans’ Achieved with OConnor

Cinematographer Richard Rutkowski and camera assistants Brendan K. Russell and Rory Hanrahan relied on OConnor fluid heads and tripods for the second season of FX’s The Americans. The camera department carried two OConnor 2575 fluid heads, and Russell and Hanrahan developed an innovative use for them.

“We’ve often had to get the lens as close as possible to the ground,” Russell explains. “The best technique we found was to under-rig the 2575 to the jib arm. Then we set up our camera with a low-mode bracket that mounts on the top of the camera and attached a quick release plate to that. We mounted the camera and the head upside down, allowing us to get an inch off the ground without anything inhibiting our movement.”