FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A BANANA BOX?
What comes after the apple box, of course! But seriously, the Banana Box is the ultimate camera platform for handheld film shoots. Unlike a 'mancu' (a 40" tall apple box) the Banana Box adjusts in height and tilt so that the camera can stay framed up until the moment it is placed on the operator's shoulder. Also, its two shelves and block battery compartment make it a mini camera cart. Finally, its compact size is perfect for tight locations.
WHY DO YOU MAKE THIS?
We (Charlie Beyer and Gordon Arkenberg) were working together on entirely handheld television shows. The camera spent most of its time on a mancu, but this required a family of apple boxes and a wedge to get the camera to an accurate frame for lighting. Tired of this arrangement we started to make prototypes of an adjustable-height mancu to save the camera and grip departments time and energy. After many years we are now on the third iteration as we continue making refinements to the design.
WHY IS THIS NOT MADE OUT OF METAL?
We use extremely high quality B/BB Baltic Birch plywood. Nine laminations in a half-inch thick piece exceeds the tensile strength of aluminum. The boxes are extremely strong, and the risers both a flexibility and strength hard to duplicate in metals. Also, wood is just nicer - it's warmer to handle in cold weather, it doesn't scuff floors in delicate locations, and it can be sanded and re-stained.