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Janice Arthur

Operating off the spud

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Hi all;


I've had situations where the director doesn't want to take the time to go to tripod and says hey just leave rig on the stand (the fork) well it never works and u always get "tilt up" or "make it steadier". Crap I'm on the stupid fork!!!!


So don't fall for this. Take a minute switch to the spud lower or raise your stand to the right height and this is a pleasure and it works well even if you're in high or low mode and by raising or switching stands you can get to the right height.


Operating off the spud is a good for practicing swish pans etc. too.


That's my tip.




Have a fun summer and make some money!!

  • Upvote 5

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Hi Janice,


Great advice.

Probably the best way to go in those kind of situations.

If your tripod has wheels it is even quicker to get it setup in the right place.


If you own a Jerry Hill bracket (and want to spend money rather than save it ;-) ) there is another slightly different solution.

It is called the Dock N Roll from Abracam.

I guess lots of people on the forum already now about this clever mod. (http://www.steadicamforum.com/index.php?showtopic=19306)


The downside is that it is for fixed shots only. But great for setting up frame for the director and anyone else concerned so you can keep your hands free while waiting.



Edited by Jelle van der Does

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In addition to the "Dock n Roll", I've collaborated with the grips to have a C-stand nearby, a cardellini and a baby-pin on 3/8 screw available. I'll set the camera on the dock fork (low or high), rough in the shot, and then lock the whole system in place with the C-stand. If high mode, I'll have them grab the base or bottom of my sled with the cardellini. If in low mode (underslung on the stand), I'll add the 3/8 baby pin to the camera's cheese plate and bite that with the Gobo on the C-stand.


Obviously not as ideal as having a studio body available, but it's worked out well in the past.

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If they need to fire off a quick static shot and we are going straight back to Steadicam after, my solution is usually to grab a magic arm and two k-clamps, clamp one to my post and one to my steadicam stand, frame up off of the spud of my docking bracket, and then lock the magic arm in place, assuming the rig is properly balanced etc this has worked perfectly for me many times.

This should obviously go without saying, but always be cautious not to over tighten the k-clamp on your rig, it is always best to do it yourself so grips etc don't accidentally over tighten it and damage something.

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When Larry would come in on the Ugly Betty 2nd units, I would sneak away from my unit to skulk about in the shadows and watch him work (then I would pounce and we would discuss important stuff like martinis). A situation came up where they wanted to do a quick piece of coverage (no such thing really) without converting the camera or bringing in the other camera on the dolly. He said "sure -- give me 2 minutes" and grabbed his bazooka off his cart (with the Garfield already attached). That way he had a grdat deal of side to side/boom correction available for the inevitable missed mark witch might hose you if you were trapped on a spud.


I went online that night looking for a bazooka for myself and somehow ended up on a FBI watch list

  • Upvote 7

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I recently had a show where they wanted to use the camera on the steadicam for lock offs during the act and Steadi moves at the beginning and end of the acts. So getting the rig into an off the stand quickly and dialing in the shot was important.


I machined a offset plate that mounted a spud to an existing tri pod allowing you to mount your dock to a fluid head.


I was able to dock the rig , zoom and pan for on air moves and still undock quick enough to bump out of a live shot.



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