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Cedric Autier

Walk and Talk technique

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Hello Guys,

I'm curious to know how you guys operate your walk and talks, Missionary? Don Juan?

Depending on the lenght? If you have a spotter? etc

I'm a beginning operator and mostly do music videos and small ads, not narratives but I was curious about how operators deal with it.

 

Thanks!

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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

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Hi Cedric

 

Like Lisa said, I prefere always in Missionary, but it deppends the speed.

If the take is very long, I prefere to change angles of the take -and not to shoot the same frame- during all the take, but it depends what the director wants to do. 

Just my 2 cent,

 

   Gus

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Hi Cedric,

I sometimes work in live shows where the singer comes off the stage and walks through the arena. Many people are in my way because they want to take a photo with the celebrity. I have to change from Missionary to Don Juan quite often and unexpected because the singer starts and stops suddenly, changes the direction and so on. I am quite close to the person and when he approaches me, I sometimes have no time and room to make a switch to be in Don Juan, but I try to as soon as I can.

When it is very crowded I have to operate with only one hand on the gimbal. I use the other hand to keep the crowd on the distance that I don't hit people with the arm (which I unfortunately did in a womans belly last year when I was running with full speed). When I am in Missionary but in front of the star (walking backwards) I often bump into people with my back. I don't have a spotter as I am all alone with my rig in the crowd :-(

Usually, I prefer to go Don Juan when I walk more than a few steps. I have one eye on the monitor, half an eye on the ground below me and half an eye on my walking direction. With "half an eye" I mean I "see" with the corners of my eyes. It is not really seeing but more a recognition of shapes, light and contrast changes and movements. With this technique I can turn my head back to the actor and my monitor but can also "see" what is behind me (in my walking direction) without turning my head or just a little bit.

I hope I could explain it in a comprehensible way.

Steffen

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Hi,

Thanks to all 3 of you for your answers.

Lisa, I had not thought about the trust fall, it is a great idea as I usually don't have an experienced spotter with me.

I think I need to train for the stairs as it completely mess with my sensations and i almost always lose balance. Will try to find some others new operators to train on that point.

Steffen, I can't even think about going backwards on the crowd, hats off to you, must be so stressful having all those people around especially on a live show.

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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

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16 hours ago, Cedric Autier said:

Steffen, I can't even think about going backwards on the crowd, hats off to you, must be so stressful having all those people around especially on a live show.

It is not stressful but annoying because they disturb my operating and I sometimes get a bump against my sled or arm which I can't compensate. But mostly I find my way through the crowd without any problems.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/jkkkvb383938ct1/Steadicam show.mp4?dl=0) Here you can see an example which is not as crowded, though. Watch the bumps and shakes of the frame when I hit people or they hit me. People suddenly appear behind me when I walk backwards although they were not there when I walked forward. Sorry, that I had to pixelate and mute the singer but I want to avoid problems with her management. The movie was shot by a GoPro mounted on top of the camera. That's why the framing seems to be bad.

Steffen

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