Jump to content

Leaderboard

Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/08/12 in Posts

  1. This is my personal technique for making whip pans. I’m sharing here in hopes that it might help a newer operator who is looking to improve their whip pans during this quarantine.
    16 points
  2. This is the original forum for discussing steadicam. The Facebook group is a cascade of posts. It is easier to find and reference archived information here which makes this a better place for any info to be posted. If you have info, it would be great to post it here for all to be able to read, see, etc instead of directing someone to go to yet another place. Not everyone has time to scroll through countless posts on a Facebook page just to find a bit of info on a new piece of gear. Grayson Grant Austin, SOC
    8 points
  3. Hi Donald, You’re right to assume that the answer is quite variable, but there are some rough guidelines that may help. One of the things that I particularly like to do at a workshop is to have a student take their post hand off of the gimbal completely. (Obviously leaving the other hand on the gimbal grip - no need to go totally hands free!) Many new operators get frustrated by what they see as “the rig wobbling”, and yet the moment I ask them to take their hand off, the rig floats magically through space without a wobble. However, as they then see, the camera is now aimlessly drifting, and the frame usually sucks. But hey, it’s stable! What this immediately shows, however, is that every “wobble” is coming from your hand. So the trick is to apply the input you need to frame the shot, but only that much input. There are times where you will need to apply more input - like stops and starts of a move, and there will be times where you need to apply less input, like a very slow consistent speed move. But the challenge of Steadicam is always applying just enough input to the sled. So, as to how that relates to pressure on the gimbal. The general rule of thumb I’ve found is that it’s almost always on the light side. Times when you need to apply more pressure would be when doing a tilt with a heavier drop time, or when counteracting violent stops and starts with a bottom heavy rig, or when changing directions mid-move. Apart from that, applying as little pressure as possible is the name of the game, as the tighter you are holding onto the gimbal, the more likely you are to make the rig wobble, or throw off the horizon, or cause pan wiggles. As for keeping the horizon level, that comes with practice, but there are a few additional tricks there. First of all, if you can, there are many new tools that can provide assistance for horizon as you’re operating (such as the Wave and Volt). While I think it’s important to learn how to operate without those tools, they have given a lot of operators the freedom to remove chasing the horizon from their attention loop while operating, and that’s incredibly freeing. It also takes away what was always one of the curses of Steadicam - it’s the only tool we regularly use on set which goes off level easily - so it makes it much easier for Steadicam work to blend in and be less obvious, something I know I appreciate. As for tricks without those fancy horizon aids, think about the blocking of your shots to avoid having to change direction unexpectedly. Every time you change direction or speed in the side to side axis, you introduce a tendency for the rig to go off level, and you will have to fight that. By blocking shots that limit these speed and direction changes, you limit the amount of times that you’ll need to be absolutely perfect. In addition, I run with a set of grid lines on my monitor, and regularly check them to the vertical and horizontal lines of the set. I also run a “CineLevel”, which is an acceleration compensated digital level that mounts on my rig, and seems rather effective at giving me a horizon readout, and it is relatively inexpensive, which is a pleasant surprise! Finally, and I’m sure others will echo this - if you haven’t, please find time to take a workshop or some private training from a reputable operator (and of those two options, I really recommend the workshop if you’re starting out, for a variety of reasons). While there is much you can learn on your own, and from videos and books, having experienced operators around you, critiquing you, and building your form is invaluable. In addition, there is a ton of nuance to how each individual operator crafts their shots, and handles their rig, and being around a group of extremely talented people gives you tons of people to “borrow” ideas and techniques from, and will vastly broaden your skill set in a very short period of time. If you can logistically and financially make it make sense, the SOA provides some of the best workshop experiences I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been lucky to be able to instruct there a few times.
    7 points
  4. I just completed 6 weeks of production, but some of my working conditions were unique to our production, and most likely not going to be duplicated by any other shows. For example, there was no negotiation regarding PPE. If you were an on set position (the red wristband zone), you were required to wear the provided KN95 masks and face shields, no exceptions. We had health and safety compliance staff all over production enforcing these rules, and our director was the most stringent enforcer of all. He would yell at anyone he saw with their mask below their nose, or the wrong mask, and don't even think about sneezing or coughing anywhere NEAR set. He himself was wearing a $3000 helmet with a hose connecting to a filter on his hip (sound is gonna have a field day in post). As such, I had to get used to 12 hour days, all steadicam, with a KN95 mask and face shield. I had to learn how to breathe in them, and find little moments in between setups to catch my breath off set. There was no choice. After a while, I realized the key was swapping them out for new ones more frequently as I was sweating, as they become a serious problem when the slightest bit wet. I had to abandon wearing my glasses, because I couldn't deal with them fogging up. I recommend contacts or just forgoing glasses altogether. EAR SAVERS ARE A MUST-HAVE. I cannot stress this enough. For face shields, I found that wearing them at an angle, up on top of my forehead a bit, worked perfectly for steadicam. That way, when i look down at my monitor, it protects my head fully while not obstructing the view of my steadi monitor. Using a hat or sweat band as a guide for the face shield band helped a lot. I also developed an order of operations for everything I had to wear on my head: Mask first, then sweat band, then face shield, then Comm headset. Hand sanitizer was overflowing, all over the lot. You could get a handful whenever you wanted, no matter where you were. When your EP is a germophobe, hand washing stations will be everywhere. Also, as far as who can or cannot touch my rig, there were no issues. It was an already established rule on our set that only the 1st AC could touch my camera and only my designated grip could help touch my rig. This was a minor hindrance for the 2nd AC's and some of the camera utilities, but they were overwhelmed with other responsibilities so it ended up working out fine for us. I had a personal Steadicam Grip named Zavier who stuck to me like glue all day, helping me move my rig when I asked, holding a pogo between shots, and spotting me all day. I was his only responsibility.
