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Kevin Kisling

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Everything posted by Kevin Kisling

  1. I've also been experiencing so many ads!
  2. Tiffen was still using 1.58 posts on all their big rigs until the M1 came out with a 1.75 post. So I imagine their 1.58 would still be good. and its quite a bit lighter!
  3. Doing the workshop is a great place to start, it'll give you a very solid foundation. If you can't do this workshop, there will be others. I did the two day bronze workshop and it was wonderful. If you've missed the workshop, reach out to ops in your area and see if you can do a practice with them. You should also buy the Steadicam Operators Handbook, it's very good. If you are still close to your school, see if you can use/borrow their rig to practice. As for buying your first rig, there are many different ways to go about it. The biggest deciding factor for which rig to buy will be, what cameras do you expect to be flying immediately? Will the cameras weigh over 20lbs or under 20lbs? If under 20lbs, then you have many great less expensive options. Tiffen Flyer, Tiffen Zephyr, Tiffen Aero30. If over 20lbs, then you have many great options, but prices will vary. You can go the older route, 3A, EFP, Master, Archer, Ultra, Pro1, Pro2, etc... which may be roughly the same-ish price as a newer lightweight rig, but won't have all the bells and whistles BUT will be capable of carrying heavy payloads. OR you could go with a more modern big rig, M1, M2, Shadow, Pro, XCS, but prices are higher. It kinda all depends on your budget. The Aero30 was my first rig and it was great. I learned so much with that rig! It was what I could comfortably afford and I knew the cameras I was going to immediately have to fly would be under 20lbs. After a year though, I bought a Master since I needed to be able to fly heavier cameras. That was what I could comfortably afford at the time. Best of luck! If you are in LA hit me up and I'd be happy to show you my sleds.
  4. I have a SmallHD focus 5 and I like it. Is it essential? No. Is it beneficial? Yes. Cons - Added weight above the gimbal (could be a pro if you are looking to add weight) Another thing to power. Another thing to break. Pros - A low mode monitor puts your eyes basically where they go when oping in normal mode, so it feels more natural. Drop your gimbal and you are ready to go low quickly! I find that I do end up using both monitors when flying low mode and it is very handy. In "high" low mode, the low mode monitor is at a great height and when I need to get as low as possible, my regular monitor is at a great height. There has been so moves when I've had to boom and do switches in low mode that I end up going back and forth between them in the same shot.
  5. Hey Allen! I'm in Hollywood, down to meet up and practice!
  6. I've been looking at that one as well. I know Greg Gustafson has one, @Greg Gustafson I'm sure he could talk about it.
  7. Yeah, I think my grip was too tight, which lead to the issue and then over correcting lead to more issues. Great things to keep in mind. Thank you very much!
  8. Hey friends, Sometimes I notice some side to side swimming on tilts going from eye level down and tilting back up to eye level. Any tips on this with hand positions? Thanks!
  9. Making sure the vest is fitted with proper posture is key! When I first started considering Steadicam, I was concerned I wasn't "fit enough", but once you get your first rig, the key is to simply spend time in it practicing. Start light and work your way up in weight. Repeat a shot for a min or two and then put it down. Then try doing the shot for longer, and slowly start doing longer and longer shots. Going from flying relative "lightweight" cameras on a Zephyr to larger builds on a big rig doesn't happen overnight, it takes time. Don't get discouraged! You know your body best, if you start to feel that your legs or core or whatever isn't as strong as you like, work out there. Personally I love cycling, so that's my exercise of choice! Drink plenty of water and stretch. Listen to your body and take breaks. Before you know it, you'll be flying big builds! Best of luck!
  10. Hi Edward! I believe Janice Arthur makes and sells practice cages. If you don't have The Steadicam Operators Handbook by Jerry Holway and Laurie Hayball, pick up a copy, it has so much info to get started! I'm in Hollywood, hit me up if you'd like to do a practice session. Kevin
  11. Hey Maxwel, I haven't thought about trying it that way. I'm going to give that a go next time!
  12. In an attempt to learn my gear better inside and out, I wanted to see if any op here in LA that knows how to clean and service a Master Arm and would be willing to teach me how. I've watched 2A Arm (modified) Servicing Tutorial by SteadiKoon, but would love to do it hands on with someone experienced so I don't screw anything up. Thanks!
  13. For the sound, a service and cleaning is called for. For the lower section "jumping": I think the lower section has too much lift dialed into it. And the upper section has too little lift in it. With my master arm, it'll jump like that when I have too much lift in it. With my master arm, whenever I am tuning my arm (first day with the camera package, etc) that it's quite easy to over tune the lower section and then under tune the upper section. This is the case especially when I'm being rushed. Once I've had some time, I'll do the test you showed, and go back and forth increasing/decreasing the lift of the sections until I get them to move in unison as much as possible. I've found that my lower section will kinda always jump at least a tiny bit at the very bottom of the boom range. Hope this helps!
  14. 3 secs sounds about right, but depending on the stairs (how steep they are, how long you have to hold the tilt, etc...) perhaps a longer drop time could help. If you are following/leading directly in front/behind, any horizon issue will be much more apparent and the wider the lens, the more you'll see of the world. If the stairs are wide enough, you could lead/follow at a 3/4 angle, or on a tighter lens (to mitigate seeing horizon indicators). And I think when it comes to balancing for difficult shots; set your drop time for making the hardest part easier. Ex, setting a 3-4 sec drop time for the stairs to hold a tilt easier, even though the walk and talk before and after you'd prefer a faster drop time. Does that make sense? Best of luck!
  15. I wanted to bump this thread. I was looking for help/advice on stairs and there is so much wisdom here.
  16. Hey Andrew, I guess it all depends on the post. In this case I didn't want to post my phone and email on here, so I messaged them directly. And to be honest, sometimes I feel self conscious, and worry about saying something wrong/dumb due to inexperience. But hey, we are all learning so, I'll make a point to post publicly more.
  17. The velcro on my leather master vest has started to get worn out and needs to be replaced. Does anyone know where in LA I could have the velcro replaced? Thanks
  18. Exactly what Tom said! I typically do as light as possible with just the pads of my finger tips, but not letting go of the gimbal. On the opposite side of that, I was doing a shot last week outside when unexpectedly the wind picked up during a lock-off and I had to apply much more pressure to fight the wind. I didn't have to "death-grip" the gimbal, but it was getting close to that. With regards to horizon, it just takes practice. And when you notice you are off or starting to go off, looking for opportunities to adjust. If you end up in a lock off and you see your horizon is off, you can weigh the pros and cons of 1. fixing it in a lock off, which can sometimes bring more attention to it 2. live with it until you are moving to your next frame and you can fix it. When you are blocking shots, keep an eye out for horizon indicators that will appear in frame. If you feel it might be too big of an issue, see if you can adjust blocking to help you. Many times the environment's horizon indicators will not actually be level, so having that discussion with the DP/director to say if you want to be level or if you want to be level with something in the world. My sled has been level but the roof of a building on set wasn't level, and the DP asked me to level to the roof, which I did. Hope this helps!
  19. Hello everyone, Working on trying to get the camera as low as possible and experimenting with operating above the gimbal to help. I would love some tips and guidance on this. Do y'all keep your regular drop time or go with a longer or shorter in situations like this? Thanks in advance!
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