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Lisa Sene

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Everything posted by Lisa Sene

  1. Lisa Sene

    Framing for Child and Adult

    Hi Kevin, Height differences are always challenging. Think about what lens you're on, and figure out the distance you need to be from both actors/actresses to maintain your desired composition. Also think about being able to hold them if you're going around corners, and whether or not losing sight of them for a few moments is okay or not - a good conversation to have with DP and/or director. A tight two shot typically isn't very aesthetically pleasing if one head is at the bottom of frame and one is at the top, or your whole frame is dutched to get both, but as with everything else, it depends on the story you're trying to tell. Maybe low mode is a better choice because you see more of the upper wall behind them and notice a picture on the wall that's important to the story that you'd miss in high mode. Experiment and see what feels right to you for what you're trying to convey in the shot. Happy flying! Lisa
  2. Lisa Sene

    Vest Crack

    Glad it's a simple fix!
  3. Lisa Sene

    Inovativ Cart set up

    Hi Alfeo, I have had a Scout 37 NXT (don't think they make it anymore) for a little over 2 years, and just got a Voyager EVO Scout 37 as a replacement, both with the Steadicam kit. Nothing wrong with the NXT per se, but the Voyager serves my needs better, especially for day-playing when I'm breaking it down/setting it up to get it in and out of my car twice a day. The Voyager is now living on a camera truck on a show as of yesterday, so I haven't fully put it to the test yet. So far the only thing I noticed that disappointed me was that you have to remove the Steadicam mast because one connection point it to the top shelf as there is only one crossbar on each side. The NXT had two on the mast side, and I ended up getting a second one for the other side and switching the side I kept the mast on so I could keep the mast on the cart while it was folded to save time. Not terribly long to take off of the Voyager, but would be nice to not have to do that. Also worth noting, I don't use the sled cushion because the spacing isn't right with my sled and docking bracket, and I don't use the vest hanger because I don't like things other than my body sitting against my Exovest memory foam for long periods of time. Here were my reasons for changing: - Adjustable top shelf height. Became a definite need for travel jobs that had a lot of huge cases - way easier to fit them when the top shelf moves. - No need for a soft bag to add handles to the cart (necessary for lifting in and out of my trunk) - they are built into the cart on the Voyager. Might get one eventually to protect it more if I ever fly with it (which I did twice with the NXT). Also no more putting a soft bag down ( necessary to fully attach the bag onto the cart when doing it alone) on wet/muddy ground or gross streets - yuck. - Tapped holes on the sides of the top shelf for accessories - not sure I see myself using them, but the ACs thought that was a great addition. - Latches to close the cart when folded are on the short sides and don't stick out and get bent when going around tight doorways - a constant struggle with my NXT going in and out of tight doorways and hallways. - Mechanism to drop the sidebars is better on the Voyager - the NXT had buttons that had to fully depress at the same time to collapse and would get stuck often or pinch fingers/break nails. I eventually started using tools, but then depressed them so far they fell into the sidebars. Relatively easy to pop back out, though not something I wanted to deal with packing to leave in the morning or the end of a long day. - The wheels attach via dovetail, which seemed better though so far they are somewhat hard to get on and off - though, it's new, and was also very humid the few times I've done that, so that may be why. - Better wheels locks. Easier to tell if they're locked or unlocked, and therefore less likely to strip over time. - Slightly deeper shelves (I think?) on both the top and bottom. Also: - I have a large Cinebag for accessories, and I attach it to the non-sled side of the cart with two safety chains and some carabiners. Gets you additional cart space, and is a nice counterweight when balancing a heavier sled. - Both do scratch fairly easily. Happy flying!
  4. Lisa Sene

    Vest Crack

    Hi Isaac, Have you contacted Tiffen? They should be able to best advise how to fix it, and check for other potential issues (let them know how it cracked, a drop or too much weight). I would fix it before flying with it personally - it's going to be a weak point, and the weight of the rig could make it crack further and possibly hurt you. Safe flying!
  5. Lisa Sene

    Who should buy the Aero-15?

