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Simon Wyndham

You only live once

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After being asked to write an article for Showreel about the Tiffen Steadicam training courses I can honestly say that Robin Thwaites has reinforced a dream I have always had since I began camera operating. To own and operate a Steadicam. My detailed thoughts will of course be published in the magazine, but I will say that if you have any interest in Steadicam the courses run by Robin are well worth it. Essential actually. Robins enthusiasm for these devices is readily apparent, and his teaching method is accessible to anyone.


At the moment I think I am aiming for an Archer SE due to the tilt stage and low mode inclusion. As no doubt many of you know I use an XDCAM 510 for my day-in-day-out work. But I need a rig that can take other equipment too. I know the G50 arm can take quite a load. I'm not expecting to be working on 35mm features or anything like that (though there's no harm in aiming for that eventually!), bt for general video and high def shooting how have people here found the Archer to be in every day use?


I am totally new to the world of full size 'real' rigs, and I have done some searching on these forums for other things I need to consider. So I was wondering if any current Archer owners could tell me their thoughts on the rig after a fair bit of use (Eric etc)? Would I be better off aiming for a Clipper? Having used the rigs on the course I did like the Archer a lot, but I am perhaps thinking that the Clipper might give me more flexibility. But would it be overkill? Are people having good success with a wide range of regular jobs with the Archer?


How well have people found the low mode on the Archer SE to be in real world use? What has been the most challenging setup that you have used on it? And other than the rig itself what makes and types of additional equipment should I budget for (ie remote focus, video etc)? How did you cope when starting out on your first jobs? What kind of problems did you encounter with directors in relation to your Steadi experience and abilities at the time?


A new and exciting world! :)

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