BMX Rider and Retired Machinist Turn DSLR Industry on its Head with the SnapFocus.
Unlikely duo team up to invent a revolutionary follow focus system for DSLR filmmaking that puts focus control at the grip level with BMX brake levers.
“The SnapFocus makes shooting fun again and fulfills the dream that DSLR promised to be.” Said Brandon David Cole, co-inventor of the SnapFocus. “It’s such an obvious idea to filmmakers who try it they wonder why it hadn’t been invented sooner.”
Cole, director of three feature films, bought a DSLR a few years ago to shoot an indie feature project based on his professional BMX riding career. He was disappointed by the DSLR support gear on the market. “There was a lot of offensively overpriced stuff or cheap junk out there I either couldn’t afford or didn’t want to own.” Cole recalls. “So I brought some old BMX bike parts to my neighbor's machine shop.”
Cole’s neighbor, Harry Gramig, 74, spent a lifetime building street rods, dune buggies and custom motorcycles. He also ran a business making RV parts and has sold his own patented inventions. “I try to look at something in terms of a solution, and don’t pay much attention to the way it has always been done.” Says Gramig, “So when I looked at how they were doing the follow focus, it didn’t make sense to me why the control wasn’t at the grip level.” Cole suggested the BMX brake levers he was so familiar with and the SnapFocus was born.
Cole and Gramig have been working on the SnapFocus for two years, releasing another product, The Skaterail Slider, in the meantime. And even though their brand Midas Mount was gaining traction with retailers, they decided to launch the SnapFocus on Kickstarter to bring it directly to the filmmakers. “Friends who tried our prototypes kept telling us that this needed to get out there.” Recalls Cole, “But we didn’t want to risk our idea getting stalled, killed, stolen or screwed up by suits and ties. Kickstarter was a good fit for us because the crowdfunding gives us a lot of leverage and the transparency gives our customers a chance to weigh in as the product is groomed for delivery.” ”
Even though the SnapFocus was fully funded in the first four days, there is more reason now to back the Kickstarter project. “The $20,000 goal was the minimum amount we could raise with this Kickstarter project and deliver a solid product to backers.” Cole states, “Every extra dollar pledged beyond our goal gives us more power to negotiate price, turnaround and other terms with suppliers and translates to a better product with more value for filmmakers.”
The SnapFocus is available on Kickstarter for pledges over $399. Backers can donate as little as a dollar to help the cause. Other rewards include Cole’s feature film Bristol Boys (pledges over $10) and the first “Limited Edition” batch of SnapFocus units (pledges over $1,250.
About Midas Mount
Midas Mount Camera Support Systems builds and sells equipment by independent filmmakers, for independent filmmakers. All Midas Mount products are handmade in Los Angeles, California by local craftspeople. http://www.MidasMount.com
For the SnapFocus Kickstarter project: http://www.MidasMount.com/
For a video about Midas Mount: https://vimeo.com/
For a video on machinist Harry Gramig: http://youtu.be/