The best part of NAB might just be the people you meet outside of the show. The people you chat with on the elevator, the folks you share a cab with, and the cool people who have made their own solutions to common problems.

I met Peter from Gotham Sound outside the convention hall when the camera he was holding caught my eye. Peter’s friend, David A. Ford, a camera operator and Aaton LTR owner, had lost his LTR to a flood. While ruined, Peter kept the camera in his closet. David shoots a lot of concerts and has found himself, as many of us have, shooting with smaller handheld cameras, Panasonic Lumix HG2s, Canon 7Ds and 5Ds. In trying to find a suitable shoulder rig solution for these smaller cameras, David looked to his Aaton LTR in his closet, which in his opinion, is the best handheld camera design to date, and inspiration struck.

David made a rough design and showed it to Peter, who because of his connection with Aaton through Gotham Sound, send the design to Jean-Pierre Beauviala, the founder of Aaton. Jean-Pierre Beauviala, a former Eclair engineer, started Aaton in 1971 with his “cat-on-the-shoulder” design philosophy and he whole hearted approved of David’s design, so long as he put “Honorary Aaton Shoulder Cat” on the rig.

Made in Rochester where David’s father has a small boat building shop, the Honorary Aaton Shoulder Cat is made from Black Cherry, a native North American hard wood and uses brushed aluminum hardware.

The original Honorary Aaton Shoulder Cat was built around the Panasonic Lumix GH2, but David has since created versions for the Canon 7D and 5D adding a brushed aluminum cheese plate taped with 16 – 1/4″ 20 screw holds and 1/4″ 20 screw hole on top of the handle instead of a hot (cold) shoe and has also created the Ergo Cine DP for the RED EPIC and Canon C300 / C500.

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