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Old November 1st, 2007, 11:19 AM   #46
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Chas,

OK, so you can act...a little. The video is correct about the steadicam operator getting a lot of attention. About the girls, well maybe not but yes on the attention.

Good to watch.

Tery
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 04:34 PM   #47
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BWAHAHAHAHAA!!!! Charles, that Thank-you video is HILLARIOUS!

"He's gotta be a 3-second guy" had me quite literally in tears. I think I just woke up half the neighborhood laughing. Oh my tummy hurts.

- Mikko
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 05:35 PM   #48
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Haw, haw, haw! What a riot... the "Garrett Brown thank you" clip from the Scrubs set had me in stitches. Now I just have to figure out what to put under his name as a custom user title... Chazzie, Three second guy? Steadicam is sooo hot? Can't fit all of those in; gotta make a decision.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 04:50 PM   #49
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"Steadicam is so hot" has a backstory...while on a series years ago (and single), a really attractive young extra with whom I'd been chatting sidled up to me just before a take and said "when I first saw you put the rig on this morning, I thought to myself; Steadicam is so hot"! I immediately assumed she was kidding but as she walked away she shot me a smoldering look that said anything but.

I figured that was a come-on worth following up, but they wrapped background soon after and I never saw her again. She probably married the Steadicam operator on the next set she worked on...
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Old November 16th, 2007, 02:33 PM   #50
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Tai Chi

For those of you experiencing problems with the Merlin and small rig stabilization, try taking a Tai Chi Chu'an course from your local martial arts organization. This will help with balance and coordination.
You might also consider visitng a chiropractor or a Rolfer (no, not a Golfer), to determine how your posture and stance can be corrected.

Last edited by Matthew Galvin; November 16th, 2007 at 02:35 PM. Reason: wrong post location
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Old November 16th, 2007, 08:32 PM   #51
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While it certainly can't hurt to practice Tai Chi or work on one's posture, the handheld stabilizers are somewhat less affected by this sort of thing than the full-size rigs. A handheld system doesn't "know" about the position of one's spine or hips, only that which is reflected through the operator's arms, whereas the the body-mount systems will be reflect lower-body influence more directly. It certainly is useful to learn how to walk smoothly when operating a handheld rig, but that should be part of the vocabulary of every person who operates a camera because this is directly related to the success of their handheld work. Certainly, the less jarring that is delivered from the lower torso, the less invasion into the stability of the handheld stabilizer from both arms. For most this will be more easily seen in the guide hand that is operating the rig itself; erratic motion will translate via the fingers into an overly active and jerky frame in the angular (pan, tilt, roll) axes. In Sam's case (my apologies Sam, your thread got hijacked because of my silly video over at steadishots) the support hand is the one that is seeing more influence from the body because it is that one that is responsible for isolating the spatial axes (forward/backward, sideways, up and down motion).

Having studied the video of Sam at work, it remains a mystery to me why he has experienced such a degree of bobbing as his form seems fine. Sam, it's been a while since you first posted--have you found the issue diminishing over time, as I suspected it would? Very often with Steadicam, the body "learns" how to reduce negative influences on the rig in a way that is hard to define or quantify. Watching an experienced Steadicam operator, most people think that the rig simply does all the work for you because they make it look so "easy"--in other words, the operator appears relatively relaxed with no wasted effort or extraneous movement. Some operators who are quite good do however have somewhat questionable posture--they've learned how to accomodate this in their operating so it doesn't screw up the shot, but they are likely to pay the price in wear-and-tear on the body down the road. Chris Fawcett's treatise on Steadicam posture has some great images that demonstrate do's and don'ts. Mostly these are aimed at full-size rig operators but I regularly hear from those flying smaller rigs complaining of sore backs etc. and I feel sure that much of this comes via the same issue. I am relieved to say that at the last Cinegear, Chris gave me an assessment of my operating posture and had only minor suggestions--dodged that bullet!
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Old November 17th, 2007, 02:35 AM   #52
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Thanks Chas!

Tery
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 01:45 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
While it certainly can't hurt to practice Tai Chi or work on one's posture....
As I suggested some time back, I still strongly recommend adult ballet classes.

Along with proper movement, I would say there's a timing sense something akin to smoothly getting on and off of escalators of varying speeds, that working the full body with music can improve.

But just like pro athletes are in a class all their own, I believe the best steadicam operators are born with the "it" that it takes to be great.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 04:48 PM   #54
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I've only just got my Steadicam Merlin today and posted a few samples on the Clips area for the XH A1 newsgroup..
Have you ever tried to use a DOF adapter on it? If so, what were the results?
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Old January 9th, 2009, 10:52 PM   #55
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Something that has helped me a lot, is mounting a small pointing laser on the rig (i use a Fig Rig) and try and keep the projected spot in the same place as you walk. I do this on a Jet Ski as it bobs and it allows me to take my eyes off the monitor for a while.

Cheers Ian
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Old January 10th, 2009, 12:50 PM   #56
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Something else to consider is the cameras builtin optical image stabilizer.

I sometimes have it on, sometimes off.

If im doing fast movement I have it on to compensate for any minor vibrations as I run. If im going slow I turn it off as it tried to compensate for my own movements, makes it hard to move when the camera is trying to go in the opposite direction.
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