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Old January 6th, 2005, 11:03 AM   #16
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Charles isn't kidding about the weight. I've used a couple of thse cheaper stabilizers. With no arm and vest to hold the weight (not that those are particularly light either) you'd be amazed how fast your arm turns to jello holding that thing up.
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Old January 7th, 2005, 04:10 AM   #17
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Re: 14$ steadycam or cheaper?

Filip,


How do you solve the gimbal piece in your Y support?



Carlos
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Old January 7th, 2005, 09:13 AM   #18
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Hi Filip,

That thing is freakin' great. I wish I'd though of it! Who cares what it looks like as long as it does the job. If you'd like to seem my rig in action, here's the link:

http://dvcamerarigs.com/stabilizermovie.html

It's not my arm that gives out, but my legs! I'm completely shot by the time I reach the top of the 2nd flight of stairs! Of course mine costs around $50 to build, but uses aluminum so it's a lot lighter than the "$14 dollar steadicam" (not to mention it has a gimbal).

Dan
www.DVcameraRigs.com
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Old January 8th, 2005, 04:45 AM   #19
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to Carlos

<<<-- Originally posted by Carlos E. Martinez : Filip,


How do you solve the gimbal piece in your Y support? Carlos -->>>

i beleive - i had a luck - in my neighborhood there is locksmith (i'm not sure is this is a proper english name) and he has mill ant lathe, so making different things is much easier than normally - like i.e. in your own garage...
he is 65, but has young spirit!
i just made drawings and after a few attempts everything was done. he is very precise guy, and since he went crazy about all these things connected with the movies (in his youth he was crazy about photography), he insist to do everything properly. so after we finished all lathe/mill works, i decided to find a place where i can anodize my rig. and that's it.

gimbal itself is made with 4 bearings: one big one, one middle one - for the part which you are keeping in your hand, and two small ones on both sides - outside of that big one. and this is more or less similar to all "normal" stabilizers gimbal with three axis freedom. but this is - in my opinion - solution which is hardly made in garage without at least lathe.

definitelly simpler solution is something which i tryed before. maybe you do not need really simple and somehow limited gimbal but if you do - take a look at one specific part shown here

http://www.astercity.net/%7Etarasuma...izer_page.html

take a closer look on that "weight" element here. you can see that my "weight" element was nothing else but also gimbal (scroll down to see biger picture) - but i bought one in normal shop. i thought that with that specific gimbal i can acheive same 3 axis movement also. in theory that was true, but with limited amount of movement in 3 axis in practice.

the movement is not as big as with real"pro" gimbal, but it's finished peace - ready made. in some circumstances it works VERY well. if you have time to look in different metal /second hand shops - try to find it. it's worth at least a try.
if you (or anyone) need/want more detailed photos of gimbal i can send you directly to your mail. just give me an e-mail.
any additional questions are of course wellcome.

thank you
filip
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Old January 8th, 2005, 04:47 AM   #20
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dan Selakovich : Hi Filip,

That thing is freakin' great. -->>>

thank you Dan,

as i understand - you are talking about my 7$ steadypoor "system" or something different? yes?


filip
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Old January 8th, 2005, 10:08 AM   #21
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Hi Filip--yep I'm talking about your $7 dollar rig!

Dan
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Old January 10th, 2005, 03:18 PM   #22
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that lego stabilazor is really WICKED!

I have some lego parts in my house.
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Old January 10th, 2005, 04:12 PM   #23
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Jose,


he, he - try it for yourself! i had lot of fun building mine.
in my opinion this was the first FUNCTIONAL lego stabilizer on this planet! so you can make second one.

if you success - send a link to see how it looks.

filip

p.s.

maybe there is place to have special thread with lego stabilizers ;)
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Old January 10th, 2005, 11:26 PM   #24
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mmm...well...

Back in the late 80's/early 90's, before this crazy internet thing, we Steadicam folk had a simple printed newsletter for a few years. There were pictures of a young lad named David Emmerichs proudly holding up his working miniature Steadicam arm made out of Lego. He built it to show his parents how it worked because owning a real Steadicam was just a pipe dream for him then.

