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Old April 9th, 2013, 08:13 AM   #16
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Re: Urban Taxi/Subway Kit Challenge

Erick, very interesting since you seem to be dealing with the exact same logistics I am. I'm impressed you can hail a cab back to Brooklyn. I've found that when they see me with my gear and ask where I'm going, they tend to drive on. It's illegal for them to do that but I've had it happen enough times that it's frustrating.

Interesting that you use the GoPro though. I guess you're finding the quality good enough for a "C" camera"
Two DSLRs make sense for portability.

It must be a challenge to monitor all that audio as an "SPC" or maybe you're just very trusting of the levels.

Are you happy with two on camera lights?
In my original post my situation isn't much different as it's two on camera lights and a Sola ENG (giving me some more control) but I have to use three stands of course. Are your "on camera" lights really just used on camera?

You do give me some good ideas where to go with my kit though.

I'd love to see what one of your interviews look like if you have a link?
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Old April 9th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #17
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Re: Urban Taxi/Subway Kit Challenge

I shot two concerts in Chicago this last weekend. I had my wife's help on both, so I don't know if that disqualifies me for this SPC forum, but in my defense, I was carrying, setting up and packing up all the gear.

The first was The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band at the Cubby Bear:

Shut the Screen - The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band at the Cubby Bear - April 6, 2013 - YouTube

The second was for the Adult Program of the Chicago School of Rock at the Ace Bar:

The Late Stakes - Led Zeppelin - Kashmir - YouTube

The Cubby Bear has wonderful lighting! And the Ace Bar....does not. Same cameras, vastly different results.

I only used three cameras on the Cubby Bear shoot because I didn't have time to set all of them up, and it was only three players. I used seven on the Ace Bar shoot because there were a lot more players and a tiny stage. 1 XL-A1, 3 HF-S100, 1 HF-200 and 2 GoPro HD Hero 2. I'd love to use Neat Video on the Heros, because the lighting is so bad, but I think I'll have to finish editing the whole show, then extract only the clips I need, concatenate those into a single clip, process that, then split it back out into the clips and drop those back into the timeline.

We traveled to both shows via CTA trains and buses.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 02:49 PM   #18
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Re: Urban Taxi/Subway Kit Challenge

Ain't those little HF cameras amazing! I have one of each...in terms of bang for the buck and 'inconspicuosity,' very hard to beat. For concerts, have you considered the Raynox .7x snap-on converter...it has a certain kinda look that might fit for a few seconds of B-roll in tight spaces. I also shoot the T3i and 5DMkII for DOF.

I have an older version of the Patagonia Freewheeler that I load up, including sandbags occasionally. I haul the tripods in bags over the shoulder. Shooting outside, the luggage is more weatherproof than not, so there is a peace of mind if the rain starts. I'm in more of an urban setting lately, so I will be interested to see if the workflow transfers from riding a gondola to a train or bus. I'm thinking I'll need to get the tripods in the Freewheeler somehow, or on my back, or avoid crowded buses.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 01:55 PM   #19
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Re: Urban Taxi/Subway Kit Challenge

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Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Ain't those little HF cameras amazing! I have one of each...in terms of bang for the buck and 'inconspicuosity,' very hard to beat. For concerts, have you considered the Raynox .7x snap-on converter...it has a certain kinda look that might fit for a few seconds of B-roll in tight spaces. I also shoot the T3i and 5DMkII for DOF.
For the most part, shooting concerts I am relegated to the back and sides of the venue. So reach is my main issue - rarely do I get the opportunity to get cameras in close where a wide-angle lens would come in handy. Hopefully, I can upgrade the HF-200 to an HF-S200 so I can get a LANC interface and purchase another Bebob Zoe-DVXL for my extra operator.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #20
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Re: Urban Taxi/Subway Kit Challenge

