We all have love/hate relationships with clients. We need them on set to keep the photography moving in the right direction, but at the same time, you don’t want people breathing down your neck after every shot. They also need to do their jobs of making sure the content aligns with their interests. It’s a difficult juggling act for sure. Lucky for us, there are ways to make both crews and clients happy on set.
Monitoring allows everyone on set to do their jobs more efficiently - even clients. The challenge is giving them access to a monitor. Would you want them huddling with your crew in the video village? Or worse, following you around the set all day using the same on-camera monitor as you? Let’s be real - the farther away they are, the better everyone can do their jobs. The question is, which monitor is best?
If you’re going to give monitors to your clients, make it wireless! Being wireless does two things. The first is, obviously, it keeps your set clean from unnecessary cables. The second is it makes your set look way more professional. What happens when it looks more professional? You leave a lasting impression on your clients & colleagues, and they recommend you for their next job. You never know when that career-defining job is going to come around. Make sure you don’t miss out because your gear wasn’t up to par.
Here’s a list of our recommendations:
FOCUS Bolt RX
If you have just a single client on set, lightweight handheld monitors are perfect. The FOCUS Bolt RX is a series of 5-inch monitors that come with side grips & neck straps so clients can easily monitor and be anywhere on set. It features a 720p, 800 nits display, along with a Bolt 500 or Sidekick (compatible with any range Bolt TX) receiver built in. At just 12.3oz, it’s one of the lightest professional monitors out there.
FOCUS 7 Bolt RX
Loved by focus pullers, the FOCUS 7 Bolt RX is similar to the FOCUS Bolt RX but with better specs. It features a 1920x1200, 1000 nits display with a 75% DCI-P3 color space and a built-in Bolt 500 receiver (no Sidekick version). If you want to give your client a top-of-the-line handheld monitor with better overall picture quality, this is the way to go.
503 UltraBright / 703 UltraBright
Filming outdoors? Give your clients monitors that are bright enough to out-shine any direct sunlight. The 503 UltraBright (5-inch) and 703 UltraBright (7-inch) are both 1080p, 2200 nits monitors that can be mounted to light stands or handheld (you’ll need a cage to do this). Mount a Bolt RX on there and you have a complete, super bright monitor that clients can take into any production environment.
If you have more than a single client on set, it might be worth setting aside a separate monitor just for them. Maybe somewhere in another room, on a couch, with snacks and refreshments to keep them entertained. The 1303 HDR is a 13-inch, 1500 nits, full resolution monitor built for high-end productions. It has 2x SDI inputs so you can connect your Bolt or other video source, and even 2x SDI outputs if you need to daisy-chain to another monitor. Mount this to a light stand, place it near your clients, and let them watch you work in comfort.
Want one with the Bolt RX built in? Check out the all-new 1303 HDR Bolt Sidekick.
Aside from production monitors, there are other options for clients to see the shot. In fact, the Serv Pro might be even better because members of your crew can use it as well.
The Serv Pro is a wireless video system that works by turning your iOS/Android smartphones and tablets into portable, handheld monitors. By downloading the free VUER App on the App Store or Google Play, the devices you carry with you every day can become 1080p monitors for seeing the shot from anywhere on set. It supports up to 10 devices connected at any time, and offers up to 300 ft. of wireless range (extendable with a WiFi router) and a suite of professional monitoring features such as histogram, vectorscope, frame lines and more.
Not everyone on set needs a zero-delay monitor, and that includes clients. Simply have them download the VUER App (many users include this in their welcome email to clients), connect to the Serv Pro’s WiFi network, and they’re ready to go. They can even take frame grabs directly from the app, save them to their smartphone or tablet’s camera roll, and send them out in emails to the office.