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Old October 14th, 2010, 08:12 AM   #1
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Hi there,

Im planning on shooting with the red cam and a set of primes, iv operated various steadicams in the past but im not a pro and iv never operated one with cine primes. Can someone give me some advice about what lens to use to maintain focus on a steadicam? or any tricks of the trade?. Im used to leaving the lens zoomed out so everything is in focus.

Of course if your advice is hire a pro steadicam operator because its extremely difficult and takes years to learn then i'll listen to your wisdom and do so, i dont want to jeopardize the quality of the film, i just would have liked to operate it myself and save money.

since iv never used primes before or dealt with that kind of depth of field you probably think im off my head for even considering it, if thats the case by all means tell me that :) or can you use a cine zoom lens like a 50mm - 150mm and leve it zoomed out?

Andy.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 09:39 AM   #2
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Seriously, hire an op, full sized Steadicam is not something you can just pick up and start shooting with.

Most ops, like myself, have one if not more channels of remote focus as part of their kit. You can get by without on very wide lenses and/or by stopping the lens down but you will really limit yourself.

Feel free to contact me via My website.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Andy Graham View Post
Of course if your advice is hire a pro steadicam operator because its extremely difficult and takes years to learn then i'll listen to your wisdom and do so, i dont want to jeopardize the quality of the film, i just would have liked to operate it myself and save money.
What type of production is it? How perfect does it have to be?

What rigs have you used, and for what length of time?

How much time do you have to fiddle with things on location?

Who is going to pull focus, and how much experience do they have?

The last question may be the most important. If your steadicam shots use a shallow DOF, you'll probably need an AC with years of experience pulling focus. If you intend to close down the iris and add light to increase DOF, then pulling focus isn't as critical.

As for the lens, you probably want to use a prime that corresponds to something fairly zoomed out, unless there's some kind of barrier between you and the subject. The more you zoom in, the less stable the shot tends to be.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #4
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All good questions, and im starting to see that hiring an op is the way to go. The project is a feature film, we have a number of potential investors to raise the 2.5m which is still low budget when you consider what we're trying to do but we also have conections with HBO and Buena Vista so getting the money isnt beyond all realms of possibility, set in ireland (filmed in scotland) we're using a full size medieval fort..... heres my other thread

Working with the combat team from Gladiator

we have everything from helicopters to onsite makup and production office lorries ready to go when we get the funding. so it has to be perfect

Iv used my own glidecam v8 and a steadicam master with full HDcam (very heavy)

Dont have a focus puller yet.

Mike i had a look at your site, is that 995 per day you charge? our shoot will be eight weeks. We still need to do all the schedules and shot lists so i cant tell you exactly how long i will need a steadicam op for, its very early in pre production and we wont be filming till 2012, whats the best deal you can do for a week? (6 days)

Andy.

PS, btw the name of the film is just a working title because its based on the macha legend, we know its terrible and will be changing it very soon.
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Last edited by Andy Graham; October 14th, 2010 at 11:17 AM.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 11:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Graham
The project is a feature film, we have a number of potential investors to raise the 2.5m which is still low budget when you consider what we're trying to do ...
Hire an op. Shop around for price, look at reels, ask questions, etc.

Hire an experienced focus puller. For this type of film, a shallow DOF will probably look better on most shots. And with Steadicam, its rare the camera and actor will move the exact same way as in rehearsal.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 12:16 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated
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