    Hi cyjackx, Please adhere to the rules and use your real name on this forum. You may benefit from a Bronze Workshop, as they will have a few different Tiffen rigs there, and give you the basics of building, balancing, and flying if you have not used a Steadicam before. If you're doing it correctly, you won't be "sacrificing your knees". Which sled, arm, and vest to buy is a decision that is based on many factors: total payload, price range, power needs, accessories, transportability, if you ever plan to upgrade, etc. Lisa
  6. Lisa Sene

    Steadicam Workshops

    Hi Justin, It depends on your interest level and finances. Bronze is a great way to dip your feet in (especially if you've never had a rig on before) and make sure it's for you before making a larger financial investment in the SOA workshop. You'll have some time in the rig, and learn building and balancing. It's a fantastic foundation upon which to build, either via your own practice, or by taking a larger workshop down the road. If you have your heart set on Steadicam, skip the Bronze and go for the SOA workshop. It doesn't matter if you've never had a rig on before; students of all experience levels are welcome to attend, as there is always room to improve and more to learn. Feel free to PM me with more questions! Lisa
  7. Lisa Sene

    Best Hi-Brite monitor for Archer 2

    Hi Eric, If you can, go to NAB or Cinegear and check out monitors in person. Cinegear is outside, so you'll have a better chance of seeing how they perform in daylight. Also possible at a rental house - ask them nicely (and maybe bring cookies) if you can check out a few different monitors one day in their parking lot. Personally, I settled on the smallHD 703. It can be blindly reflective when angled directly at the sun, but has otherwise been wonderful for day exterior work. I'm still exploring solutions to solve the reflectivity (custom cut anti-reflective glass being one). Happy flying! Lisa
  8. Hi Sean, As Tom said, it sounds like a workshop would benefit you. Here are a few more options in addition to the one Tom linked: Tiffen Workshops SOA Workshop Another great resource is The Steadicam Operator's Handbook. Though it's a great guide, it can't replace someone with experience making sure your vest is fitting correctly, you're walking correctly, holding the rig correctly, etc. - all of which could be contributing to your footsteps translating to your frame. Happy flying! Lisa
  9. Thanks for the wise words, Janice! The percentages are great to have as a baseline to keep in mind when budgeting. Lisa
  10. Lisa Sene

    G70X locking up on boom

    Fingers crossed it's an easy fix! Lisa
  11. Lisa Sene

    G70X locking up on boom

    Hey Pete, You've probably tried this - have you tested with the ride knob adjusted differently? Does the movement change at all? Hard to see where it was set from the angle in the video, though if it's a heavier load, you'll likely need more visible threads (i.e. more iso). Is it doing it only on the top section of the arm, or the bottom as well? Lisa
  12. New York Operators - Metro Camera Cars is doing demos of their E-Trike over the next two weekends. See the Facebook event here with dates and times, and to RSVP. From the event page: "The E-Trike for Steadicam and Gimbal Ops will be rigged and ready for demo runs. No gear needed, we'll have everything setup for you to get acquainted and do a few test runs.We'll do a simulated scene, leading talent through the hallway and into Lightbulb Grip & Electric. We can reset and practice the run with stepping off and stepping on if folks are interested.It's a loose format, conversation, test runs and talking shop.During and After the event we can take the rest of the folks waiting to ride outside to checkout the Camera Car and talk shop.Days/TimesSunday Feb 17th- Steadicam Day - 1pm-4pmSaturday Feb 23th- Gimbal Day - 1pm-4pmSunday Feb 24th- Steadicam Day - 1pm-4pmAddress1027 Grand Street, Unit #133, Brooklyn NY, 11211Times may change slightly but this seems good for most people thus far. Please let me know who you're bringing if you're inviting another Op to the demo. We don't want it getting overcrowded and diminish the test times for individuals." Lisa
  13. Lisa Sene

    Walk and Talk technique

    Hi Cedric, As for feeling as though you are losing your balance on stairs, does that happen when walking backwards or in Don Juan, or both? You may benefit from seeking out a good physical therapist who understands the industry a bit and/or can understand how you are using your body while operating. He or she can then help you train your vestibular system (inner ear balance) to achieve better balance in general, and while operating. If you're anywhere near New York, there is a fantastic PT who used to be an AC, Liz Cash, who I started working with recently. We've just started to do specific vestibular work with my rig during workouts, which has made me realize things about my stance, balance, and footwear that I wasn't previously aware of. In addition to vestibular work, she also focuses on evening out strength and mobility across your body (important for Steadicam and handheld, since we generally use half of the body for those tasks more so than the other), and ensuring you have full range of motion in all parts of your body where you should (and how to get it back if you've lost it). She takes a measured and intellectual approach to PT, overall fitness, and nutrition, and I cannot recommend her enough! Happy flying! Lisa
  14. Lisa Sene

