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Old February 26th, 2005, 11:26 AM   #1
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Steady Cam For an XL2

Can anyone tell me where to get a steady cam for the XL2 that won't kill my wallet?

Or better yet, how I can make one. There is that one online that you can make for about $14.00 but it isn't good for cameras that big.

Any ideas are more than welcomed. If I figure out how to make one myself, I'll post the how to on this site. That's if for now.

Cleveland.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 11:53 AM   #2
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steadycam

this is a web site with a description of steadycams

http://stuffo.howstuffworks.com/steadicam.htm

it's not very simple to make .
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Old February 26th, 2005, 12:04 PM   #3
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Homebuilt Stabilizers

have fun...
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Old February 26th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #4
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That is seriously insane! Amazing. Good luck!
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Old February 26th, 2005, 04:38 PM   #5
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Thanks Dudes.

That is some insane !%&$. My dad is a machinist and I just spent an hour on the phone looking at pictures of that site and trying to figure out just what and how we would make.
The only real setback is that he's in LA and I'm in St. Louis.
So I'll work primarily on the harness while he works on the rig. I am thinking it might be possible for us to make several of them. If anyone is interested post here. It may be a few months but you'll hear more about this.
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Old February 27th, 2005, 01:44 AM   #6
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Even though the commercially available stabilizers seem expensive, Cleveland, I've heard from various people who have built their own that if they were to actually make more and sell them, they would have to charge about the same amount to make it worthwhile. Don't underestimate the R&D, parts and labor involved--the $14 rig is one thing, but a system with vest and arm is a whole other beast...
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Old February 27th, 2005, 07:05 AM   #7
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A little off topic but is your name actually Cleveland Brown? I only ask because I am a Cleveland Brown fan (the football team, not you....although if your work is good that could happen too) and I'd personally love to have a name like that.

Of course if that is your name and you don't like football or the "Cleveland Browns" football team in particular then you must get asked this all the time and right now you want to kill me!

Sorry....had to ask.

Peace all!
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Old February 27th, 2005, 03:09 PM   #8
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Well Marty, to be completely honest, that is my real name. Yes, I do get asked that all the time and have my whole life. No, I Don't want to kill you.
Yes, I am a Browns fan but don't have much time for watching sporting events because I am always working. I find it much more rewarding to be creating entertainment programs than to do nothing but watch them.

The energy you get from using your creative side is always more satisfying. My words to live by. You can't go anywhere that your imagination hasn't already taken you. So in a sense, until you realize that you can accomplish anything, you will always be limited to what you think other people can't do.

Back to the subject at hand. I already have most of the materials to make the steady cam harness and a friend who is going to help me with the sheet metal work and welding. That site Charles sent me was very inspiring indeed and I now know for sure that I can make one. The arm will most likely be the most difficult but again I have some help lined up.

Marty, you are correct. To make it worth my while to make more of them, I would have to charge a few thousand dollars for them. However, there are plenty of people out there who would rather just pay for one than to do all that work. And the second one is always easier to make than the first. If I keep templates and cutouts of the parts, I bet I can eventually cut the building process down to a week or less. Maybe even make a couple of them a week. That's all for now.

Cleveland
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Old February 27th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #9
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Cleveland: (and anyone else)
By all means, build yourself a rig. (I have...) - and the last thing I want to do is sound discouraging.
But might I sugest not putting too much effort into selling them. - Ok, this sounds preaty pessemistic I think. But I'm just seeing loads of low budget rigs/nockoffs out there allready. [also you've got to be carefull with those patent things if you actually start to sell them]
My sugestion is to use that imagination and if you are serious about selling something steadi -related, make something new! A new part or accessory (that with any luck, everyone will want on their sled(/arm/vest...!) would be great!
For inspiration and as examples, I'll mention Peter Abrahams's Tally lights and Brant Fagan's Antlers...

Oh yeah, and in my oppinion that $14 stick is about as far from Steadicam as possible... it breaks every rule in the book. (like balance...) No more than a big handle really.

Good luck!

