I’m going to show you how to build the Matthews Brauer Hostess Tray Mount. Why is this a “Hostess Tray?” It’s called this because it looks like an old-school drive-up hamburger stand tray.
I’m highlighting this mount because it’s fast to set up and will save you lots of time and effort. This is a car rig you can build in 15-20 minutes. It slides right into your car door, rather than over the window. This allows you to shoot with the camera on the mount with the car window up, unlike older mounts. Let’s build this baby!
Preparing the Car
The first thing you want to do is prepare your car before attaching anything. To do this, we are going to use Carpet Shield to protect my Lexus in the area where we are going to attach the mount. You can buy Carpet Shield at a hardware store like Lowe’s or Home Depot for under $10.00.
Carpet Shield will protect the paint from being damaged by the suction cups. If you’re going to apply the suction cups but won’t be driving, this isn’t a necessary step because your paint will probably be fine. However, this is a good way to prevent any damage if you want to be extra careful.
Building the Hostess Tray Brauer Mount
Now that you’ve got your car prepped, slide the tray right into the window of your car. You can slide it forward or backwards on the door to exactly where you want it.
Dovetail Plate and Suction Cups
We are using a dovetail plate, which you attach with some 3/8” bolts. We’ve positioned it in a way so that we can get a good shot of the driver.
Next, we are going to attach the suction cups. To do that, set your suction cup at the bottom by pressing it against the car and pushing the white button until it feels secure. You’ll know it’s secure when the red line on the white button disappears.
Then, you’re going to slide the baby pins into your grip heads, starting with the one up top.
Now secure your second grip head to where you just placed your suction cup.
When you attach these, make sure that your tray is level before tightening the grip heads. Now you can do the same process on the your other side.
Attach Safety Rope Ratchets
Once you secure this, it’s tough as a rock. Then, you can move on to attaching your safety rope ratchets. The safety rope ratchets keep the tray from popping out of the window in case you’re peeling down a road and go over a pothole. To attach the ratchets, use the hooks to attach them into the holes on the tray and around the suction cup.
Cinch the ratchet so it’s tight, and then clean up the excess and tie it around a grip head so it’s out of the way and won’t get caught in the tires or on the road.
Repeat the same steps with the other side with another safety rope ratchet.
Securing Your Camera
Now everything is secure, and you can slide your camera right on to the dovetail plate.
With my daughter Kyra in there, this is the frame:
Why Choose the Hostess Tray Brauer Mount
This mount is great because of the way it affixes to the door. With older Brauer mounts, they would go over the bottom of the window and clamped to the inside of the door, so you would have to leave your window down. Having the window down would create problems for sound, and then the actors would have to come back later for ADR. The newer mount is on the outside of the car, so it can be adjusted easily, rather than having to adjust the mount from the inside, which was the case for the older mounts. This is an efficient and easy mount to affix, which will save you time and effort.