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Career steps towards becoming a Trinity op from scratch?


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Hi, I'm 32, living in Auckland, New Zealand, and have decided it's make or break time. I'm stepping away from directing to pursue what I love most - cinematography and camera movement.

I want to start crewing on stuff - and have a fairly clear idea of where I'd like to be in 5-7 years: working as a steadicam and Trinity op, as well as DPing some smaller projects.

I understand Arri recomends at least 4 years of normal Steadicam opping before even considering a Trinity system, so I want to do that.

I thought it would make the most sense to start out as a 2nd AC and/or camera trainee, get experience, save up $25-35k usd for a used Steadicam rig, pay a respected local op for lessons, then do a combo of Steadicam operating, and ideally camera operating, then eventually revisiting the idea of a Trinity.

Does this sound about right?

As a side question - I currently own a Steadicam Steadimate-S rig (for the Ronin-S gimbal). It has a Aero 15 arm and vest. I wondered if I should consider picking up an Aero Sled (or used pilot sled, or even a used Glidecam and make a custom post) for practicing in the meantime? I know that because it's much lower weight - inertia works quite different etc, but should still be good for practicing no?


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  • 3 weeks later...
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Hi Hendrikus, 

Yes mate, what you said does sound about right. 
Getting a pilot sled to practice with in the mean time is an excellent idea. If you can get one of those lighter weight sleds to fly nice and smooth you’ll be in great form when you make the move to a heavier sled and arm. They are actually more forgiving with their greater mass and inertia. It’s a long road but now is a good time to start. Best of luck.

- Damo 

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Thanks @Damian Church!

The Aero 15 rig sold with my Ronin recently, as my camera package was a little too heavy for that setup. Now I'm thinking to save up for a used Zephyr - as that might actually be good enough for some entry level paid work eventually v.s the Aero system.

It's good to know that the lighter rigs can be good learning tools!


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Second the notion of practicing every day on a light rig. The learning you do on that system directly scales up without much adjustment - actually, getting precise on a lighter setup will be a form of overtraining for normal weight, as you require greater motor control to gain stability with less inertia.

Edited by brett harrison
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I had the same thought as you. Keep your eye out for the old Scout model. I went with that, as it's up there with the weight range of up to 18lb.

The only issue I found was the first one I got only had s-video outputs in the base if the sled - so have to wrap a sdi cable around for it to work with my RED Raven. This will be coming to most Scouts.

However, I did luckily then find another scout with an upgraded Monitor a 3g-sdi - a solid rig!

If you can find the latter it's a very good option.

Im booked in a silver workshop for July, check the workshops out if you can as they are dedicated to training with professionals.

Good luck (to both of us)!

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Hi Hendrikus 

Welcome to the club .

There are many steadicam op's in Auckland (many I trained ) namely my great friend Martin Stacey (Adrenochrome Productions )who has quite a few rigs .He is also Omega AR  operator  as well  .He also know many ops as well 

He is a fantastic guy and I know he will help you on your quest .

I am teaching a 3 day Silver Workshop (here in Melbourne )in Sept but the only problem for you is it's booked out I could put you on the standby list if you like .Martin is extremely capable of teaching you as well . 

If I can be of any help just let me know ok .Or here https://www.facebook.com/groups/AustralianSteadicamOps

Louis Puli 

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