DIY 3rd Person Over-The-Shoulder Rig

DIY 3rd Person Over-The-Shoulder Rig

Using PVC pipe, I have built a body-mounted camera rig which gives a unique over-the-shoulder perspective when used.

This was a really fun build and took around twenty minutes from start to finish. The components are easy to work with and incredibly cheap, with the solvent being the only thing over £5 – but I used so little of it that its expiration date isn’t for another 10 years, so it’s a pretty good investment. The design comes from Indy Mogul and follows the same building process outlined in their instruction video. But anyone who wants to build the same or similar rig I definitely encourage you to do so; you may not use it often, but it’s a great accomplishment to build your own equipment.

Indy Mogul - PVC Over Shoulder Rig
Indy Mogul’s Build Instructions

Each rig is built to the size of the wearer and what angle you want the camera to be at. These are Indy Mogul’s original instructions for the sizes of each part and their assembly:

Using 1/2″ (21.5mm) PVC pipe (it’s bigger than that, but that’s what it’s called), cut the following 13 lengths of pipe:
-(6) 1.25″ pieces (These are to connect fittings together. When inserted, the two fittings will cover the entire piece.)
-(2) 8.25″ pieces for the tall, vertical sides of the rectangle
-(2) 2″ pieces for the short, horizontal sides of the rectangle
-(1) 12.25″ piece for the long camera support arm
-(1) 5.75″ piece for the short camera support arm
-(1) 4.5″ piece for the camera support column

Bag Strap HooksTo attach the finished rig to the body, I used three adjustable shoulder-bag straps I found at my local charity shop. Being shoulder-bag straps, both ends have clips, where one is fixed, and the other is on an adjustable loop. To use these straps on the camera rig, the fixed clip needs to be cut off, whilst the clip on the other end needs to be taken off. This leaves the strap with the adjustable loop and buckle intact which you’ll need when you want to change how tight the rig rests on you when its worn.


Fold over 3″ of the strap from where the clip was cut off, this is how it will be connected to the rig. This loop is sewn around the top pipes using a blanket stitch. To make sure they would not slide down the rig, I took a scrap piece of pipe and used that for the sizing of the loop and made sure it was a tight grip.


When gluing the rig together, the first pieces I permanently stuck together were the top pieces (two 90° connectors and one 2″ horizontal piece). This was due to the strap loops being made and sewn before any assembly of the rig, so they could slide snugly on the much larger diameter 90° connectors, ensuring the straps would not move down the rig at a later time.

With these steps taken, it’s then a simple matter of assembling the rig together. Mimic the top horizontal bar first and feed it through the two adjustable loops of the straps at the bottom so that they are part of the rig during assembly. That way, you don’t have to dismantle the rig part way through to add back in the straps.

Two fully adjustable straps fixed to the top horizontal bar of the rig

When using the PVC solvent that bonds the pieces together, it sets almost immediately leaving you very little time to adjust if there’s a mistake. So make sure you mark up the parts in the places they go beforehand and only glue when you’re 100% certain.

When the rig is fully assembled, the straps will begin to slide up from the bottom. To make sure they remain at the base of the rig but continue to be adjustable, drill two holes in the base with enough room for the two straps to be side-by-side. Feed a small length of string through the holes and around the straps and tie it in place to secure the straps from sliding up the rig.

After the two shoulder straps are in place, the last strap to add is the hip strap. Again this was found at a charity shop and luckily for me was twice the width of the shoulder straps making it perfect for use as the waist strap. It also had a large buckle too! This strap weaves through the vertical sides of the rig, and to make sure it doesn’t slide up or down, the same approach from the bottom is added to the sides, where two holes are drilled, and string is used to secure it.


I built this rig specifically for the Chalke Valley History Festival. Prior to the event, we we tasked with pitching ideas for additional video content, and I put forward the plan for a third-person video of historical reenactors. The video would look like a video game with a Heads Up Display and mission objectives and cover various time periods. But the rig ended up being used for so much more – just to give a variety in shot type when making videos for the festival.

Over Shoulder Rig (1)
Rig being used by historical farmer

The rig was a resounding success – it’s strong and durable, lightweight, and gives a fantastic shot from my GoPro. And thanks to the adjustable straps, the rig can fit on people of any size. It’s a lovely talking point too, for when I was wearing it at the Chalke Valley, people pulled me aside to ask what it is and how I had built it.

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