And whatever happened to him? Try an IMDB search...
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Old January 11th, 2005, 01:43 AM   #25
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well...

Charles,

it looks that i was not right. my foult.

i never saw such a thnig (which does not mean that that thing doesn't exist).

and checked David Emmerichs info... hm... no comments.

but anyhow - maybe this (my) lego steadycam was good point to start?

all the best

filip

p.s.

so - charles - with your knowledge - do you think that i can say that my lego stabilizer is (at least un-documented) SECOND "rig" on this planet made with lego? :)))))
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Old January 20th, 2005, 04:51 AM   #26
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I used to love lego as a kid, if only I kept it all I could start my steadicam career for much less!

Anyway, as this is my first post, and there isn't a dedicated thread to praising Charles, may I just say when I found out that the steadicam operator of probably the best show on TV, The West Wing (and the steadicam work on it makes the show in my opinion), I knew we were in capable hands :) The fact you were born over these shores never hurts either ;)
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Old January 20th, 2005, 11:20 AM   #27
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I was HUGE on Lego myself. Still miss those Saturday afternoons where I'd dump out the big box on the floor and invent stuff all day long. I even have a family connection--my uncle Seymour was a pioneer in marrying computers with physical learning, created a fantastic program in the '80's where grade school kids could build things with the Lego motors and automate them via computers. The Lego folks named their now-commercially available version of all this "Mindstorms" in honor of his seminal book on the topic. Not that I got any Lego bits out of the deal, mind you!

Thanks for the nod James, but I should point out that my involvement on "The West Wing" was during the first season, so unless you are watching those on DVD, you're seeing someone else's work. It's currently being handled by a talented gent named Chad Persons, great op (and good initials, too!). It was an intense show to work on--oh, those hallways!
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Old January 20th, 2005, 11:46 AM   #28
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Heh, i've only seen seasons 1 and 2 (i refuse to watch the show out of order in anyway, so will have to get season 3 before i watch any on tv.) so it will have been mainly your work i've seen. i think the movement thru the hallways with characters moving in and out of the sequence is fantastic, the timing is incredible on it.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 05:32 AM   #29
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I finally decided to print out Johnny's (http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/steadycam/) instructions on how to build the $14 steadycam.

It took a quick trip to a couple of well known hardware stores and a third trip to a sports store and I had everything I needed to make it. I spent $20 on the parts and opted to spend another $20 for a decent vise. BTW, count on getting the vise because it'll make things go easier and faster for you.

It took probably 30 mins to build it. His instructions are very easy to understand and well laid out.....

I have a GL2 and was able to screw it onto the steadycam no problem. I used a fairly large washer and it held the camera very well. I was prepared to build a platform for the GL2 to sit on...but didn't have to.

I needed the steadycam because my next short is allmost entirely one long continuous shot of an actress walking down a sidewalk. The up & down, side to side jumping from my shoulder harness was not going to cut it. I looked at some test footage with that shoulder harness and I felt seasick..... :)

I shot some test footage yesterday with the $14 steadycam and I was very impressed. I used the recommended 2.5lb weight on the bottom of the steadycam, but I'm going to try a 5lb weight later today to balance out the weight up top with the GL2. I also saw an updated article from the link above where Johnny recommends using a weight on the end of the handle to minimize side to side swaying. I think I'll try that. I was rather suprised that I had to work on learning to reduce that movement rather than up and down swaying...

I'll practice using the steadycam way more this week and see how it goes.....

I'd recommend this to any of my fellow no budget filmmakers out there. It is heavy....but if it's worth it to you getting that smooth shot, what do you have to lose, IMHO.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 01:10 PM   #30
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Using a $14 Steadycam

I too purchased and assembled the famous $14 steady cam. As a newbe, I need some documentation on how to use it most effectively. Does anyone have any suggestions? Don
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