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Old September 10th, 2008, 07:26 PM   #1
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Just bought a Pilot!

Hey guys!

I just bought a pilot, I was wondering if anybody here has any advice on how to start using it (this is my first steadicam), any videos, tutorial links, mistakes you made when you first got yours. Maybe even pointers that you don't usually learn unless you make the mistake.

I am really excited for the pilot to come!

Louis
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Old September 10th, 2008, 07:30 PM   #2
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Louis:

Dave Gish has made up an extensive post that you should find very helpful:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/stabilize...started-q.html

Try searching under "steadicam pilot" for others.

Congrats on your purchase, it is a wonderful machine.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 09:52 PM   #3
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did u pick up the training DVD Tiffen is offering? That is a great video to work on
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Old September 11th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #4
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Hello Louis,

Congrats on your new purchase!

There is a DVD that comes with the Pilot. You can also view the video here: YouTube - Steadicam Pilot - How to demonstration

Give me a call or shoot me an email if you have any questions.

Michael Craigs
Tiffen/Steadicam Technical Support
800-593-3331 ext 34
mcraigs@tiffen.com



ps. HAVE FUN!
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Old September 11th, 2008, 10:51 AM   #5
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Thanks for the links!

Michael: thanks, I'll probably be giving you a call.
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Old September 12th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #6
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The DVD from Tiffen/Steadicam is a great starter, only 20 and although its the old one re-done onto DVD its a great starter.

While I dont own a steadicam (I can dream) I am a glidecam with vest user. For me the biggest thing is just understanding the physics of the thing. With this you can better adjust and use the thing.

The basic tip I can offer is the heaver the whole rig, the more stable it is. By this I dont mean a heavier bottom as this means you get the pendulum effect (good drop time is important) but a properly balanced but heavier rig is essential. Thats part of the reason the big pro's are so rock solid (as well as being just a little bit better than us ;) )

A mistake you can make early on as I did is thinking by having it bottom heavy its easier to balance so why make it lighter? Its all about an ultra light touch, hold anything with a full hand be it the sled or the arm and your going to transfer your nasty movements to the lens. So you want fingertip control. However this does mean its hard to move a heavy weight, so you try and use a full hand but this puts you back to where you started.

So a long drop time, 2-3 second or for some infinite means its easier to control but harder to balance. always remember operation is a two handed affair. With a bottom heavy rig its easy to get the balance which means you can throw it around like in some demos but this isnt what you want. You want it to work well when handled properly.

When its windy and if you dont have somone to act as a wind shield then this is where you need it bottom heavy.

As a steadicam user your rig will be closer to your body but to the side which is easier, the glidecam operates directly in front of you and thus has distance from your body to the sled. This puts a greater strain on your lower back so your lucky in that area.

Boom instead of titing if you can. Its more natural and easier to maintain the balance. Again as a steadicam user you have the double spring arm to give a greater boom distance.

there is some debate about walking normally or walking softly. I have found I need to walk softly. If I walk normally too many shocks are sent to the camera and movement is not smooth. I have to walk so I absorb some of the movement with my own movements. This could just be a glidecam thing, Charles will have a bit more experience of this than I.

Practice. Its taken me 4-5 months to just 'understand' and 'feel' the rig.
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Old September 12th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #7
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Good notes Danny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
there is some debate about walking normally or walking softly. I have found I need to walk softly. If I walk normally too many shocks are sent to the camera and movement is not smooth. I have to walk so I absorb some of the movement with my own movements. This could just be a glidecam thing, Charles will have a bit more experience of this than I.
This is indeed a "rig thing". I call 'em like I see 'em, and in my opinion the isolation of the Pilot arm is indeed superior to the alternatives in this regard. This means the vertical movement of the torso is more effectively absorbed thus it is less critical how one walks in terms of bumps in the shot. This is not to say that one should just clomp around; a more measured gait will be more effective as it helps create a continuous speed to the forward motion as well as keeps the arms more stable which can directly affecting the image. I don't do a duckwalk/Groucho routine when doing Steadicam as I would with handheld, but I have a specific way of moving with the rig on that is pretty well regulated.
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Old September 13th, 2008, 12:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info.

The steadicam case came today. Still waiting for the actual steadicam. Probably going to take an eternity since I really want it. I can't wait to balance it, put it on and practice.
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Old September 13th, 2008, 03:31 PM   #9
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You mentioned that you just bought a pilot,,,,,,,,

did you get the plane with him or is that extra??????
ken
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Old September 13th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #10
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oh not to worry, i bought the plane last week.
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