Indicam Pilot,Terry and my 59 year old back at DVinfo.net

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Old November 3rd, 2007, 03:33 AM   #1
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Indicam Pilot,Terry and my 59 year old back

I'm really glad that I made the decision to buy an Idicam Pilot (as opposed to Glidecam or Magiqam).I bought the dual upgraded arm and vest(a must) also. Firt of all, it's a pleasure to deal with someone helpfull and knowledgeable, especially if it's their company.And Terry actually answers a phone!
The rig is well constructed, fairly easy to put together, but balancing the stage will take some practice. I've only been able to shoot a few minutes here and there, but I'm thrilled with the smoothness of the footage that I've gotten already.I'd highly reccomend deling with Terry, for anyone interested in a well made, affordable rig.
terry- why don't you hook up with a case manufacturer/ supplier, and offer a pelican style carrying case? The backpack has been relegate to storage (glad I bought the vest), and I'm using a suitcase on wheels.
Now if I can figure out how to get my lower back in shape....
Keep up the good work, Terry.
Bruce S. Yarock
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 06:57 AM   #2
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Re: your lower back: Be sure to make sure you are standing properly, pay close attention to your posture.
Read this article: http://steadivision.com/steadipos.htm

And once you are sure you are standing properly, the "pain" in your lower back will very quickly go away with a bit of practice [there are some muscles down there that you normally never use, so that's why they seem to hurt at first], and will become simply something that tires after a long time in the rig.


Once you are operating Steadicam properly, there is no pain, only fatigue.


- Mikko
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 11:18 AM   #3
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I second that. Terry has great support!
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Old November 4th, 2007, 11:03 PM   #4
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Bruce, you shouldn't be feeling pain in your back... I don't and I have my rig strapped on for hours at a time.

The backpack also makes it very compact and easy to carry the vest and arms. I can be completely set up in a matter of minutes. It's too bad I can't fit the sled into the backpack but the backpack makes a great carrying case that I can sling over my shoulders while carrying my other gear.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 12:18 AM   #5
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Not to speak out of turn here, but I don't see Bruce referring to pain in his back, just that he needs to get it in shape!

Even the lightest rig can have an effect on back muscles not used to being worked this way. The main thing that I see most newbies doing is leaning in/forward which requires reigning in the rig with the arms, setting up a chain of indignity in the upper and lower back. Also, having the rig too far away from the body will increase the torque and apparent weight exponentially (the lever effect). This is pretty common with rigs that don't have monitors at the base, where the operator will have to position the camera away from themso that the left side flip out monitor can be viewed. It's also important to make sure that the rig hangs properly off the body and one is not having to compensate by leaning the opposite way.

Many operators new to Steadicam will take a while for their body to "find" the right form. Visit most sets where a long-time operator is flying a 70lb rig and he will likely look more comfortable in it than the novice wearing a 10lb rig! Some can strap on such a rig and wear it for hours, others exhibit the same sort of fatigue that we experience with the 70lb rig and have to take it off after a period of time.

One of the best exercises for "those" muscles in the back has a really great secondary benefit; it's called Steadicam practice! Walking the line and other exercises are critical for getting down the basic skills and the more you do them, the stronger the back muscles become (and quickly too). Make your practice sessions structured and do repeatable and intentional moves; just walking around aimlessly with the rig on pointing at things is not necessarily bad but it's like learning to play the piano by just plinking around on the keys rather than doing your scales.