- Mikko
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Old February 28th, 2005, 02:56 PM   #10
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Mikko,

I have seen many pictures of your rig as well as the one you made out of Leggo. Right on dude! The selling thing is kinda a sideline idea that I at least have to indulge a little. Chances are not as likely of that happening as the whole purpose of making one is so that I can make better movies.
I am however interested to know how many cameras you are shooting with. I only have one for now. A Canon XL2. How well is your Steady Cam working out for you? It looks like you have a lot of people helping you. Are they volunteers or do you have a way to pay them? Cool website by the way.

Thanks

Cleveland
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Old March 1st, 2005, 01:26 AM   #11
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building a stabilization system

Cleveland,

You're right where I was three years ago. I started making a vest and arm to fly my Glidecam 1000. I moved to a 2000 because of the better bearings and such and the rig I made worked so well that I decided to build them to sell them. Well, $25,000 and three years later I have a real nice system and am close to marketing it so I'll let you know a few things I've learned.

It's better to make one system for yourself if that is what you want to do but it would be better to just buy a Flyer because you'll spend a lot more than $6500 by the time you do all the things you have to do in order to market it. If you do want to market it, like I do, you have to do a lot (and I mean a lot) of trial and error. You have to learn all about design and assembly, bearings, aluminum welding, bending, laser cutting, drilling, deburring, spacers, fasteners, nylon webbing, sewing, riveting, web design, lighting for still pictures, bulk buying from many different manfacturers (after prototyping is finished), marketing, video streaming...where does it stop?

If you have any new ideas that might be patentable then you have to learn all about the patent proceedure. Not a fun thing by the way.

Then, after you have created a real good rig, you have to learn all about how to use it correctly so your demo videos will look good. This could take a long time. It has me. And just when you think you're ready, you have someone like Charles P. check out your system and let you know of a few more things you should work on. I very much appreciate his help and input.

I know there are many rigs out there that work O.K. but, if you're like me, you want a great value and not just a good value. I'm not mentioning any rigs by name as the ones with problems are known by many of us and we don't like making negative comments if we can avoid it.

If you're going to build a system for yourself I might recommend Cody's plans. The are found here:
http://www.codydeegan.com

I am by no means an expert but when you make a system for sale you learn a lot about most steadycam systems. If I can be of any help let me know.

Good luck!

Tery
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Old March 1st, 2005, 02:51 AM   #12
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Nice web page Terry. You have not conviced me not to make one because I can't afford to buy one. You have however presented me with the real choice of the matter.

1. Make the one because I need it. Then move on with my movie making because that is why I am making one.

2. Make one, go through the process that you have gone through and still have no movie a few years down the line because I just don't have the energy to do that many things all at once. I'll take the latter.

Thanks again,

Cleveland.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 11:09 AM   #13
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Cleveland,

The best place for steadycam info I have found is at www.homebuiltstabilizers.com. Charles King, web site owner, is real good at valuable information as well.

I want you to do whatever you want to do. I just thought I would "chime-in" as there are many people (not you) who think it's easy to build a stabilizer or that it should cost a lot less. My system is not expensive but it's also not cheap.

All the best to you in your efforts.

Smooth shooting,

Tery
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Old March 1st, 2005, 12:55 PM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Cleveland Brown : Nice web page Terry. You have not conviced me not to make one because I can't afford to buy one.

Cleveland. -->>>

Hi Cleveland,

I thought that Terry sell his one for $845 and I think it is quite reasonable price.

Regards
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Old March 1st, 2005, 04:56 PM   #15
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Cleveland:
My hombuilt rig i dont' really fly very much, because I have acess to a Flyer (my school bought one after i wined to the enough) - and that is also where I get my supply of cameras, we ahve a few XL1, a PD150, FX1, Hitachi V21-W (pro DVCAM) and a couepl fo other little ones.
The pictures on my site are either from shoots, where i am along on the shoot as part of the project. - all those people are there not just for me! A majority of the pictures are also from the SOA workshop last fall which was just a blast!

- Mikko
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