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Old February 10th, 2007, 04:53 AM   #1
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affordable body mount?

is there such a thing, or will i need to make my own?

It doesnt need to be as rugged as the one below. I plan to use my Sony A1 with it. It is purely for mcu of the person walking around.
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Old February 10th, 2007, 08:10 AM   #2
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Phil

In the extras from the most recent live action Pocohontas movie (forgot the name) Terrence Malick I think directed, the director ( again I think and not know ) was running around with a 35mm cinecamera on a pendant arrangement which looked suspiciously like one of those overhanging arms with a trapeze you see on hospital beds for patients to haul themselves up with.

In this instance it seemed like there might have been some kind of steadycam vest but this thing mounted on the vest? from behind and hung forward over the cameraman's head. The camera looked like it was suspended on bungees.

I wouldn't have cared to use it myself. It seemed likely to pull the operator forward off his feet and sharp camera bits would be the first thing one's face would encounter on the ground. It appeared that assistants were needed to mount the camera onto the pole after it was strapped on.

Funny how things come up in co-incidence. I have only just finished an email about a gadget I made up when steadycams first took off.

It was not like a steadycam with vest and iso-elastic arm. Instead my arrangement was like a chinese yoke across the shoulders. The CP16 sat in its usual position on the right shoulder.

To stop the whole thing from upending off the right shoulder, the Nagra recorder plus battery for the gyros hung from the left.

The gyro pairs were on a sort of bicycle handlebar arrangement which bent back around the body and mounted off the vertical support which was arranged to allow the "handlebar" to be raised or lowered as countermass of the camera.

This allowed the CP side viewfinder to be used almost as normal but there was a bit of a neckstretch involved as the camera sat higher. The camera and the gyros and the pole were supported on an automotive tie-rod end (balljoint). These are also good for making the upper arms of camera cranes.

It worked after a fashion but was much too heavy and you got a crank in the neck from trying to follow the viewfinder cup. The steadycam is a much more elegent solution.

It occurs to me that with the modern highspeed Kenlabs gyros, a gyro dampened (not stabilised) shoulder rig for ENG style cams like the HD100 family might be now feasable.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 03:34 AM   #3
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am after something very simple...weight wise a sony a1 would be fine for it. if it could take an HVX then all the better...
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Old February 19th, 2007, 01:06 PM   #4
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the DvRigJunior can do it. all you need is a bit longer starp to go around your chest under the arm pits.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 01:54 PM   #5
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A few different rigs are being discussed here.

The picture Phil posted is the Doggiecam Bodymount, which is intended to fix the actor in the frame as they move through the set, very specific look that is different than tracking them with a Steadicam or other device. It's been used to great effect in many music videos, features etc. "Requiem for a Dream" comes to mind.

Bob is referring to a device most commonly known as the Easyrig, which suspends the camera off the operator. It doesn't purport to stabilize it, rather redistribute the weight. I have used a beefier version of this called the Suspender, which uses the excellent Klassen backmounted harness which I own for Steadicam work. Note that Klassen also has a version of the Doggymount concept called the Far Out.

Of course, all of these systems are built for the rigors of 35mm cameras--making something for the A1 would be much easier and lighterweight, and the integrity of the bodymount itself would not have to be as thought out--but keep in mind there is always a concern that the actor can swing around and stop too quickly and the resulting force could wrench their back.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 02:08 PM   #6
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i am getting there. I have used a cheap "steadicam vest" with the arm screwed tight onto it so it cant move, I have then added a manfrotto magic arm with a tripod mount for an a1. It works quite well but still not perfect

http://www.1080studio.com/philipbloom/body%20mount1.wmv
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Old February 19th, 2007, 03:29 PM   #7
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I have been messing with something to help me hand hold my home made DIY 35mm adapter that might work in reverse. I bought a cheap Steady Stick from BH for $99 and combined it, using the belt that came with it, with a "DeadOn" tool belt with suspenders I bought for about $60.00 from the local hardward store. Actually helps stabilize shooting so I can shoot with my contraption.

