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Tom Wills

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Tom Wills last won the day on January 13

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About Tom Wills

  • Birthday 02/21/1990

Profile Information

  • Rig
    XCS, PRO Arm, Klassen Harness, Too many toys to list
  • Location
    Stockton, NJ

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  1. I remember when you told me this - so strange for someone to try to impersonate me! I’m far too easy to find and corroborate stories with for that to work!
  2. Hi Damien, I know it’s been over a year, but is there any chance you still have the UAP-2 for sale? Thank you!
  3. Tom

    of the four sleds for sale is #3 the 1.5” mkv still for sale 


    1. Tom Wills

      Tom Wills

      Hi Dave, all 4 of those sleds are sold, but I may be putting together another sled for sale soon. It’ll post up on the marketplace if I do end up putting it together. Thanks!

    2. Dave Sheridan
  4. The dovetail for the SK is the same as used on the Flyer, if I remember correctly. It is the smaller “medium dovetail” size, and it has a gear rack on the bottom of the dovetail. The Flyer was made recently enough that Tiffen may still carry dovetails in that size. As for the battery for dynamic balance, it likely is expecting something like an Anton Bauer ProPac. They weighed around 5 pounds.
  5. Sold! Thanks for all the interest!
  6. This is a Betz-Tools Twister rig. I picked it up used about a year ago for a project that I didn’t ever end up finishing. I’m selling it now to clear some space in my shop. This allows you to mount the Betz Wave on a Steadicam arm for horizon-stabilized handheld operating. The Twister is slightly modified (partially by the previous owner, and partially by me) to accept different hole spacings on the bottom. Currently there is a Wooden Camera 120mm quick release plate mounted for easy on and off of the Wave, if you attach a quick release plate to your Wave. It could also accept an SOS plate for easy mounting that way. What you see in the pictures is what is included. Comes in a Pelican Air case. Shipping on the buyer’s expense, or pickup available in New York. Asking $1000 plus shipping. Thanks! Email for more info: willsvideo@gmail.com
  7. Apparently I never marked this as sold. Apologies, it’s been sold since 2019. Thanks!
  8. Is your geared head still available? 

    (646) 270-7530.  I'd like to make an offer I live in ncy and would like to see it. Thanks. 

    1. Tom Wills

      Tom Wills

      Hi William, thanks for the message, the head sold years ago. Thanks!

