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Old June 23rd, 2003, 11:29 PM   #16
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Seriously Bryan... I think it's a good device. I made a steady-stick using a monopod with weights on the bottom and it has an "overly-padded" grip... I shot a training tape for a local club and everybody kept making the same joke, "He brought his own dumbells..." I laughed with 'em 'cause I know my unusual methods produce good results.

The Marzpak is in that same category and truly, even if you show up with a true professional steady-rig (in the $20K PLUS range) people will have commentary.

I was just trying to have a little good natured fun... I guess I shouldn't read these posts while kicking back a couple Bud Lights.

I can see myself getting a Marzpak as soon as I can get a little better camera... earlier this year my dvx100 purchase was curtailed by an unexpected $4500 expense... for my little trv900 my steady-pod works pretty darn good, but with anything heavier I'll need help. Also I expect that with something of the Marzpak/Good Camera combo you should be able to get video that causes goosebumps... and for me that's what it's all about.

That said you can probably tell from my posts that I always have a good blooper real on the end of my own copy of anything I make. Even in a serious project I do a fair bit of joking around... I hope not to offend... only to entertain... pee-soaked pants are my trophy.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 11:38 PM   #17
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My daughter is coming to visit tomorrow and the wife has already briefed her on the "dork" rig. Seriously the construction and design is far from cheezi. I like well built stuff and this is well built. I was absolutely amazed. I thought for $400, it would be ok but what a surprise.

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Old June 23rd, 2003, 11:42 PM   #18
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With respect to Jacki's original query, however, do you think that the Marzpak is a practical alternative for use inside a car? Having seen one of these devices, I can't imagine how it could be used in such close quarters (or anything beyond a simple shoulder brace, for that matter).
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 11:55 PM   #19
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I responded to the part about the difficulty holding up the various paraphinalia, without giving the seated portion much thought. Standing or on top of the rover it would certainly be better than a shoulder brace. I don't think a shoulder brace is the answer either(for shooting seated in a car). Shooting seated, I think a mini rover with the arms pulled tight into the chest would be the best (without selling the farm). A brace would exagerate the rolling and pitching of the vehicle. I had a difficult time controlling my camera in a jeep in the Arizona desert. I had to grip the camera as described and roll with the movement.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 02:03 AM   #20
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Matt, you're a riot !
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Old June 24th, 2003, 06:33 AM   #21
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I was in Ft Lauderdale a week or so ago, shooting a pilot for MTV. There was a guy there with a mini Sony consumer cam on a steadi cam jr. That was pretty funny in it's self, considering the other 5 cams were XL1's, my GL1, and a DV cam.

What really took the cake, was watching this guy swish this thing around, swing it forward, swing it back, and he was even spinning the cam like a top! If I wasn't locked down, you would see my footage shake from the laughter!
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Old June 24th, 2003, 06:35 AM   #22
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Ken- Maybe she has a convertible? Sunroof? :)
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Old June 24th, 2003, 11:07 AM   #23
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This certainly got a lot more attention than I expected. You guys are great.

Yes, I think from your posts that using the Marzpak as an assist in carrying the camera fully loaded for a full day instead of using the GC as a stabilizer for perfect movie type shots is what I am looking for. The Land Rover has a roof hatch and really most of the footage is when the Rover is stopped and not moving.

Bryan and Matt, did you ever take the Marzpak with you on an airplane and was there any difficulty either breaking it down to pack in a suitcase and/or carry on the plane?

I'm going to give Christi a call for some more details on the Marzpak and, if nothing else, it will help keep the humor level up with the other couple who is going on safari with us. I don't know what the lions, wildebeasts and zebras are going to think, but I am sure they have seen funnier things pop out of those strange looking animals with wheels that hang around all the time.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 11:46 AM   #24
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Jacki- You could always hang vines from it, and disguise yourself as a bush. You wouldn't want to scare the wee beasties off...
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Old June 24th, 2003, 01:40 PM   #25
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It will easily knock down to 14" wide x 27" high x 5" deep and weighs around 7 lb. this coud fit into a soft sports bag or an equipment bag, even the bottom of a large suitcase.

Matt doesn't have one, he just likes to razz the old man.

It's extremely well built and should survive world travel very easily. Christi tells me she's given it a real torture test, including throwing it from a moving vehicle.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 04:14 PM   #26
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Keith, when you said wee beasties I thought maybe you were from the OTHER Melbourne. If you can image, my husband the engineer wanted to mount the microphone on a little remote operated car so we could drive it closer to the lions while they were eating to really capture the sounds of them munching and crunching. Great idea until they decide to munch and crunch the mic. Of coure, if they swallowed it whole we might get some other interesting noises until the thing finally quit working.

Now I am really disappointed. My next question was to Matt to ask if he would give me the specs on the disco ball he mounted to the top of his Marzpak. I can see it now, the ball twirling, the Land Rover radio playing "Circle of Life" and all the lions and elephants and giraffes and zebras and wildebeasts and impalas dancing around the jeep and singing.

I plan on ordering the Marzpak in the next couple of days, I'll let you all know how it works out.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 04:54 PM   #27
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Sorry to dissapoint Jacki, but I am from THIS Melbourne, not THAT Melbourne :)

However, you might be onto something with the remot control car... You could get one of those big 4x4 trucks, mount a small cam to it, and send it out to say hi to the lions. Extreme close ups!
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Old June 24th, 2003, 06:20 PM   #28
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Extreme close-ups is true. Now, I know for a fact that my Tilley hat is guaranteed forever. And someone elses Tilley even traveled through an elephants digestive tract, although by mistake I am assured, but I am not sure my Sony has that same warranty.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 09:17 PM   #29
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Jacki, when you tell the Tilley elephant story, I think you are required by law to mention that it ate the hat--SEVERAL TIMES. Quite the hoary Tilly chestnut, that anecdote. My Tilley is currently keeping the absurdly relentless New Orleans summer sun off my noggin while I toil here on a feature. No elephants in sight however.

Keith, I shot a segment for an MTV doc a good ten years ago with my JR and a Hi-8 camera (I think it was one of the first "The 80's--Where are they now" shows). It was during a great spate of time when Hi-8 had a "coolness" attached to it, definitely a short-lived fad compared to DV. Still, I managed to pay off both the camera and the JR in a few gigs.

Jacki, good luck with the Marzpack and the safari!
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Old June 25th, 2003, 01:45 PM   #30
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Jacki...

If the car's not moving whe you shoot, you might try out a sandbag to see how it works.

Have it sit on the sill of the window, then sit the camera upon it. Perhaps a custom-made one might work, something that can be quickly set up on the edge of the door's window.

The sandbag should be stuffed with something relatively lightweight like polyethelene beads or dried beans.

Just have to make sure no one else is fidgeting in the vehicle if you're using a long focal length.

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