    Zephyr Vest with bigger arm and sled

    Thanks Chris! You're welcome, Kevin!
  15. Lisa Sene

    Zephyr Vest with bigger arm and sled

    Hi Kevin, You'll need the smaller socket block to use your A30 arm on an Exovest. There is a smaller version of the Exovest, the Exolite, though you're better off getting the regular Exovest. It will be future-proof if you upgrade your sled and arm, and you'll never have to worry about stressing the parts under heavier loads. That said, make sure you try it first and have someone fit it to you if you aren't familiar with the Exovest. The fit is very specific, and it can be uncomfortable if it's not sitting on your body correctly. You'll also walk a bit differently than you do in a traditional-style vest, as you must let your pelvic bones rise and fall (as they do naturally when you walk without a rig). In a traditional-style vest, you work to hold your pelvis level so your footsteps don't translate to the sled. There are pivot points in the Exovest that compensate for the rise and fall of your pelvic bones, allowing you to walk more normally. The Exovest is also much more unforgiving if you are not standing up straight because of those same pivot points. Not a bad thing in my opinion, as you should be in good form anyway! Happy flying! Lisa
  16. Lisa Sene

    Balance issue

    Hi Sawyer, As Tom said, it looks like your gimbal likely needs to be re-centered. It would be best to send the sled to the factory for them to do a full checkup, as it may be the gimbal, or something else, or a combination of a few things. Lisa
  17. Lisa Sene

    Zephyr Vest with bigger arm and sled

    Hi Kevin, I'll echo Chris in that the Zephyr vest is very capable, though a word of caution - do make sure you're not extending the capacity of the vest. I witnessed the plastic waistband on a lighter-weight vest snap at a workshop under a heavy load (M-1, G-70x arm, at least 25lb camera payload). Not only is that unfortunate because it's a broken vest, but, more concernedly, it could also hurt your body due to the sudden, unexpected shift in weight distribution across your body. Be safe! Lisa
  18. Lisa Sene

    Walk and Talk technique

    Hi Cedric, I typically stay in Missionary whenever possible because I feel I have more control over my frame than in Don Juan, though it does depend on the speed and complexity of the move, if stairs are involved, and how comfortable I am with my spotter. If it's a very fast move with lots of obstacles, and if I'm unsure of my spotter's ability to guide me and catch me if I do trip, then I'll do Don Juan so I have a better chance of navigating myself. It's a good idea to talk with your spotter and explain to him or her what your preferences are in spotting - where to hold your vest, if you prefer to be pulled or poked for navigation, and how to catch you if you do trip. I usually do a trust fall of sorts with new spotters to show them how much weight they will have to support if I do fall. Most are surprised at how much heavier I am with a rig on, which tells me they probably would not have been prepared to hold that much weight in the event of a fall before my showing them, and I likely would have taken them down with me. Happy flying! Lisa
  19. Lisa Sene

    Steadicam + Ronin gimbal ? Thoughts

    Hi Kit, There are a lot of factors in deciding on an upgrade. As it seems you already have, think about the typical build you'll be using for your market. Can the new system handle the total payload, as well as power needs? If you put a Ronin on your Solo arm with that camera setup, make sure the arm payload can take the full weight of the camera build and the Ronin. Make sure you have mounting options for your accessories, and a monitoring solution. Also think about the differences in movement in Steadicam and Ronin; they are both very different tools. Which one serves the needs of your clientele the most? Happy flying! Lisa
  20. Lisa Sene

    Never Touched a Stedicam Before

    Hi Adam, Jerry's advice recommending that you to find a local operator to guide you is your best option. You can also look into taking a workshop (Tiffen offers several levels here, and the SOA offers a workshop here). The handbook is also a phenomenal resource, though technique is best learned by doing, and having someone helping you who can teach you proper form, and make sure the vest (and thus load) is sitting on your body in the correct way (from the picture, the vest looks like it might be a little crooked). As Jerry said, find someone to help and/or take a workshop before doing more. It's a lot easier to learn the correct way rather than unlearning bad habits, and it's much easier to start with the correct form rather than rehabbing injury from bad form. Also - welcome to the community! From the look on your face in the picture, and your enthusiasm expressed in your posts, it's easy to see your excitement. Keep going! Lisa
  21. Lisa Sene