    7 points
  5. Patrick, Please please do NOT become dependent on the Volt. If you have as much passion as you seem to have (referring to your first post on this thread) you should learn to be a good Steadicam Operator without it. You seem to have great respect for Garrett and Jerry and the entire world of Steadicam, to learn without using the volt (as they had and most of us had to) would be a great way to express that respect, IMHO. Your fellow op, - Kat
    7 points
  6. I myself prefer a short rig but will change that based on what is needed within the majority of a shot. So, if I need the lens at a higher or lower height I will change that to a longer rig. Danny, take advice from the guy with more experience and who actually wrote the book on Steadicam, contributed to Steadicam with multiple inventions and who has devoted decades of his life to teaching Steadicam Operating to thousands of people across the globe. My two cents.
    6 points
  7. "Undercutting" comes naturally early in your career. You do not have the experience quite yet to be charging what experienced ops charge. Make sure production knows why though, as you don't want them having high expectations. Also, don't take a gig if you aren't ready for it. Word travels fast which can either work against you or for you. Best of luck and you have us all for information and help. Also, nothing against Greg but taking a SOA workshop will also work in your favor. Many experienced ops to learn from, giving you exposure to different techniques from different people. Discover what works or doesn't work for you. You will develop your own style in time, generally a combo of what you have learned from the various instructors. Any questions, feel free to ask.
    6 points
  8. If you don't have any other choice, this could help you : - Have an assistant Raising or lowering your docking stand to the correct height for the shot - Put your Sled on the balancing stud - Put a magic arm between your post and the stand - Frame the shot, than tighten the magic arm Not as sturdy as a tripod but can sometimes help.
    6 points
  9. A little personal story that I would like to share. Back in 2012 I started having some right knee problems. My right knee had had issues since I was 15 y.o. as I had a skiing accident and I blew my ACL, nevertheless it never got reconstructed. It all started as pain and slowly I started losing strength on my knee. I was in the middle of shooting a long series so you can imagine the struggle I was going through. The situation kept getting worse and worse. I had made plans so see and specialist but in the Canadian health care system you have to wait for your turn so I was doing due diligence. I began to fear for my job. We still had a few episodes to shoot on my show and my situation was getting worse and worse. Half of my energy was directed towards not letting it show on set. The last thing you want is you Steadi guy to be limping around. I crawled towards the end of the show and finished it. By then, I was a disaster, things like going downstairs or getting out of the car were a huge struggle for me, not alone flying the rig, go figure. I finally meet the orthopedist and the prognosis was a lot worse that my nightmares, I had severe osteoarthritis on my right knee and the only solution was to go for a full knee replacement. Having had blown my ACL at 15 and living through really crappy healthcare (another story for another time) lead to extreme wear and tear of the cartilage on my right knee. I had a long chat with the specialist and he said that I could go for the knee replacement right away back in 2012 but he would recommend (due to my age at the time) that I would wait as long as I could. That the replacement was not a permanent solution and that I could get better with physiotherapy while postponing the knee replacement. My whole world just collapsed, at the end of the day making a living as a camera/Steadicam operator and to make things worse I’m a very passionate downhill skier. My livelihood and my hobby were all of a sudden going down the drain. Needless to say I went into a downwards spiral and I had no idea about where to move to. I was panicking. I started doing physio and spending very long hours at the gym trying to get out of that mess. It was indeed a very slow process. The biggest question on my head was weather I was going to be able to continue doing Steadi on the short term and more importantly weather I was going to be able to do it after having a full knee replacement done. I had nobody to ask to. I asked my doctor, I tried to explain in detail what we do and what it implies and he said than he thought it would be OK. I asked my physiotherapist, I tried to explain in detail what we do and what it implies and he said than he thought it would be OK. But at the end of the day what we do it very hard to explain to a “regular” folk, so I asked myself, “who knows the most Steadicam operators on this planet?” Garrett! I reached out to Garrett hoping he would know a Steadi op that had had a full knee replacement so I could contact him and get some light on this dark hour. I remember his answer very well “ I don’t and if I do probably he/she is hiding it is because of the same reason you are “. Wow! He blew my mind but he was so right, last thing we want is people thinking we can’t do our job. Especially when it is so physically demanding. Time passed and I was fully committed to get ahead and go back to set and to the slopes. It was not easy, it was exactly the opposite of it, it was hard, slow and really annoying but I got there. About 6 months after that I was back on my feet flying the right and skiing. I managed not only to get my strength back but to be pain free. I never took anything more than over the counter Advil for pain. Life went on for 6 years, I was pain free and I kept working and skiing. I had to meet with my surgeon once a year just to make sure everything was still OK. You have to remember that I still needed to get my knee replaced, I was just buying time before the big surgery. Then 2018 came, I had my yearly visit with the doctor and he asked me “how are you doing, can you go for another year without the surgery?”, I just said yes, everything was great. But this time instead of him saying “that’s great, see you in a year” he mentioned that I should not wait for the replacement for too much longer. My cartilage was completely worn out on the right side of the knee and I was bone on bone. Even when I was functional and pain free waiting for too much longer would compromise the replacement efficiency so we went ahead and scheduled the surgery for January 2019. Needless to say I was petrified, I did not what to expect. In 6 years nobody could tell me weather the implant was going to be good enough so I could get back to work as a Steadi op but I had to go ahead with it. I Went into the operating room, things went well and the surgery was a success, now it was time for a very long and very, very, VERY painful recovery, at the end of the day they cut the two biggest bones of your body to place the implant so you can imagine the level of pain. I did my physio and slowly I went back to work, not doing Steadi but operating on a very nice show that I have being doing for a few seasons. Eventually, about 5 months after the surgery I took my first Steadi day, things went actually pretty well. That cloud that was roaming over me for several years was finally dissipating, I could fly the rig with a full Knee replacement!!! Things were not as smooth after that but I don’t want to bore you with details, suming up my implant got infected and I had to have a second surgery and thankfully we won the battle against the bacteria. They say is only a 0.04% chance of these implants to get infected, well… I should have had bought a lottery ticket. I contacted Garrett again to report about the progress of this story and he suggested that I would share my story on the forum so here I am. Sharing it so other operators with similar struggles could reach out. No longer I fear people thinking I can’t do My job. I just did a 2 pages and change oner on my current show (Amazon’s American Gods), 15 takes and not for a second I had to think about my knee, I think that qualifies as trial under fire. Now my story is out in the open, if any of you need somebody to approach about this sort of heath issues I would be more than happy to help