  9. 2 things here (and I apologize if this is brief, I’m on set at the moment). The answer to your actual question is that you dynamically balance without those cables. Get the rig into DB with all those cables disconnected, then add them. Now rebalance the sled using only the Topstage and gimbal (do not move anything on the base of the rig). The rig will still be in dynamic balance. However, in most circumstances with most rigs dynamic balance only affects the tilt axis of the rig, and only while panning. Unless parts of the base of your rig are offset to one side, and your horizon only goes off while panning, your horizon issue is more than likely completely unrelated to dynamic balance.
  10. This is a 1st Gen Steadicam Flyer package that I picked up last summer and modified as a project. Now for sale! The Flyer was the first of Tiffen’s really serious lightweight rigs that could be used for professional jobs. It supports cameras in the 15 pound range, which while limiting for big jobs, would allow you to fly a lot of the smaller cinema cameras that are now out. This rig has been re-wired for an HD-SDI line down the post, as well as a more modern Tiffen-standard 3 pin power plug. The rig has a baseplate with standard 15mm rods on it, allowing for monitor and battery mounting, and a lot of flexibility in terms of which monitor you can use. Includes arm and vest, both in working order, though all of the pieces show signs of use. Asking $2000 for this rig (arm, vest, and sled together) plus shipping, or pickup in the New York/NJ area. Contact me at willsvideo@gmail.com or 215-796-8938 if you’re interested (please be patient, as I’m working!)
  11. I have 3 front-mounted vests for sale. These were purchased as part of a lot of equipment last year, and I don’t need this many backup vests! All vests are sold as-is, are available for test in NY or NJ, and can ship at the buyer’s expense. Contact me at willsvideo@gmail.com or 215-796-8938 if you’re interested. (Please be patient, as I’m working!) Custom front mount vest of unknown make This vest looks to be in good shape, though it does appear to have been used. It is quite adjustable, with a lot of Velcro strapping and sliding shoulder and chest buckles. Asking $1500 for this vest 3A Vest with new back leather This vest is well-worn, and could probably use some rebuilding eventually, but seems functional. It has a new piece of solid back leather, rather than the multiple pieces of the original vest. Asking $1000 for this vest 3A Vest in need of service The metal parts of this vest are intact, and it includes all of the leather and straps (though they're mismatched from several different donor vests), but the pads are in sad shape, and the foam has disintegrated. This vest could use to be rebuilt by someone like Janice Arthur, but could probably save you some money as it is mostly mechanically intact. Asking $750 for this vest
  12. This is a Cinema Products Steadicam 3A arm for sale. I believe it has Gold Springs, and seems to be in good working order. This was acquired in a lot of equipment that I purchased last year, and I have no need for another arm at this point, so I’d like it to find a good new home. Includes one 6” arm post. Asking $3500 for this arm. Available for test in NY or NJ, and can ship at the buyer’s expense. Contact me at willsvideo@gmail.com or 215-796-8938 if you’re interested. (Please be patient, as I’m working!)
  13. I have 4 sleds for sale. Three of them were acquired in a lot of other equipment, and I don’t need them, so I am passing them along. One of them was a project build for me last summer, and I rebuilt from the ground up. All rigs are sold as-is, although I have taken apart most of these rigs and can potentially help you down the line if you run into any issues with them. All rigs are available for testing in person in NJ or the NY area, and can be shipped at the buyer's expense. Contact me at willsvideo@gmail.com or 215-796-8938 if you're interested in any of them. (Please be patient, as I am working!) Steadicam Master Series with custom base and electronics This rig was a project for me last year, and I spent several weeks rebuilding this rig to be something I was happy with. The rig started as a stock Master series sled, but I added on some modified MK-V components and several custom-machined pieces, along with an entirely new electronics housing on the base. It has 2 AB plates, wired for series or parallel 12 or 24v, an HD-SDI line down the post, and standard Tiffen-style power connectors top and bottom. The rig currently has on it an old beat up Marshall HD monitor, which I’ll include for free, but it could use to be upgraded to something better for real operating. Includes docking bracket, monitor, monitor power cable, and one dovetail. Asking $9000 or best offer for this sled Steadicam Master Series with MK-V Modified Base This sled is one of the sleds that MK-V offered an “upgrade” for, which replaced the entire base of the rig, swapping it for a new MK-V designed base, which in this case has 19mm rods for the battery, an MK-V monitor mount, which is very flexible in its position on the rig, and MK-V V2 SD electronics in the base. Everything appears to work, although the sled does have quite a bit of wear on it. It includes a double AB battery mount, docking bracket, dovetail, and a MK-V Hummingbird SD daylight-viewable monitor (or could be sold without, if you’d like to add your own HD monitor). It may be possible in the future to HD upgrade this rig if you’d like, or it is very usable as a “starter rig” until you’re ready to upgrade. Asking $6000 or best offer for this sled. MK-V Sled with 1.5” Post, 3A gimbal, V2 SD electronics This sled is comprised of a 1.5” 2-stage post, MK-V V2 SD electronics top and bottom, an MK-V 3A-style topstage (easily swappable for a PRO or Betz stage later) and 19mm MK-V rod brackets for the monitor and battery mounts. The gimbal is a 3A gimbal modified with an MK-V upgrade to a tool-less adjustable grip. The rig is in working order, and some parts appear to be brand new (like the battery and monitor rods) This rig offers many upgrade paths due to its modularity, including new top stages, new gimbals (PRO or XCS) and new electronics from MK-V. It includes an MK-V docking bracket, and dovetail. Asking $7500 or best offer for this sled. Custom “Running Rig” MK-V sled build (bare bones) This rig looks like it was a project by the previous owner. It is an MK-V 1.5” CF post, an MK-V gimbal (silver, perhaps a prototype?), 3A-Style topstage, and a custom base section based off of MK-V’s 19mm rods. Quite importantly, this rig has no electronics on the rig. The previous owner ran 2 HD-SDI cables down the post, but there isn’t currently any power wiring down the rig. This would be a great place to start for an enterprising operator who wants to start with the parts to build a really impressive rig, but wants to save money at the moment. There are 2 battery plates included, along with a docking bracket, and some docking collars. I can also throw in some extra 19mm rods. Asking $6000 or best offer for this sled.
  14. 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.
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