The Matthews Elevator Kit
A simple, compact tool for vertical camera movement.
The Matthews Elevator Kit is one of those tools that you won’t always need, but in those times that you do, you’ll be so glad you had it. The Elevator is an easy-to-use, relatively compact tool that uses a counterweight system for smooth vertical movement– think of it like a sort of hybrid between a slider and a jib arm.
Why It’s Useful
There are many sorts of creative reasons you would want a vertical camera move, and just as many tools you could use to achieve it, whether that be a dolly, a jib/crane, or some other custom solution. What makes the Matthews Elevator uniquely useful, then?
One reason one might choose the Elevator over other such options is budget. If your production can’t afford a Fisher or Chapman dolly (and the necessary infrastructure to support it, such as a grip truck, extra personnel, etc.), the Elevator is a much more cost effective way to achieve that move.
Another main feature which might make the Elevator an attractive option is its relatively small footprint, especially compared to a jib. If your shooting environment is a confined space like a bathroom or bedroom, or your shot requires that you get the camera close against the wall in a way that a jib would not allow, the Elevator is your friend!
The final (main) use case for the Elevator is in scenarios where the natural arc that comes with a “vertical” jib move is a dealbreaker. If the movement of your shot needs to be straight up and down, a jib simply is not the best tool.