    6 points
  10. Hello Tomasso, The quick answer to your question is - "it depends". For most full-sized rigs (I.E. M1, Ultra2, XCS Ultimate, GPI PRO, MK-V, etc...) the sled is not sold with a specific weight limit, or is sold with a weight limit that exceeds the weight limit of arms on the market. This is not always very helpful, as some sleds are built more rigidly than others, and will cope with heavier weights better than others. In real terms, I'd expect any sled in this class to be able to support 40-50 pounds of camera payload (though some will support much more, and some may support this in a less than optimal way). With smaller rigs, sleds are often built down to a specific size, weight, or cost level, and may not be capable of supporting the heaviest of loads. The Archer2 is a prime example of this. The post diameter is smaller (although not much), the stage is smaller and uses a smaller size dovetail, and the gimbal, most importantly, is designed to be small and lightweight. The combination of these factors mean that if you overload the suggested payload of the Archer 2, you will almost certainly get vibration in your shots, and there have been many people who have broken their gimbals (I have known at least one personally), either dropping the camera and causing damage, or at least taking their sleds out of commission for some time while they are serviced. For an even more extreme example, a lot of Zephyr owners found that even though their rigs were rated for 24 pounds of camera, they could put over 30 pounds of camera on it before the arm started sagging, and did so. Later many of these same owners had to send their rigs back to Tiffen for new bearings and new gimbal parts, as they had destroyed their gimbals. For each rig, and each manufacturer, things may be different. For instance, with Tiffen's smallest rigs, the "payload" designation often refers to everything you add to the sled - batteries, camera, focus units, etc..., and sometimes even just refers to the weight carrying capacity of the arm. So the Aero 30 doesn't support a 30 pound camera, but has a 30 pound capacity arm. The Archer's weight limit is likely in the sled more than the G50 arm, as the sled doesn't weigh 20 pounds (the G50 arm supporting 50 pounds, and the Archer2 saying its payload is about 30 pounds). The Shadow is basically a full-sized rig, so I would trust reasonably heavy camera packages on it. Another issue to consider when weighing which rig to buy, although harder to tell via pictures and spec sheets, is how the weight of a sled is distributed. For instance, my M1 is a heavier sled than an Archer is, and so for the same camera payload, and number of batteries, my M1 will not be extended as far as the Archer would be. Post extension, especially at really long lengths, is one of the main causes of camera vibrations (which are a big, big issue, and have gotten many operators fired, including myself!). So if you are flying heavy camera packages every day, getting the biggest, beefiest rig you can makes sense, so that you're flying it within its comfort zone, rather than flying a lighter rig at the end of its useful range. I hope this helps in your selection!
    6 points
  11. Buy & Sell in the SteadicamForum.com Marketplace at your Own Risk. If you receive an email that looks like it's from SteadicamForum.com, make sure the web links in the email are exactly SteadicamForum.com, not something similar. Scammers can make a web site that looks just like SteadicamForum.com but is a fake. If you log in to their fake forum, they'll have your real forum login and can hack your account here on the real forum. If you are tricked into clicking the link the scammer will steal your forum login, change your forum password and email address, and impersonate you in the forum. They will use your account to send out fake login emails to other forum members and try to hack their accounts too. If you are considering buying from a forum member, please please please do some research and make sure they are who they say they are before you send anyone funds, even if they are a long-time forum member. A long time member's account may have been compromised by an impostor. Any legitimate seller or buyer will be happy to provide you with real information. Scammers typically just try to make the sale quickly without answering any complicated questions. Don't rush it. Call the person on the phone and talk in detail about the item and transaction details. Make sure they know what they're talking about. If they're the seller, have them immediately text you photos of the item that you can tell are current. Ask them to pose in the picture. Use a payment method that includes fraud protection. Don't use PayPal's "Gift" option which does not offer any protection. Do not use a bank transfer to send money. Bank transfers are not reversible and do not offer buyer protection. Change your forum password. Use the forum's Two Factor Authentication feature. This protects your account from being compromised. Be safe.
    5 points
  12. Due to my narssitic personality and the eagerness to share. I've decided to copy/paste my NB arm findings from Facebook group to here. so it could be archived since there is a great chance more pro arm users will chime in and start a good argument, but i guess its all personal preference in the end. I've found latex rubber to be quite a breakthrough upgrade compare to all spring arms and here are my findings below. I've sold my pro arm and used the same amount of money to get a g70x and NB arm thinking I would use g70x indoor and NB arm outdoor. With a thought that NB arm has sealed bearings and I could treat it like trash. But now I don't even pullout g70x anymore. I've used PRO arm exclusively for 8 full years, working 12 month a year, been through all senarios, fast and slow. No budget student folms to $40 mil USD budget. Was prasing pro equipment cuz "all feature guys uses PRO" kinda fan boy mindset , pretty similar to the panavision fanboys. But eventually as years gone by I've developed critical thinking and below are a couple points why I prefer NB over the other arms. 1. Sweet spot. As an somewhat experienced op you might have noticed pro arm is only truly good at the middle 10% of boom range, and you tune the arm up or down offset this spot based on the height of the shot required. Part of the reason people need to get XCS mid arm swivel. But g70x is better here since it could support your lens height with the ISO adjustment. NB arm or X arm is the same ish feeling with pro. Meaning force required to hold the lens height But is better at the job due to less friction and rubber vs spring nature. More to elaborate below 2. Boom range . Pro arm has 60cm. And NB has 83cm. As an average 176cm/5"10 Asian male I have no monkey arms. But I still run out of boom range on pro arm quite often. I've bought the IBaird / mid