Here is the setup, 2 Seinheisers lavs hooked to a Tascam D-40. One Zoom H-1, Canon Light, VidPro LED light, Canon 60D and 550D, various lenses, two tripods. I hook everything to a cage i got at Adorama quite cheap and well made (well enough) where I attach the audio recorder, both receivers and one light, monitor the audio with headphones. I have the H-1 sitting somewhere near the speakers and out of sight as a back-up. The lights are enough under certain circumstances, sometimes not at all, but client is aware of shortcomings and is willing to compromise with high ISO (although I had one instance where each subject was under different light conditions, one of which is window lit and the other lit from the back, face is dark, nothing I could have done in that particular case. I wish I had a strong light then.) Normally when I have the option, I arrange the subjects under the best lighting conditions. Some cases I was able to detach the camera light and place it facing one of the subjects from a near by vase and out of frame.
The set up, once packed consists of both tripods in their respective bags, a Pelican case with the cameras and lenses and a tote bag with the audio gear, slate, cage and cables. Bag on one shoulder, tripods on another, roll the Pelican through Manhattan like a delivery guy. Cabs do stop, I do not tell them where I'm going until I'm inside the cab, they can't kick me out then, but I'm also very polite.
As for the GoPro, I haven't being able to use it properly as of yet.
Craig, we can get a cup of coffee sometime in Brooklyn.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 01:34 AM   #21
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Re: Urban Taxi/Subway Kit Challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Urban Taxi/Subway Kit. The ultimate SPC challenge.

Imagine being a shooter in which the only viable option is what you can hand carry into a taxi cab or up/down subway steps.

What would your kit include?

Currently I have:
Sony EX1 with shotgun
Sachtler Carbon Fiber tripod with FSB6 head
Sennheiser G3 100 wireless lav or handheld (base and mic).

This alone weighs me down before I even consider a small light kit.
Although I have Litepanels Sola ENG and two Digital Juice Miniburst 128 and stands.

I have plenty of other gear but that goes beyond SPC limits.

Currently I can replace the Sony EX with Canon 60D which would mean taking a couple of lenses and a sound recording device. Ideally I'd prefer a real large sensor video camera such as a Canon C100 but I may want to avoid the expense.

Some restrictions to keep in mind (for me at least):
Many taxis in my area balk at picking you up if it looks like you can carry your gear into the back seat.
Subway steps can be a real killer in some areas.
Most of these are just interviews.

So what kind of kit or changes would you recommend.
Both weight and bulk matter.
Craig, I'm wondering where you went with your kit. Thinking mostly about what you're shooting with and the lights you're using. I shot an interview the other day where I wasn't looking forward to lugging a diva light and a 2 bank 2' kino. When I got to the person's house I had the choice between their outside garden (too noisy) or inside, way too small to do a proper lighting setup so the kinos never came out. Fortunately there was lots of ambient light so I got away with just using a lite panels micropro to give a little spark in the eyes. I feel like I got away with it this time especially because, at least up until now, my A camera has been an XH A1, not so good in low light. But earlier this week I picked up a GH3 and with the right lens, once I'm comfortable with it, it'll be much easier in lower light.

All that said, I've got a chance to pick up a nearly new Sola ENG at a good price. So wondering how you find that as a key. How well does it match the 128s or rather the other way around, I'm guessing a 1/4 minus green is in order for them but maybe not.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 10:17 AM   #22
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Re: Urban Taxi/Subway Kit Challenge

This is the same reply from the "Re: lugging your gear"


"I use a few different sized generic suitcases w/rollers depending on the shoot complexity. I live in a city where I take a taxi to every shoot and every thing needs to quickly fit in the back seat or trunk.

They stack inside each other easily when not in use. They're cheap.

My basic kit: The smallest suitcase can fit my
- rails/monitor/cam accessories
- three 4 CFL bulb soft boxes or three red heads w/stands,
- grip accessories/gels
- audio rec, boom/mic, lab
- laptop
- ac cables/electric stuff

My tripod, camera bag and glider get attached to outside of the case.

Its big, but easily manageable."

As you can see from the post above, I use taxis for every shoot so generic suitcases are perfect, and taxis think you want to go to the airport so they're a little more likely to pick you over another one of the teaming millions who are also standing on the street waving for taxis.
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