    Vehicle Safety Gear

    Hi Jared, I've been well, I hope you're well too! Check out this site, which a great key grip just told me about recently: www.fallprotectionpros.com. They have harnesses and lanyards and fall limiters that are all rated correctly in terms of what we'd be looking for. I've been meaning to reach out to them to learn more but haven't had a chance yet. At the very least, you want one of the lanyards that has the crinkled up part (for lack of better terminology) which will give a little slack in the event that the line comes into use. My key grip friend pointed out that if you have a line with no crinkle, you could end up breaking a bone due to the shock of the line with absolutely no give in it. Again, I would talk to a rep at that site before buying anything as they can best advise and explain. Lisa
  22. Lisa Sene

    Vehicle Safety Gear

    Hey Jared! The WK vehicle mount is very well made and great for versatility since it has both a Mitchell mount and speed rail mount option. As far as a harness and safety gear, I use this full-body climbing harness, and typically wear it backwards so I can be clipped in on my back. I also have this climbing harness, though I have never used it on a job since I always feel safer in the full-body version; I want my full torso secured rather than my bottom half only. I'm usually clipped in via thick webbing and and a strong carabiner clip meant for climbing. I carry several length loops and thicknesses of webbing in my kit, and lots of carabiners. I also wear hard side skateboarding knee pads and a helmet (I use one from horseback riding, since the potential fall height and general speed is about the same - if we're going faster than a horse, I probably don't want to be doing that shot!). In addition to protection from falls, knee pads and helmets are also useful if your knees/head are near speed rail, knobs, or any other hard object that you could whack into while in motion. Make sure you have something soft to wrap around a pole if you're leaning against it (like an India mount or speed rail), and a place for your feet. I carry a spool of thick webbing (easy to find at REI or marine supply store) that can be cut and tied off to use as stirrups in a pinch. It's also good to have some vectran (check a marine supply store) for a very strong but thin rope to tie off the arm to keep it from bottoming out or extending past its intended reach - also useful to keep it secure before the sled goes on. Finally, make sure you have a method of clear communication between you and the driver so you can communicate immediately if you need to stop in an emergency. Happy (and safe) flying! Lisa
  23. Lisa Sene

    Archer 2 sled with G50-X arm use in the field

    Hi Geoffrey, I recommend taking a workshop before making any purchase decisions. That will give you access to a few types of sleds, arms, and vests. While the workshop rigs are usually all under the Tiffen umbrella, other rigs (and typically other vests) do appear. You'll also meet a lot of operators who may own other brands of gear, or know operators in your area who do, and may let you try it out. Overall, try before you buy! See what works for you, and know the camera payloads that are used in your market on the jobs you want to be doing. Larger union shows might have beefier builds that is pushing it for an Archer setup, though small corporate work might have smaller cameras that are perfect for a mid-size setup. It's possible to fly larger builds on an Archer, though make sure you are not constantly overloading the sled (Archer or whatever you go for), as it can cause unseen damage over time. Happy flying! Lisa
  24. Lisa Sene

    Do you hang your Arm on a C-Stand

    Hi Tom, The Zephyr arms usually come with a webbing loop around the aircraft pin - see the red vertical line in the attached picture. I've also seen folks attach a loop through the bottom circle, highlighted in the picture with the red circle. While I usually put my G-50x arm on my cart if it's nearby, if I'm working off my rolling stand, I hang it. I use a spare Domke lens wrap around the stand to cushion it where the arm touches so it doesn't get dinged up when it's moved. Happy flying! Lisa
  25. Lisa Sene

    Archer 1 kit

    Hi Benjamin, Depending on what condition the used Archer 1 is in, it could be an awesome sled. I was very lucky and found a great one on this forum that I was able to slowly upgrade parts of over time. Camera payload is the same on the Archer 1 and 2 - 30lbs max, which doesn't sound like much, but can be a fully built-up Alexa if you're smart about it. I have a small postal scale to make sure I'm within the range, and spec everything out beforehand if I think I'll be pushing it weight-wise. Personally I never go over 30lb with my sled because it can cause hidden damage such as the stage and yoke expanding over time. The most challenging part of an Archer 1 is the curved base, which is not as modular as some other sleds out there. All that really means is you have to have some creativity when balancing, as the monitor mount is completely fixed, and you can only move the battery so far in with the curved base. I used a system of different sized threaded weights (1/4 lb and 1 lb) on the monitor yoke and on the bottom rods. Was is ever a detriment time-wise? No. As I do with any new piece of gear, I spent some time when I first got the sled learning where I needed which weights in order to balance efficiently. All that said, I wouldn't rule out an Archer 2 (or any other brand/model of sled) if it's in your price range. If you can, test it out before you buy if you are buying used so you know about any issues up front. Good luck! Lisa