Shitty Rigs: A Site Dedicated to the Crappy Rigs Filmmakers MacGyver Together


You might have found yourself in this situation before: you’re in the middle of a photo shoot and you find that you badly need to set up a shot or lighting that is, in fact, impossible to do ‘professionally’ given the gear you have on hand.

So what do you do? You go all MacGyver of course! You put together an off-the-top-of-your-head DIY fix that gets the job done (even if it doesn’t look all that good doing it). The Tumblr blog Shitty Rigs is dedicated to showing off those brilliant, if a bit silly, creations.

Shitty Rigs was started by Bert Mayer and Mike Farino all the way back in November of 2011 with the purpose of sharing the most inventive, ridiculous and often funny rigs they sometimes find themselves putting together on set.

From the blog description:

If you have worked on a film set, you know. Grip and electric is all about doing everything you have to with all the gear you don’t have. Here’s to all the horrible things we have done with our gear to get the shot we need.


Although the site was started with filmmaking in mind, we have a feeling many (if not all) the photographers we know have had to do this a time or two themselves. From strange and inventive ways to keep lights and cameras aloft, to hilarious mess-ups by assistants who managed to turn a simple task into something downright complicated, there’s a lot to laugh at here.

And for those of you concerned about safety, Mayer and Farino have assured their readers on several occasions that none of their rigs have ever led to someone getting hurt. “I just wanted to remind you that we are all professionals trying to get a job done,” they write. “We are all here for fun and to share stories from set. And let’s be honest, the director made us do it.”

You can check out their full selection of ridiculous rigs over on the website itself by clicking here. And keep in mind, they take submissions too! Photographers are still underrepresented amongst all the filmmakers on there, so if you’ve ever created a ‘shitty rig’ worthy of MacGyver fame, submit it on their site and drop us a link in the comments down below.

(via Reddit)

  • Alan Klughammer

    I used to say the difference between a pro and an amateur is how well they can improvise

  • markz

    I love this sort of hackary – being more than a bit of a “boy scout” meets “punk DIY” myself I’ve built, among other things, camera backpacks out of cheap hiking packs and pick and pluck foam, home made “rapid straps” (years before “rapid straps even existed) out of webbing and the clips recovered from stripping down the afore mentioned hiking pack, monopods (and tripods) out of hiking sticks, a cheap ball head and half a roll of gaffa, pan heads out of bike hubs (and gaffa) a camera dolly from three roller skates (and roll of gaffa)…

  • Alex Dickson

    If its stupid and it works it aint stupid

  • Stefano Druetta

    if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  • Pete Ferling

    Gaffers tape, metal coat hangers, chewing gum (when you forget the putty), candle wax, shower curtains, beds sheets, fishing line (80lb test green Spiderwire is my fav for heavy loads -resists abrasions from sharp edges). Hair dryers, travel irons and velcro. Just a few of the items that goes into the rigging cart.

  • markz

    where as if all you have is roll of gaffa and a can of WD40 the engineering world is your slimy mollusc … or some such like

  • Mantis

    I like how my previous comment was deleted for using the word “sh*tty”, even though that word is in the headline.

  • Bristol

    Did Petapixel just use a swear word??

  • John Z Wetmore

    I never leave home without gaffers tape. I’ve used it to hold a camera onto a tripod when the mounting plate was left on the other camera at home. I’ve used it to splice the cable from a cheap headset onto a failed microphone adapter to go into a camera’s minijack. I’ve used it to hold a lav onto a Lt. Governor’s tie when the clip was left out of the lav case, and on the same shoot used it to patch a hole in my trousers where they got torn on a light kit case.