My second experience wearing a Steadicam Pro rig at DVinfo.net

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Old November 8th, 2005, 09:40 PM   #1
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My second experience wearing a Steadicam Pro rig

I got to try on a steadicam pro rig today flying a Sony DVW F900, the Cine Alta HD system, with a complete film package! I am here to tell you, that damn thing was heavvvvvvy as hell!!! My own rig, similar to the Steadicam Flyer, is nothing compared to the full size rig as far as weight and my rig has worn me out flying 10 pounds for 2 hours straight before. I can't imagine what flying the rig I did today or a film camera would be like for just 10-15 minutes. I had tried another rig before with a Digibeta film package which was left hand oriented and I thought that was my main issue controlling it because I fly right hand oriented controlling with the left hand. Well, after today, I realized it's just flat out heavy and awkward and I have a whole new respect for accomplished operators flying that thing fully loaded. But, it just made my day by being able to put it on and try it!

Last edited by James Emory; November 9th, 2005 at 10:38 AM.
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Old November 8th, 2005, 10:26 PM   #2
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Sounds like you had fun James, good deal. All I can say is, you get used to it!
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Old November 8th, 2005, 11:12 PM   #3
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Hi James,

May I ask how many pounds were you flying?

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Leigh
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Old November 9th, 2005, 10:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh Wanstead
Hi James,

May I ask how many pounds were you flying?

Regards Leigh
I don't know how much a fully loaded camera like that weighs but it had to at lease be 25 lbs if not 30 lbs. The camera was heavy just by itself and then there's the sled. Those 16x9 chips probably weigh 1/2 lb each you know! You just cannot imagine the downward force subject on your body and the ache in your lower back when you take it off. I'm surprised all operators don't have thighs the that are 1 ft thick having to tote that thing.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 11:56 AM   #5
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The whole system was probably 50 to 60 lbs depending how configured (downconverter, lens control system etc). It is possible to for an HD package to approach 70 lbs depending on the lens; the Panavised F900's are notorious for this. By no means a lightweight setup.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 12:43 PM   #6
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Hi Charles,

In real life, I mean if the steadicam operator is paid for ten hours a day including some breaks. How long the operator has to carry 60 lbs package? 9 hours?

TIA

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
The whole system was probably 50 to 60 lbs depending how configured (downconverter, lens control system etc). It is possible to for an HD package to approach 70 lbs depending on the lens; the Panavised F900's are notorious for this. By no means a lightweight setup.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 06:30 PM   #7
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It had the Chroziel 16x9 swingaway box with rods of course, Canon wide zoom lens, remote focus and iris motors (top mounted receiver) and dual digital batteries. I'm not sure what kind of batteries those were but they were slim and blue and you could attach them in series to one another. They were definitely lighter than AB bricks!
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Old November 9th, 2005, 07:40 PM   #8
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Length of operating time depends entirely on the shoot. I've gotten off easy with maybe an hour in the rig for a given day, or hauled it around for as much as 8 hours over a 14 hr day.

James, those sounds like the IDX batteries, pretty neat in terms of being able to snap them together, which circumvents the issue with transporting Lithium batteries of a certain size on airlines. Although they are comparable to the Anton Bauer Dionic 90's in weight.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 12:31 AM   #9
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Here are a few production stills so you can see the cameras. I was the 2nd AC for A camera. I shot these because of the fact that more than $200K worth of gear was being handheld in that pool, one misstep and....... At one point on a backswing the jib camera's rear did dip into the water briefly but there were no issues.

http://198.65.158.133/images/product...usicvideo1.jpg

http://198.65.158.133/images/product...usicvideo2.jpg

http://198.65.158.133/images/product...usicvideo6.jpg
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Old November 10th, 2005, 12:42 AM   #10
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"In real life, I mean if the steadicam operator is paid for ten hours a day including some breaks. How long the operator has to carry 60 lbs package? 9 hours?"

On the things I've PA'd on with a steadicam operator, he took the sled and camera off and put them on a stand in between takes. He wasn't wearing the whole rig except when he was actually using it or just about to use it.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 12:53 AM   #11
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Oh definitely. These guys do take the sled off between takes!
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Old November 10th, 2005, 01:01 AM   #12
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Of course. Docking is critical. On some jobs though, you can still rack up many hours of actual flying time regardless--and sometimes it's easier not to dock inbetween takes depending on the circumstances. I will occasionally hand the rig off to the grip or AC if I can't get to the dock though.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 09:40 PM   #13
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Hey James,
Awesome pictures. Was this shoot in Atlanta? If so, who was the band and where was it shot? Is that a local production company doing the shoot? I really like to find out about locally produced shoots that I may have the potential of joining in the future. Nice work by the way.
-Chris
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Old November 14th, 2005, 01:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scharff
Hey James,
Awesome pictures. Was this shoot in Atlanta? If so, who was the band and where was it shot? Is that a local production company doing the shoot? I really like to find out about locally produced shoots that I may have the potential of joining in the future. Nice work by the way.
-Chris
This location was at Berry College in Rome, Georgia about an hour northwest of Atlanta. It is the largest campus in the world as far as acreage. The band is a called Casting Crowns and this was their second video. The production company is called Triple Horse Entertainment and they are out of Conyers, Georgia southeast of Atlanta. They were really nice folks to work with. The owner apparently used to work at Turner Studios and started this company. I didn't shoot any of it, I was the 2nd AC for A camera.

Casting Crowns
www.castingcrowns.com

Triple Horse Entertainment
www.triplehorse.com
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