Fluid Head camera mount
hydraulic mount for film and video cameras
Notice how smoothly the camera glides up to Pamela Anderson's cleavage or slides across Brad Pitt's thighs? Those up-and-down tilts and sideways pans owe a debt to the inventive talent of Sydney's Eric Miller. In 1948 Miller proposed a solution to replace the complex gears, counterweights and gyroscopes that were attached to movie cameras to smooth out their movements.
It took six years to perfect and patent his 'viscosity drag' principle which uses drums sealed inside pressurised fluid-filled compartments inside the camera mount. The fluid in the mount resists the movement of the drums when the camera is still and resists sudden stopping when the camera is moving.
The result is smooth pans and tilts. Miller fluid head mounts and tripods are made in Sydney and sold in Hollywood, Japan and Europe as standard and optional equipment for film and TV cameras.
Who Did It?
R E Miller Pty Ltd : R&D, design, manufacture
Eric Miller : inventor, manufacturer
Making it: innovation and success in Australia's industries
Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney, 1993, pp 60-61.
Miller Fluid Heads
Early Australian Cinema