arm swivel / Klassen vest that offers a shit load of range options to counter this issue but I still wish the pro has more in the first place. Like from standing to seating. I always bottom out on pro arm, or I'm too low at standing. NB arm on the other hand. Offers just enough. Alrhough it's not as effortless to hold camera height on both extreme side of the range, but none of the other arms does. Good thing is that U can't bottom out the NB like pro. And u can't hit the eng stop easily. So even if you use your finger tips to get the camera height there, u still can't hit the stop when u take a step. Side note, G70x is only iso in the middle 60%. Outside that you are fighting the same as all other arms. 3. Friction. All spring arms including g70x and pro have more frictions than rubber arms like xarm or NB. For pro, the each canister has two "ears" that cling and hinges on a groove on the chassis. And no matter how u deny it. It's not as smooth compare to NB or x arm, especially both of them has sealed bearings and rubber bands. This helps emensively at ultra slow movements, so slow that the shot shouldve been done on a slider. But they have to put you on steadicam cuz it "saves time". I'm not as vocal as a lot of operators out there. Mostly just nod my head and do it. So rubber arms help a shit ton here. There are countless times when I have to manually hold the sled in the same height countering the up and down from the pro arm. It's very minor, and I have to walk so perfectly. It's doable. But not everyday with every senario. If there is even a bit of terian and you aren't feeling it that day. You are mostly screwed. Still end up with a ok ish shot, but not good enough to be called "bleeding dolly". So having a rubber arm here helps sooo much. Even g70x is better than pro due to the iso adjustments 4. Maintainence. I know guys would argue how you can water hose pro arm to clean. But NB arm is the next level. I don't even cover that arm in rain, it's fully sealed and u don't need give a damn about rubber bands. White lithium grease ? Why the hell you need that! I know a lot of you will argue how robust and solid the pro arm build is. Now look below for the trade off. Also by the way the robustness has nothing to do with the shot. So to me, it's useless feature. 5. Weight savings. Pro arm is 6kg/13lbs or so when I measured it with mid arm swivel and solid xcs post. While NB is at 3kg. This is almost the weight difference between Alexa mini and Alexa LF. And at times when u can't trim the sled down like Alexa 65. This becomes a huge deal to prolong your career and health. I know people would say "man up", but we are like atheles. We all have performance peak years and slope down since. So The more we can preserve the years the better. And hopefully have a healthy body to enjoy retirement life too. And this was the major tipping point for me to purchase an NB arm. But the performance of it blew my mind. 6. Tooless adjustments. NB arm uses latex rubber bands. I mainly just put 4-6 on my wrists as bracelet. And that's enough of a difference between a prime and a heavy zoom. I can do it on a fly. Without trying to find the hole on canisters like the pro arm. And since it's quite forgiving for filters and different primes. I dont even bother to add/remove the bands. It's quite fast. 7. Less parts. I was debating between x arm and NB arm when I was trying to get rid of the pro arm. But x arm is still 4.5kg while NB is 3kg. And NB has no cores to swap. And no spray needed to maintain the rubber bands like the x arm. And no wrench needed to tune the lift. And no rain over needed to work outside. For those who is wondering tension loss in cold, who cares. I just put on more bands. 8. Minimum weight requirement. I know pro has advised the minium is 13lbs with two blues only and NB is at 0. Also no sled is lighter than that. My argument here is , you don't have to know the approx weight of the sled to put the appropriate set of canisters. I've gone lazy through out the years and just settled with 2 blue and 2 black on pro arm. And just put more batteries on the sled to come up with the minimum. But there are times I wish I have all the adjustability without messing with canisters. Since bottoming out and fully loaded takes like 50 turns on each and it's quite some work to find the right fit between jobs or between prime / heavy zooms. The g70x and NB arm is simple as hell in comparison and I can do the best sled build always without worrying about canister combos. Or how ISO the arm is when canisters are fully loaded than minimum There is one thing pro arm is at best where all others are bad. that is the arm post spin feature. Pro is by far the most silkly smooth one while g70x is basically Fisher Price trash. NB has got some friction to it but it's usable. So if u fold in your gimbal handle more frequent than anything then no other arm is for you. I know many, if not all of you have witnessed the failing of the socket block on NB arm @cinegear quite a few years ago. And has been laughing at their quality. But the manufacture has fixed the issue and demoed the new design with Max load at worse senario and it helds. They deserve a chance, they always response to my emails in a matter of mins, and answers all my idiotic questions. That's way better than a lot of brands out there. And that includes weekend too which amazes me. Hope this sort of sums the majority of my reason of switch. It is quite seamless to switch from PRO, and no one has gone back the other way around. I'm not gonna use the big op names to convince you guys here. Cuz I fell for this "woo this big op uses this and it must be good" crap when I got the pro arm. But I'm More than happy to answer PM if you are more curious
    5 points
  13. I disagree. Keep the Volt. Practice like hell without it, but there is zero point in risking a minor horizon flub when on a real job. The point is to get the shot, and get it well. Who cares how on the day? It's your career and reputation for getting the shot, being efficient, artistic, pleasant to work with... and the Volt will only help you.
    5 points
  14. I think post length should be altered to get the specific shot - either to change the lens height range and/or the rig's inertia. Choosing to configure your sled only one way is like playing 10 keys on the piano instead of all 88.
    5 points
  15. Speaking of New Kid(s) On The Block and Steadicam...this was a long cold night 25 yrs ago.
    5 points
  16. Hello All, I'm happy to finally announce we are officially launching the latest 1.7 Volt Firmware. Thank you to Larry McConkey & Steve Wagner for all the work they put into helping us make this firmware what it is. Look in the video description on how to proceed w/ getting the update. In the video, it shows the changes that we made in the update to help you understand what the volt is doing in Regular & Sticky mode. If you received a Volt since July 2020 you'll have the latest 1.7 firmware already installed on your control box.
    5 points
  17. Many years ago I was on a show and this exact thing was happening all the time .Like Cedric I was using 2 magic arms and for most setups was quick and easy .My assistant presented me with this embroiled velcro backed slogan .I now use the SOS plate and it works great .
    5 points
  18. How many of you can find old Steadicam stuff in the closet like this? Evolution of Steadicam test fixtures from the mid 70’s through Steadicam III. The first one was used from early Steadicam. The second was the one I built in order to build and test the Steadicam II electronics. The third was for the Steadicam III circuit boards.