I am sure with learning to walk the "walk" it should act as a simple stablizier, though wouldn't ever consider it a replacement for a stabilizer system.

See pictures below, but ignore the fat guy....
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 02:17 PM   #8
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Phil - looks like you're getting close, that is one creepy effect, especialy when the room behind the talent spins around...

Chris - having used a steady stick myself (also modified to act as a support for a varizoom VZ stabilizer), I can safely say you can't use it to stabilize a camera if you hapen to move... all movement transfers from the hips to the cam... unless you've got one sultry glide for a walk <wink>. Maybe if you wore "heelyz"?

My steady stick has an old stretch camera strap attached (one of those made out of wetsuit material I think, with rubber ends that are designed to go through a camera ring, but left just enough room to go around the shaft of the SS), which slides up and down the shaft. This works fairly well to add some extra support and keep the "upright" in a relatively upright position, and also allows you to mount and dismount the shoulder/camera piece quickly without chasing the pole about.

In addition when I want to use the VZ, I modded an air connector from the hardware store to go into the SS, and fit the handle of the VZ - again, fast mount dismount capability. I suppose this turned my SS into a "bodypod"... but I already had the SS and use it with the shoulder mount.

I would suppose you could mod a steady stick with some sort of chest harness instead of a stretch strap, and get acceptable results, depending on where you wanted the camera angle to come from.

Phil - Another option (I got one to use as a "parrot-cam" for some stuff I'm doing where I want the cam to "look" where I do) is the old Optex shoulder brace, now apparently being made in India -there's a guy who sells 'em on Ebay cheap - search for "camera shoulder support" - he's asking around $40 shipped, and with the strap around under your arms (again I modded mine with a stretch strap) this thing is pretty stable - don't know if it's going to be possible to keep it out of your frame or remove it in post since it hangs over the shoulder, but add a couple sections, and you should be able to get it out far enough from the talent, and I would think you could figure out something with the magic arm to get whatever angle you want. And if you're doing a head shot, it should be stable since any bounce should be identical to the talent's head!

DB>)
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Old March 8th, 2007, 02:09 AM   #9
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How wide of a shot do you need? I made a rig out of 1 1/2" pvc that worked ridiculously well but the user had to hold it or have it cinched really ...really tight. 12x12 pvc square attaches to the abdomen with straps or is held. Two struts come off at 45 degrees and connect to each other at a tee where the tripod head is located, roughly eye level. Voila 30 dollar body mount.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 05:52 PM   #10
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reviving this thread as still not got the look i want!
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Old February 13th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #11
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I'm also interested in buying such a body mount... Any suggestions...?
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Old March 1st, 2008, 05:16 AM   #12
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I'm looking for someone who's willing to built me an affordable system...
Please contact me if interested.

It needs to support a Canon XH-A1.
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Old March 1st, 2008, 05:20 AM   #13
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i would like one too.
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Old March 1st, 2008, 06:08 AM   #14
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i think building the system is easy and i can do that.
the only problem is to define what kind of video quality you are looking for and by consequence what kind of camera will be used.
For instance, if you are happy with standard 4/3 video, you can use a high quality bullet cam (many lens available) and record on a DV camera or a pocket DVR in mpeg2. these DVR can record as long as several hours on a simple CF card.
If you can afford a wire, you can even use a small HD camera and signal sent with the wire.(but these camera cost the hell)

you can easily build an aluminium frame that would be hidden under a t-shirt.
the full system including cam et recorder could be only a few pound.

the problem with regular DV video camera is they hardly have the wide angle necessary to kepp the camera close to you while having a good view.
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Old March 1st, 2008, 06:33 AM   #15
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Hi Giroud, thanks for your answer. I was more or less thinking of a system like this one. It uses some kind of hip harness and aluminium tubes, I guess.
Mechanically it's not so hard to built I think, but I don't have any time or patience, so I'm looking for someone who can make me one.
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