Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Basics
  • Rental
  • Travel
  • Technical
  • Capacity
  • Performance
  • Mounting

The Basics

What is the size and weight of the Perfect Horizon?

8″ high and 29 lbs.

What gear comes with a Perfect Horizon rental? 

1.)  Perfect Horizon Camera Stabilizer.  2.) Yellow Pelican travel case: #1620 or M2750.  24″ x 19″ x 15″.  3.) One tie-down bolt for attaching to Mitchell plate. 4.) One 24v battery, battery cable, and battery charger. 5.) One set of battery alligator clips with wires to create an emergency power set-up from two 12v motorcycle or car batteries.  6.) Includes manual.

Can I rent extra batteries?

Yes.

Do I always need a technician?

We require a technician go with the Perfect Horizon unless your camera operator, DP or grip has gone through the Perfect Horizon training, and used it at least once before. The Perfect Horizon is very simple to use, HOWEVER, there are some tricks to using it most effectively and how to mount it. We want to make sure your production is a success for both you and us. We generally find that when traveling to locations, it can be less expensive to fly and house the technician for a day or two than to FedEx ship the Perfect Horizon and batteries overnight.

Rental

Where can I rent the Perfect Horizon?

Perfect Horizon units are staged out of the headquarters of Motion Picture Marine in Los Angeles; we also have units in the U.K. You can contact the main office in L.A. at (310) 951-1110. U.K. inquiries may be directed to our local technician / representative in England, Brian Uranovsky, at 44-77-5858-7687.

What is considered a rental day?

If a tech brings the Perfect Horizon, then we do not charge rental for up to one day travel each way. Again, this encourages the use of the technician to make your production as successful as possible. If the Perfect Horizon is shipped and does not go with a technician then it is available after 3 p.m. without a charge for the pick-up day, and returned by 10 a.m. so as not to be charged for the return day.

How and when do I pay for the Perfect Horizon rental?

Full payment for up to one week’s rental is due at least 24 hours PRIOR to the Perfect Horizon being allowed to leave our facility or the tech’s location. In any event, Perfect Horizons do not leave their facility without payment, a signed contract, and insurance certificate.

How do I guarantee a Perfect Horizon is available for the days that I need?

We accept a 50% deposit for your estimated days of use, at which time we will put Perfect Horizon(s) on hold for you. Because Perfect Horizons are often used for sporting events, such as surfing worldwide, it is not uncommon for a storm to create surfing conditions, for example in Hawaii one day, and the next day in California. This causes many, and sometimes all units to book and travel on 24hrs notice to customers paying via instant bank wire. Scripted films, TV, commercials and documentaries that know specific dates, should highly consider placing a 50% deposit to guarantee your dates, preventing your unit from suddenly shipping to a distant location.

Do I need to provide proof of insurance and when?

Certificate of Insurance should be provided at least 48 hrs. prior to use. In no event does a Perfect Horizon leave our facility without a valid Certificate of Insurance.

Travel

Will the Perfect Horizon travel cases fit in a car?

The Perfect Horizon fits into a Pelican case, #1620 or M2750.  24″ x 19″ x 15″.

Two Perfect Horizon cases can fit into the trunk of a Toyota Camry, side by side. At least one will fit in the back seat. 

Will the Perfect Horizon travel on an airplane?

Yes. The Perfect Horizon cases go as standard baggage and weighs less than 60 lbs.  Two batteries can be strapped or shrink-wrapped together and the airlines will treat it as one “bag”.  Southwest Airlines does not charge for two (2) pieces of baggage, and if you show entertainment industry ID they might not surcharge for the few pounds over the base 50 lbs. (We travel Southwest a lot!)

What qualifies as entertainment industry ID?

We’ve had success with our business card, but the regulation may be more strict as to a network press card or other related ID.  Best to check with the airline and then always ask at the check-in counter.

Technical

How long does the Perfect Horizon battery pack last?

Under most circumstances, one battery will last 6-8 hours. Essentially the Perfect Horizon is balancing the camera load and allowing the boat or vehicle to move underneath. Therefore there is not a lot of power draw. When accelerating or turning, the Perfect Horizon works harder to hold the camera load level against accelerations, using more current. The daily battery life will vary depending on the conditions.

What is the voltage of the Perfect Horizon?

The Perfect Horizon requires a 24 volt power supply, we recommend using the Perfect Horizon batteries.

Can I use other power sources?

Yes. The Perfect Horizon comes with a battery adapter so that two 12 volt batteries can be wired in series to create 24 volts to operate the Perfect Horizon. We recommend using this method in emergencies and that you bring enough Perfect Horizon batteries to run your Perfect Horizon units for the day and re-charge them overnight. Remember, you can rent extra batteries.

Capacity

What is the weight bearing capacity of the Perfect Horizon?

Depending on conditions, the Perfect Horizon can hold approximately 130 lbs., however the weight limitation is really based upon the center of gravity of the camera. The higher the camera center of mass from the Perfect Horizon axes, the more torque is needed to overcome turning accelerations.

What kind of cameras and lens combinations can Perfect Horizon handle?

Just about any camera, lens and Mitchell plate fluid head combination can be used on a Perfect Horizon, up to about 130 lbs. From small DSLRs to fully accessorized Panavision 35mm cameras with a 1000 magazine, as well as full size IMAX cameras.

What kind of head can I use with a Perfect Horizon?

For fluid heads, the O’Connor 2575 is common. In places where the environment is unfriendly, O’Connor 100 heads work great and less likely to be element affected or damaged. Perfect Horizon also works with geared heads like the Panahead and others.

How big a lens can I use with the PH? 

In 35mm terms, the Optimo 24-290 mm Zoom has often been used. The results can be dependent upon what you are filming. Shooting action sequences where there is no clear cut horizon line (such as surfing), the Perfect Horizon’s stabilization — accurate to about a tenth of a degree — allows camera operators to follow the action from long distances using very long lenses. If a clear-cut horizon line is present, then approaching 300 mm you may begin to see some horizon drift.

Performance

How fast does the Perfect Horizon compensate for pitch and roll motions?

The Perfect Horizon can compensate at least 50 degrees per second.

What is the Pitch/Roll range of motion that it can correct for?

Its range of motion is more than 90 degrees in each axis. You are unlikely to be in any situation where the Perfect Horizon cannot keep up, or limits out its range of motion. If that were to happen, you would already have been thrown off the boat or vehicle.

Mounting

What does the Perfect Horizon mount on?

The Perfect Horizon has a Mitchell plate top and bottom. It mounts to a Mitchell base tripod, High hat, Lo Hat, or Cheese Plate. We do not recommend mounting on a bazooka or any head that has knurled thumb screw for leveling like a “4 way leveling head” as these are either too flexible or allow tiny movements (thousandths of an inch is enough) and may set up unwanted sympathetic vibrations. A static Mitchell mount is best to attach the Perfect Horizon to.

What types of moving camera platforms can I use a Perfect Horizon with?

Virtually any vehicle where you have enough room to securely mount a Hi-Hat. Common uses include boats, trucks, cars, Shot Maker, Grip Trix, snowmobiles, small jet boats, dollies and shots from inside a helicopter. (See Uses menu on this website for a wide variety of examples.)