    5 points
  19. Hi Josh, I remember being in your shoes clearly - it was the late summer of 2012, I was on my first feature film, having operated “semi-professionally” for about a year, and on two occasions I had to either put the 85mm up, or do a shot on the 50mm in low mode, and I remember both being seemingly impossible. So, you’re not alone in the difficulty of doing long lens work on Steadicam when starting out! I’d say about 1/4 of my work is tighter than a 50mm. Generally I don’t see many lenses above 135mm (though I have from time to time), although especially when doing anamorphic, 135mm is a pretty typical lens, and I regularly fly 100mm spherical lenses. A 65mm or 75mm is a sweet lens for Steadicam, and if you can get well in-sync with your actors, you can produce some truly beautiful tracking shots. I’d say to get to the point where I was completely unafraid of long lenses took me about 3 years of operating, and probably about 5 years to actually be able to back up my big talk with the skills to really pull it off. I will say that with long lenses, not only is it a technique issue, but it is also a physical feat with your body, and there is a significant component that the quality of your rig plays. When I upgraded my rig after that first feature, one of the biggest things I noticed in going to a new gimbal was that there had been some friction and play in my previous gimbal that just destroyed any chance of precision in long lens operating. Even the slightest friction in your gimbal will translate your body’s movements into the lens, and those errors will become much more pronounced on longer lenses. The same goes for your arm, although to a lesser degree (as the issues will be translational rather than angular). Additionally, having your rig trimmed for the tilt you will be holding is crucial, as is keeping your speed consistent. If you’re holding pressure with your hand to hold tilt, any little twitches and tremors in your hand will get into the frame, and if you’re speeding up and slowing down, any pendular swing of the sled will also get in, unless you’re good enough to keep 100% of it out (which very few are, although I think we all hope to get close!). And biggest of all, relax! I even get called out on this by DPs I’ve worked with for a long time. If I’m tense, that tends to telegraph into the shot, and sometimes I just need to take a deep breath and shake out my hands and try again. I hope that helps and gives you a few things to think about! Best of luck on your adventures!
    5 points
  20. I've been holding off on saying much, as I know many who've gone the Volt route who I don't want to discourage, but I've had a very different experience than many with the Volt and the Wave. My experience with the Volt was that while it did offer some immediate advantages over the Wave (like its size and weight, and also the added bonus of having a rig that is neutrally balanced and thus can be moved around without any pendulum effects), it significantly changed my operating, and not for the better. I do a lot of tilting in my operating (something I wasn't aware of until I switched to the Volt), and the M1V electronics altered the way tilt felt, which required a lot of retraining, and additionally, I always saw a little pan wobble at the beginning and ends of tilts, no matter how much I turned the tilt strength down. There was also the issue (that I'm hoping eventually gets fixed) of the M1V tilting on a diagonal, and not in a straight vertical line, amongst a few other things that I found over my year and a half with the device. The work I did with the Volt was simply not as clean or good as the work I could do with the Wave, so I have since moved back to the Wave and sold my Volt. I urge each operator who is moving towards any augmented stabilization technology to try using both (and make sure they are both set up correctly, as many do not balance the Wave correctly), and see what they prefer, and most importantly, to analyze the footage critically.
    5 points
  21. What an outstanding shot .Here is a BTS and Peter talking about the shot .Enjoy
    5 points
  22. I'm selling my Steadicam M1 System, including M1 Sled, M1 Volt Gimbal, G70X Arm, Ultravest and more. Everything is in great condition and perfect working order. Purchased in 2018, it hasn't been used a lot(one reason I'm selling it). I'm interested in selling as a complete package, or I can break it up as well. System includes the following: Steadicam M1 Sled, 2 section post with M1 Volt Gimbal, Tilt Head Stage, 8" Transvideo Monitor & Vmount Power G70x Arm Steadicam Ultravest Lowmode Bracket Mounting Bracket for M1 Volt Gimbal & Original M1 Gimbal Ultra Arm Protective Weather Cover 2 x Steadicam/Thermodyne hard cases for Sled and Vest/Arm respectively 4 x Dynacore 155 kWh Vmount with Powerbank Dual Charger Assorted Cables and Toolkit Asking Price for Full System: $33,500 Asking Prices for Individual Components: M1 Sled w/Volt Gimbal, Mounting Brackets, Lowmode bracket and Hard Case: $22,500 Tiffen G70x Arm with Bag & Weather Cover: $9,950 Tiffen Steadicam Ultravest: $2750 Arm & Vest Combo with Thermodyne Case: $12,000 Vmount Batteries with Powerbank Dual Charger: $400. Everything is priced to sell, and I'm not desperate to get rid of anything, so I'm not really interested in haggling. Buyer will also be responsible for Shipping charges. Pictures of the gear attached:
    4 points
  23. Just wanted to reach out to any of those out there that are on the hunt for an alternative monitor to the current choices. I recently bought direct from the manufacturer in Italy, "Smart System". Im very pleased, actually impressed with the build of this unit. Super solid Aluminum billet casing. Actual buttons (some programmable) for functions. Easy access to menus. Optional Battery mount installed. 2 SDI BNc inputs. HDMI input if you need. This company seems to cater to a DSLR using crowd. They offer sliders and even a reasonable looking full sized Steady Rig with a really interesting looking Arm. But don't be put off by all that, this is a much more professional build than you'd expect, feels more "pro" than Small HD honestly- and I don't mean to put down Small HD, the 703 is great, but it needs an additional kit to make it yoke mountable. I don't put too much stake in NITs, because we all know that mirror effect of glass trumps almost brightest...that being said, this monitor offers a 3000 NIT rating. My ONLY detracting point for this unit is that it employs a standard glass face which reflects like all of them. Its got a substantial bit more weight than the DP7 I also use as backup. which I believe the DP7 is the same or close weight to the 703. Its not as weighty as my now defunct Cinetronics Gen1. Which I miss. I really like the extra weight to help me preserve my monitor extension options. I am working on designing some weight system to put on a Gold mount plate that will help me tune it up for a little extra weight. As far as the company is concerned. Lara and Andrea were my two main contact in the process of purchasing. They were extremely communicative never letting more than 24 hours pass before responding to my emails. I paid with a bank transfer wire which I'm used to some after purchases of WAVE and and other items over the years. Not my favorite mode of transacting, but these guys really did leave me confident in their dealings over email. They also make a version of this monitor that incorporates a integrated digital level. they also offer that digital level as a separate unit. another Operator friend has purchased that level and feels like it is a really well conceived and executed unit. I cannot say enough about how high end this monitor feels. And now the clincher. With the optional gold mount batt plate installed, international shipping, and an included power cable (which they did custom for me at no extra charge) I paid less than $2300 USD. It mounted almost perfectly in my CamJam yoke set up for DP7. I added a slightly thicker set of delrin washers to big the 1mm or so gap. Just wanted to share this.
