Stable camera support is the difference between shooting footage that you can ultimately sell to a client, or footage that looks like you gave the camera to the assistant's kid brother while you had to visit the loo between takes. Seriously, if you're not filming skateboarding or a firefight in Afghanistan, put the camera on something stable and save the editor hours of pain! 

I had a nice home-made bean bag that I managed to lose on the very first day of filming on the documentary project last year. Due to the run-and-gun fashion in which we shot the bulk of Finding the fable's footage, I needed a replacement.

Above: a legend..the orginal Mike bag! Probably 80% of the documentary's footage was filmed from this bag on the ground or from the Landy's roof, bonnet or windows, including the all important elephant shots. 

To replace the lost bag Michael Murphree ended up constructing one from one of my T-shirts, half a bag of rice from the kitchen supplies and two large cable ties. The "Mike bag" served us well for the duration of the shoot and we joked that it could also double as an emergency boil-in-the-bag ration in a survival situation. However, the improvised bag would take a severe beating on the shoot and I would need a suitable replacement for the new year.

Lenzz-Rezzt is a small company situated the fishing town of Paternoster in the Cape and they make these little bags for a variety of long photographic lenses and cameras. The bags come filled with plastic pellets and is perfect for resting a video camera, a long telephoto lens or a set of binoculars in a game spotting hide or in a car window. We used larger bags as grip support on the music video shoot to weigh down C-stands and ligthing stands that I suspect comes from the same manufacturer. You can zip open the bag and replace the plastic pellets inside with anything else you want. To reduce the weight and flatten mine a little, I took out some of the pellets. Not sure why the cover is camo, but I suppose if you spraypaint you camera in the same pattern you'll really look hardcore on any shoot :)

I suppose you can make this yourself, but why not support some much-needed local job creation and buy yours from the friendly folks in Paternoster. Visit

PS. I still have the original Mike bag. It's on display in a cabinet in my living room. Happy memories..