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Old May 5th, 2011, 10:46 PM   #1
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Operating without a monitor

I understand the proper way to operate steadicam with arm/vest is to have the sled next to the body, on the left side. But for setups without a monitor, eg. Merlin, Glidecam, I can only operate in a position where I see the camera's monitor. For my camera, HMC150, the monitor is on the left side, which means I must have the rig in front of me, or on my right side. But will that compromise video stability, given that the arm protrudes from my right side. I've heard about "goofy foot", but I'm not enthusiastic about switching operating hands. I'm used to guiding the post with my left hand.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:46 AM   #2
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Re: Operating without a monitor

In the UK quite a few people operate the Steadicam on the right side with the right hand.

I've operated Steadicam using the electronic V/F on a LDK 6000 studio camera (because the downconversion feed couldn't be organised) by putting the camera in front. However, you're restricted in the moves you can do.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 02:37 AM   #3
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Re: Operating without a monitor

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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
In the UK quite a few people operate the Steadicam on the right side with the right hand.
This may possibly be because goofy is what James Elias of Tiffen UK teaches in Steadicam Workshops.

The counsel of perfection for a Steadicam operator is that you should be practiced enough to be able to switch sides as there will be situations where it is required e.g. in a tight space
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Old May 7th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #4
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Re: Operating without a monitor

I like "counsel of perfection", sounds like Jor-El should be the moderator.

In reality very few operators (I can think of none amongst those I know) master operating on both sides. We pick one and stick with it and figure out ways to deal with the odd situation that puts us into an ugly spot (spiral staircase!).

Choosing "regular" or "goofy-foot" as one's personal style is entirely a matter of trying both and seeing which speaks to you. Over the years at the workshops, I can empirically say that it is 80-20 at most regular vs goofy. However, most of the instructors operate regular so perhaps we are exerting a subconscious pressure on the students to do the same. Obviously James is doing something along these lines by churning out hordes of ill-thinking, misdirected goofy foot operators!! ha.

In any event, it's something that has always bothered me about the small rigs that you are restricted in your sight of the monitor (and it's at the top). Gregory, not sure which rig you are using--you mentioned Merlin and Glidecam--but you may want to consider getting a little outboard monitor. They've been around in the SD world for years and are starting to emerge in the HD world as well.You would replace the counterweights with the monitor as needed. At a certain point of course it makes sense to move up to a more sophisticated sled design that already incorporates a monitor.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 01:59 AM   #5
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Re: Operating without a monitor

Since the Pilot isn't in my budget, I'm considering adding a monitor to my Glidecam. I purchased the Merlin+vest/arm. I liked the arm/vest (except for all that velcro), but didn't like the Merlin that much. So after a trip to HOme Depot, I made an adapter to use the Glidecam with the arm.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 02:27 AM   #6
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Re: Operating without a monitor

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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
This may possibly be because goofy is what James Elias of Tiffen UK teaches in Steadicam Workshops.
I don't know the reason, but I learnt in the US and I have the sled on the left side, but every time I rent my Steadicam out it's always returned set up for operating on the right side.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #7
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Re: Operating without a monitor

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Originally Posted by Gregory Lee View Post
Since the Pilot isn't in my budget, I'm considering adding a monitor to my Glidecam. I purchased the Merlin+vest/arm. I liked the arm/vest (except for all that velcro), but didn't like the Merlin that much. So after a trip to HOme Depot, I made an adapter to use the Glidecam with the arm.
The Merlin arm/vest is the same one used with the Pilot. It's possible to save some money by just buying the Pilot sled if you already have the Merlin/Pilot arm/vest.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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Re: Operating without a monitor

He Pilot sled is $2500 but the Glidecam HD4000 is $550. Couldn't find any used Pilot sled on eBay.
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