    4 points
  24. Ha, I guess this is why we should mark items as sold. Someone just contacted me about this 17 years later!
    4 points
  25. Just remember folks, it is not just the weight, but the weight distribution that influences the "feel." Spread your masses to add pan inertia and you'll likely much prefer it.
    4 points
  26. I'd be so glad to fly down to the island to work on-site..... ;) Logical that you'd feel rocking when inertia the bottom is reduced. Spreading out the weight tends to suppress any rocking. It's very similar to balancing the rig. The faster the drop-time, the more minimized any off-balanced issues are to your fingers because the mass of the pendulum has been increased top to bottom, and the rig is holding itself upright rather aggressively. ( A 1 second drop opposed to a 3 second drop, for example ) I am a HUGE fan of taking an extra 2 minutes when doing a build to build the rig and then set the gimbal to neutral. Zero G, as I call it. Then very carefully arrange both axis so that the system is perfectly balanced. Even a slow drop time is using bottom-heaviness to overcome elements that are trying to pull the rig to one side or another. Only way to know if your build is perfectly centered is to trim fore/aft and side/side while neutral. Then, ASSUMING your gimbal itself is centered, your rig can and will behave exactly like a planetarium machine. You can tip it upside down and to an extreme axis- and it should hang there immobile. Any slow roll or sway is then easier to locate. I used to do it at workshops I taught. If there's a rolling or tilting that you cannot pin down to errant loose cables or trim, then cast your eyes to your gimbal itself. A useful bit to engage in every single time you build. It MUST be done out of the wind, of course. Any breeze will push a rig that's at neutral around. As to the issue of how to center your gimbal, there are written guides out there depending on which gimbal you are using. Glad to help you with this- but better to get those already well-proven guides into your hands. Which gimbal is it?
    4 points
  27. Selling my G70X Arm. Located in Denmark. Includes bag and rain covers. €7660 / $8500
    4 points
  28. I thought I’d take a moment to share little bit of history which might be fun. Scrounging through some really old photographs I came across a couple of beauties dating back to around 1989. As aged as they appear, they indicate a counterculture that was taking root as Cinema Products struggled to understand the needs of the Steadicam Operator. While still living in South Africa, I met some aeronautical engineers whose day job was designing the Heads Up Display for the Rooivalk Attack Helicopter. As the technologies that applied to Steadicam covered some common ground, it seemed like a good place to start. I explained some of the quirks that we endure with the Steadicam, particularly its desire to depart perfect level when in the hands of a faltering and inadequate operator. As a member of that club, I pitched the idea of a cradle coupled with level sensors and a stepper motor that would take away our pain. It took a few months and these photos are the only evidence of what we came up with. It was a rough prototype but mechanically it worked pretty well as long as I kept the post travelling from left to right. The hitch in the giddy-up was the processing speed along with the level sensors of the time. As a concept it was limited, but the best sensor of that era, which might have improved our chances and which were probably only the equivalent of the sensor that was put in the very first iPhone, would have cost us around $18,000. If I remember correctly, it worked on the basis of a harmonic or acoustic signal that would distort as it departed level. After playing with the prototype for a while, it was clear that we had a long way to go. When I arrived in the USA and got into similar discussions with George Paddock, the challenge seemed more achievable. We were sadly humbled as we endured however. It is one thing to produce a rough prototype, but to consider putting it out to the world is another thing completely. Over the years we tried three times to launch the project but each time we encountered another problem and I have to say that the cash required was somewhat daunting. In a strange way, I was divided between the elegance and exclusiveness that lived within the Steadicam, while at the same time trying to create what amounted to be both a shortcut and a crutch. One of our attempts was in the era of Lynn Nicholson’s development of the Alien, and with the amount of money he had already invested, we felt that it would be underhand and deceptive to proceed with a vaguely similar concept. A group of us had been invited to a private demonstration of the Alien in a motel room near Universal and essentially Lynn demonstrated that he had solved the challenge of Camera Orientation according to planet earth. As the years past and the dust settled, we took one more stab at it and agreed to call it a day. It started to feel like we were in conflict our initial intention of keeping the PRO simple, clean and beautiful. I kept these two photographs which I carried with me when I settled in the USA on the off chance then I would find myself in a complicated conversation regarding the origination of the idea and the tricky issue of “Prior Art”. That may have been astute but as the years passed it became redundant. I'm also including in this collection a particular design that George and I approached along the way. We came to the conclusion that the arc of the leveling system actually needed to run in the inverse of what was conventional. When we mounted a camera and wore the Steadicam, we fully understood in about 2 seconds the concept of a mechanical system that has become un- coupled. That has to be one of my strangest Steadicam sensations I’ve ever felt, and thousands of dollars lay at our feet. It was with a certain amount of whimsy that I watched Chris Betz so elegantly achieve what had eluded myself and George for so long. It is one thing to tinker with prototypes, but to bring a product as complicated as the WAVE to a fickle and demanding market is a sign of incredible perseverance and fortitude. When George and I ran out of gas, others were better equipped to embrace the emerging technologies. What may have been telling, is that throughout the years we never came up with a name for it. The future is now saturated with camera stabilization that we couldn’t even imagine back in the 80’s and 90’s. Ironically, no matter how much technology is brought to bear, the best results still emerge from a neutrally balanced system and Garrett’s fingerprints can be found throughout.
