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Tom Wills

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Tom Wills last won the day on October 1

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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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  • Website
    http://www.willsvideo.com

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  1. This is a question I find very interesting! I’ve really tried to build my career on my Steadicam work blending seamlessly into a film or show, and my work being visually indistinguishable from dolly or crane work. (And on good days, I even go so far as to achieve this goal!) I would say that a professional, seasoned Steadicam operator should be able to perform shots that are elegant, simple, and are small movements, rather than just big tracking shots. And I agree that the Steadicam is often a very elegant way of executing simple shots, often much more efficiently than other methods. However, the big caution here is that doing small movements and slow moves is often the hardest thing for a Steadicam operator to do. So, how well the Steadicam can execute dolly-like movements will depend entirely upon the skill level of your operator. A newbie operator can often pull off a walk and talk on a reasonably wide lens, but pulling off delicate closeups on an 85 will often be nigh impossible. And different operators will have different skill sets that may play in here. For instance, I am the type of operator who loves gentle, elegant work, but I’m not a fan of running or stunt-y work, and I know many operators who are the opposite. This is something you should be screening for as you interview operators, and it may cost you quite a bit to get an operator of the appropriate skill level. I will also say this, having been on indie films where they did cut the dolly budget upon having me on - I would under no circumstances think of replacing a dolly with a Steadicam. Doing locked off still work on a Steadicam is not only painful physically, it can be infuriating. Every moment the operator is in the rig is stress being put on their joints and muscles, and you’re decreasing their performance for the rest of the day, when you really might need them to be in top form. The way a Steadicam tilts and pans also isn’t always conducive to how a shot needs to move. The dolly is such a fundamental tool that I can’t imagine not using one at all, unless the film is specifically choreographed with that in mind. Even on a very Steadicam heavy film, being able to do a lockoff, a very long lens shot, or even a wide establishing shot is dolly work, and being able to easily adjust the camera position and height on a dolly (instead of going to a tripod) saves an incredible amount of time on set. I also would let your operator have input on which camera platforms you are looking to use per shot. A good operator who is invested in your aesthetic will understand when you will gain something from using the Steadicam, and when the look will be identical or worse on Steadicam, and you will want to use a dolly instead. In an ideal world, the tool should be chosen to serve the shot, rather than an edict before production. Now as for stamina, I would expect that your camera will be far heavier than 3 Kg once fully loaded! The cameras I’m used to using are in the 25-30 lb range, and even a small camera like a Komodo or similar will end up being at least 15 pounds with wireless video, lens control, and other accessories. With that in mind, I would expect that an experienced operator should be able to work without issue for a normal day of shooting, assuming you’re doing reasonable amounts of takes (no 10+ take monsters) and normal amounts of setups with breaks for lighting, rehearsals, etc... Working 14+ hour days or extreme heat or other things may necessitate more breaks or cooldown periods between shots. It also helps a lot to have a dolly grip or AC prepared at the end of the shot to take the rig from the operator and bring it back to their stand or to the start of the shot, so energy isn’t being wasted when the camera isn’t rolling. That kind of small touch often can add to more stamina and more energy towards the end of the day. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck with your film!
  2. This appears to be the link to Marcus’s new website - he appears to have dropped the “Baer-Bel” name and is now working under the company title of Catgriller (the name of his tripod adapter plate). His website could use some work, but at least it looks like its easy to purchase online now. http://magento2.p599278.webspaceconfig.de/de/sony-v-mount-schnapp-platte.html His email is also Baer-bel@gmx.net .
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. Tom

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

    thanks 

    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
  6. 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.
  7. Sold! Thanks for all the interest!
  8. 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
  9. Apparently I never marked this as sold. Apologies, it’s been sold since 2019. Thanks!
  10. 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!

  11. 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.
  12. 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!)
  13. 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
  14. 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!)
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