Staff Sgt. Lucas Morrow demonstrates the use of his created camera stabilizing system at Osan Air Base, South Korea, June 27, 2012. Morrow built the device for production shoots out of recycled material. A camera stabilizing system is used to steady hand-held cameras, allowing the subject to move freely and stay within the frame. Morrow is an American Forces Network broadcaster. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Craig Cisek)
Staff Sgt. Lucas Morrow saws PVC pipe to make a make a smaller version of a modified camera stabilizing mount at Osan Air Base, South Korea, June 27, 2012. Morrow’s original design needed the camera man to wear a vest. This product will eliminate the vest, and be placed upon the shoulders. Morrow is an American Forces Network broadcaster. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Craig Cisek)
by Senior Airman Michael Battles
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
7/17/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFNS) -- (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on AF.mil. These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)
While the Defense Department faces tightening budgets and fiscal restraints, one Airman is developing innovative ways to save money and accomplish the mission.
Staff Sgt. Lucas Morrow, a broadcaster with American Forces Network-Osan, uses recycled items, a small budget and big ideas to create broadcasting equipment that improves and streamlines AFN's video production capabilities. His inventions cost about $4 dollars each, but they save the Air Force thousands.
AFN broadcasters provide timely television and radio broadcasts to more than 60,000 DOD service members, dependents and civilians in the South Korea. These broadcasters also provide command and community news as well as information about important issues concerning U.S. Forces Korea.
"Complaining about what you need or want is not going to make it happen," Morrow said. "I enjoy making things, so I decided make something to improve work."
Morrow has completed three items so far -- a camera stabilizing mount, body camera mount and camera slide. He researched the basic components on the internet and made modifications using the resources he had. He purchased PVC pipe from a local vendor and used discarded supplies from other offices. Recycled items include metal shelving and plating, nuts and bolts, wire, string and duct tape. It took five days to complete all three projects.
"I learn from watching other people work with the cool, expensive toys on movie sets," Morrow said. "It's all about seeing what you like in a film and then trying to find out how you can recreate that million dollar shot, or inspire your own, with a budget of a couple of dollars. With the new equipment, we will be able to capture action more accurately."
The designs, which cost a total of $12 dollars to construct, saved the AFN-Osan office and Air Force an estimated $7,000 dollars.
"The new equipment additions will improve our overall mission products," said Army Sgt. Joshua Rieder, a maintainer. Rieder helped Morrow build the equipment.
Morrow said most of his inspiration for building comes from his step-father and grandfather.
"They're my biggest inspirations and role models," the eight-year broadcaster said. "They both have an amazing ability to take discarded everyday objects and turn them into something useful."
It's all trial and error, Morrow said.
"That's the only way I can learn," he said. "If what I build falls apart, then obviously I did it wrong. But when it works, it's time to make some movies."
7/20/2012 11:29:42 AM ET I see duck tape in that photo...I thought that was only used to fix aircraft
7/17/2012 5:10:39 PM ET John: It's a toss-up I am sure AFN would be interested in getting glidesteady cams, but they were just put on back burners due to costs. Now they have this in their arsenal, simplifies work and costs almost no money.
djdudley, Long Island NY
7/17/2012 12:11:13 PM ET Unless the Air Force, the DoD and the government become serious about actually cutting costs, saving money, improving return on assets employed, reducing budgets, eliminating the budget deficit and paying down the national debt, all of these cost saving ideas simply free up money to be wasted on plasma screens in August and September.
Sgt Peanut, swimming in the red
7/17/2012 10:06:48 AM ET Good on the SSgt for building new BGOP tools.However, save implies that AFN would have purchaced the equipment to begin with. I highly doubt they would have bought glidesteady-cams for anyone.