    4 points
  29. Here's another one of David Hable's masterpieces. He modified my Wave to provide power outlets and BNC's as well as a back-lit bubble level. Now the camera sits 2inches lower minus the weight of the Dbox and topstage. I use the XCS side-to-side plate in the Wave for balance within the Wave. I have side-to-side adjustment on my monitor for Sled balance. The sled was a PRO Lite that has been upgraded to HD and the 2inch post and gimbal are MK-V. It's a fantastic rig that had become my pre-pandemic work horse. The loss of weight and height between the gimbal and wave allows me to keep the sled compact and tight to my body. I love it! David is such an innovative problem solver. There isn't much you can throw at him that he can't adapt.
    4 points
  30. From Ted’s manual of style...always a great idea to charge per minute, or even per foot moved. More for stairs. They can’t afford low mode.
    4 points
  31. 25 years ago today, Ted Churchill died. For those of us who knew him it was a painful day and time in our personal lives and in our careers. For those who knew of him back then, it was a shocker and made them want to know more. There will be links coming in here that will provide nuance and detail and some incredible clips and videos of him. As Garrett Brown has often said, " I invented the Steadicam. Ted invented the Steadicam Operator ". Hope you're resting in peace, Teddy.
    4 points
  32. To those who missed my Chocolate Lab, Harley. Meet our new two month old Black Lab. This is Lillie. She will be excited to meet you!
    4 points
  33. We work in a world where being seen in a reflection is bad, and for live operators the need is to remain as unobtrusive as possible. And providing the least amount of distraction to the actors. Anything but black is unprofessional, in my opinion.
    4 points
  34. A suggestion - Greek out everything already showing on the vest and then don't add anything to attract more attention to yourself.
    4 points
  35. My list of features on the M2 follows - Alas, the final specs for weight and min and max lengths, and of course, the pricing, are not done. Some post-NAB tweaks are in the works, and I believe Tiffen will announce it all officially by CineGear, if not sooner. M2 highlights Overall Lightweight, stiff, modular, 12/24v + 3rdbattery, integral Volt electronics, Volt ready gimbal, +/– tilt head, 3x HDSDI lines. G-50X companion sled. Modularity Stage, base, and posts are fully interchangeable with M1 components, both mechanically and electronically. Stage features Very low profile Large size, longer dovetail plate, updated hole pattern Tool-free dovetail plate lock and release, identical to M1 Integral Volt “brain” electronics inside stage (optional feature) 3x HDSDI ports, 2x Lemo power ports, tally connector, 2x P-taps +/– 10 degree tilt head Post systems Standard 2 post system Shorter 2 post system Also available with M1’s 2 and 3-stage post systems Gimbal High precision bearings Volt ready Integrated Volt encoder ring Tool-free post clamp Handle for .500, .625, or .740 arm posts Monitor mount to center post Tool-free, solid design Clamp lever for height adjustment Inserts for different post sizes 15mm rods on 60mm centers Monitor Universal monitor mount Choice of many monitors Base 3x HDSDI connectors 2x Power port Monitor port Low profile Integral 3rdbattery mount (optional) Dovetail base (optional) Cheeseplate base (optional) Battery mount 2x IDX or AB (IDX mount now with battery release protectors) Switchable 12/24 volts 3rd battery on/off switch 12 volt P-taps on each battery USB power tap
    4 points
  36. They are Klixon breakers, available from Aircraft Spruce, an aircraft parts supplier. They’re not cheap, but here they are. I’ve also gotten them from Peerless Electronics. https://m.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/elpages/klixon7277.php?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIitPVhbb93wIViorICh0fXQBIEAQYAiABEgIy2vD_BwE I’ve used the 7277-2-# series, where that last number is the ampacity.
    4 points
  37. Hi everyone Here is a interview with Larry McConkey talking about the Copa shot enjoy Louis Puli Goodfellas BTS copy 2.pdf
    4 points
  38. Hello everyone, I'm selling my Steadicam M2 Volt with a G70X arm and an Exovest. Everything is almost in brand new condition, with just few hours of use. Here's a list of the items: - Tiffen Steadicam M2 Volt ( 1.75 2- section post and 3 gold mount battery plates) - Tiffen Volt rain cover - Additional Tiffen Volt power cable - Tiffen M2 sled tools and accessories - Tiffen Volt docking bracket with accessories and original pouch - Transvideo Stargate HDR 7" - Transvideo soft cover and SDI cables - Tiffen Steadicam G70X Arm with accessories and original pouch - Tiffen Arm rain cover - Tiffen 12" Arm post - Tiffen Steadicam Fawcett Exovest with accessories and original case - Pelican iM2950 ( Steadicam Sled ) - Pelican 1650 ( Steadicam Arm and accessories ) - Inovativ AXIS stand with soft case - Inovativ AXIS set of wheels with pouches Total asking price: $70950 Every single item is on perfect condition. The Steadicam kit is on "goofy configuration", if you need it on "standard configuration" I can do it for you... Thanks !
    3 points
  39. Hi everyone! I always love perusing this site and reading about other ops journey and setups so I figured I’d finally give back a little and show my current set up. After years of being a gimbal op and hating how the ArmorMan 2 was on my body, as well as just the restriction of doorways and the absence of a good low-mode option, I finally pulled the trigger and got the SmartSystems Matrix sled with X1 arm…. And boy do I LOVE IT! I get the ergonomics and operability of a Steadicam with the roll control and smooth action of a gimbal. As well as being able to do some pretty crazy moves (with the execption of the trinity low to high jib mode in 1 shot - the tail gets in the way) + being able to switch to low mode in 15 seconds. :) Feel free to use this post to ask any questions of the setup or operation of it. I’m currently on a show that we are rocking the Venice + recorder + k35s + Preston … a 29lb camera package. With counter weights, the total sled comes in at 73lbs It’s a beast but with some workouts, smart operation, and taking care of my body, I’ve gotten exceptionally comfortable with it. We’re regularly doing 15-20 mins walk and talks + 100meter+ moves. It’s not for the faint of heart (or back) but neither is the Trinity or Omega. Happy operating and shooting!