Have fun!
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Old November 5th, 2007, 02:06 AM   #6
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I think Charles is right. Never having used one before, I need to strenghthen my back and practice correctly. Unfortunately, I had a motorcycle fall over while I was moving it yesterday, and I injured my lower back trying to pick it up! So it's to the chiropractor, and the Indicam will have to wait a wek...
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Old November 5th, 2007, 02:33 AM   #7
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Mikko,
Thanks for the link. I printed out the asticle and have started to read it.
Bruce S. Yarock
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Old November 7th, 2007, 05:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Even the lightest rig can have an effect on back muscles not used to being worked this way. The main thing that I see most newbies doing is leaning in/forward which requires reigning in the rig with the arms, setting up a chain of indignity in the upper and lower back. Also, having the rig too far away from the body will increase the torque and apparent weight exponentially (the lever effect). This is pretty common with rigs that don't have monitors at the base, where the operator will have to position the camera away from themso that the left side flip out monitor can be viewed.
A few day's ago I received the arm and vest upgrade for the Merlin and after the first day of filming, my back began to hurt. I have a Z1 with large battery, wide angle and all the weights applied to the Merlin and I was leaning forward to make sure the arm stayed in front of me. Just like the newbie Charles was talking about. :-) The second day I started to tweak the vest and socket block (it's all very new to me so hopefully I use the correct name) until I could have a more natural posture. Now the weight is better distributed and I can start to focus on the 'Steadicam practice'.

Once you see the results on screen it's all worth it.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 11:57 PM   #9
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Great suggestions as usual guys.

One of the things we cover in our "Stabilizer Basics" training DVD is finding "center" and learning to operate that way. It certainly takes a lot of the strain off of the body.

As Charles mentioned...most operators still need to strengthen "that muscle" through practice because it isn't a muscle that gets used that much normally.

Peter,

You should be able to get everything except your camera in the backpack / vest. I carry mine around that way. You just unscrew the camera stage and bottom stage and put them in the medium sized pocket and put the post in the large pocket with the chest plate and arm. That's how it came in the mail.

I hope all is well with you. You have come a long way from when we first talked. I look forward to continuing to learn from you in the future.

Tery
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Old November 8th, 2007, 04:30 AM   #10
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Hi Terry, i like to ask the nature position of the arms should be a little lower than what we need right? When operating, the sled should be lifted a little. Is that correct?
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Old November 8th, 2007, 10:44 AM   #11
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Sean,

Correct! We have found that if the sled sits a bit "heavy" and is lifted to the desired operating position the operators human arm buffers the pogoing effect much better (steps). The amount of lifting that is needed is minimal but since we are dealing with a light set-up (compared to the big guys) anything extra we can do helps.

There are other benefits to this style of operation as well.

Tery
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Old November 9th, 2007, 02:30 AM   #12
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ok great. I'll try it out. Becuase the rig was used with a Canon XH-A1 recently and I forgot to tune the arm and only balanced the sled. I ended up fighting the arms of vest and I couldnt hold the shot down.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 01:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Derran Rootring View Post
A few day's ago I received the arm and vest upgrade for the Merlin and after the first day of filming, my back began to hurt. I have a Z1 with large battery, wide angle and all the weights applied to the Merlin and I was leaning forward to make sure the arm stayed in front of me. Just like the newbie Charles was talking about. :-) The second day I started to tweak the vest and socket block (it's all very new to me so hopefully I use the correct name) until I could have a more natural posture. Now the weight is better distributed and I can start to focus on the 'Steadicam practice'.

Once you see the results on screen it's all worth it.
Hey Derran, how do you like the z1 on it. I am researching heavily a flying purchase and talked to the dude at steadicam today. Like you, I would be having a big battery, light microphone, probably pushing the merlin to the weight limit, so the dude at steadicam was pointing me towards the pilot actually.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 06:31 PM   #14
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I've had no problems flying with this setup. But if you can afford it, I think the Pilot would be a great option. You can always start with the Merlin/arm/vest and get the Pilot upgrade later, if necessary. At this point the setup works great for me.
Did you also take a look at the Indicam Pilot? It can hold a total weight of 11 pounds. And I've seen some great vid's / results.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 12:48 AM   #15
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Derran,

The Indicam PILOT standard arm can hold a total of 11 pounds so that equates to a payload of from 2 to about 7 pounds (camera and accessories). Our 214 arm set-up can hold a total of 24 pounds which equates to a total payload weight from 2 to about 14-15 pounds (camera and extras if added).

We like using it with the lighter cameras because we're wimps. Actually, the Z1U we use has been an excellent camera for flying with the Indicam PILOT standard arm. Stephen Eastwood flies all sorts of extras on his 214 arm rig.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=107086

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