    3 points
  40. Hope everyone on the forum is safe and healthy and doing well. If not, send me a message. Let’s talk. I’m no psychiatrist, but I’m happy to give an ear. All the best, Maxwel
    3 points
  41. Preston Handset 2 with Microforce V+F and MDR-2, complete and working OK. Preston Handset 2 S/N 2175 Preston Transmitter S/N 49235 Preston Microforce V+F S/N 95419 Preston MDR-2 S/N 1191 Preston DM 1 S/N 1808 Preston DM 2 S/N 3482 Preston DM 2 S/N 3491 Preston Remote Iris with 25 ft Cable Preston FIZ Handset Batteries and Charger Omnishot Preston FIZ Handset Battery Adapter, Batteries, and Charger Digital Motor add on Gears, 32p, 48p, 64p, .4mm, .5mm, .6mm, and attachment screws Hill PAM motor mount arms, Motor Rosette, D Clamp, Dog Bone 19mm extension, Panavision Body mount, 15mm and 5/8 Rod bushings, MDR bolt and clamp quick release mount MDR-2 Digital Motor cables and spares, Microforce cables, short, extension, and longer, 100 ft MDR-2 hardwire cable, MDR-2 power cables, 3 and 4 pin XLR, Panavision, Arri, D tap MDR-2 camera cables, Panavision, Arri, Red Digital, Sony, Red Limo Syn Cable Located in Miami, Lee Stone, lee@miamigrip.com, 305-389-5120, asking $6,750.00
    3 points
  42. I think it's a shame there's so few discussions in the 'Aesthetics' threads here when that's kinda the whole point of what we do, right?! I'm just hoping to leave this space open for discussion on the aesthetics of 1917. From a story and technical point of view, I found this film to be absolutely phenomenal and virtually flawless. But in talking about the look of the movie, I thought it was so beautiful and no doubt thanks to Deakins' incredible talent but of course the operators who made these frames. I was blown away and again watching the movie. A few highlights were that plane crash 'shot' and the 'shot' following George MacKay's character down the river when he begins to go under and then the slow, slow approach to fallen tree with the dozens of bodies slowly revealing themselves - eerie to say the least. I, and maybe you were too, was concerned this film as a oner would feel a bit gimmicky, but I think the lack of 'editing' and the ability to place the audience in real time with the characters was perfect. Every key piece of information was revealed to the camera at just the right time, forcing our reactions to sync up perfectly with the characters. Think - the rat and the trip wire. There is no insert shot of the rat approaching the wire to build suspense and give a wink to the audience, we see the rat at the exact moment the characters do, and only have that half second to react - just like them. Similarly, there isn't any big moments where the audience watches a character's face as they look out at something or learn new information about what's in front of them without us seeing it at the same time too. I suppose the aesthetics of this film are woven so masterfully with TIMING and for me, that's really what brought it all together. I would love to have a conversation about all things 1917 that doesn't get too technical as I see a lot of those discussions happening already! Sam.
    3 points
  43. Steadi in the rain isn't fun. This looks like a whole new level of no thanks lol.
    3 points
  44. Totally stupid? Cut holes? WTF are you talking about? It's our responsibility to not infect others if asymptomatic and keep production from shutting down. That is partially accomplished by wearing a properly fitting mask without a vent. Breathing through a mask is no big deal; I've been doing it for months while humping the rig around. Hope others let you know that if that's how you act on set.
    3 points
  45. Includes transmitter, receiver, all entennas, ac power supply, several D Tap to lemo power cables and bnc cables. Works great, just not the range of newer models. $1700 OBO. 859F71DF-B42B-4143-B2B9-1F2531510C9A_1_201_a.heic
    3 points
  46. I guess that all depends on how short you are and how high you need to go. But yes, I often use a long arm post. Arm posts longer than 12" are frowned upon, based on strength. I'll try to raise to socket block maybe but really how much does that gain if your torso isn't all that long. Depending on the height one needs, one may need to do one or the other or a combo. My point is being dead set on one set up is limiting to what one can achieve as an operator. Personally, I think it makes one less versatile in a world where shots are never the same.
    3 points
  47. Here's a great modification from Cramped Attic. Betz Top stage with PRO outputs built into the top stage eliminating the junction box. Reducing the distance between the camera and gimbal by almost an inch. Makes perfect sense as long as you don't need more than two camera power outputs. David Hable is a genius at modifications. He's performed several design and modifications for me.
    3 points
  48. It’s two pieces bolted together (as you no doubt already know). The base is Mitchell mount for hi-hats/dollies/risers/basically anything on most sets. The piece with the socket block on it can also be mounted on speed rail with the u-bolts in the kit (or from a hardware store). It’s not a complicated thing to do but I’d advise against doing it by oneself unless you have done it a few times and/or someone has walked you through properly rigging the mount etc. — lots of things can go wrong without a solid base and disaster can ensue and gear can be lost as well as people injured. Definitely don’t go out in your truck (or any vehicle) without a safe solid mount, a good safety harness for you, and a driver who knows how to handle a vehicle with your life (and your life savings) hanging off the back. it’s usually not used as often as one would think (especially nowadays with all the stab heads and gimbals) but it’s a godsend when ya need it.
    3 points
  49. Grab some friends and go do some tests, outside, indoors, through halls of an office building, etc. Try Missionary, Don Juan, Goofy Foot, plain vanilla, ambush, stationary, close, far, low, high, ZZ Top, flyby, whatever you can think of . . .and you will start seeing where you are getting the shots that you want. Have fun doing this, and you may discover some trick that will come back when you need it later. Remember that YOU are the one getting the shot. What you are told by even the most expert operator here is ADVICE, not DIRECTIVE. Everyone has their preferences, and if yours turn out to be exactly like those of Lisa or Jerry, that is merely coincidence. And the only way to know what your preferences are is to drill, and drill, then drill again.
    3 points
×
×
  • Create New...