need tips for making very slow movements using a stabilizer at DVinfo.net

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Old November 29th, 2005, 09:41 PM   #1
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need tips for making very slow movements using a stabilizer

hello...

can anyone offer me some tips on performing really slow camera movments using a stabilizer? i'm trying to shoot with very subtle motions, and i'm having a hard time getting anything slow enough. while i'm shooting, i feel like my body is moving as slow as it can, but when i review the footage, it still feels too fast for what i'm looking for. is this strictly an operator issue? my rig just feels too light to pull this off with acceptable results.

i'm using an xl1s/glidecam 4000 on a smooth shooter arm/vest.

any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 10:13 PM   #2
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I would suggest a wheelchair if the site can do it. The 'between' steps are what is probably hampering you. If you shoot if from a wheel chair with someone doing the grip for you slowly, that might make what you want.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 11:51 PM   #3
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thanks for that george...

no access to a wheelchair for the time being, but we do have a push cart i can stand on. i imagine the wheels would have to be well-lubed because we're going to be on concrete. i'll see how that goes.

thanks again.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 07:46 AM   #4
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Practice Practice Practice...

Slow moves are the hardest, they are the biggest test for a rig and operator. The slightest errors will blow the shot.

Moving with a stabilizer is easy. And even a lockof is resonably easy, as once you've stopped you just don't touch the rig much.
But as you've dsicovered it's teh really really slow stuff that is the hardest. Your brain is still working very quickly; check feet, headroom, horizon, actors, shot composition, feet, headroom.. and the frame should be iun motion, but so so slight that it's barely perceptable.

They key to this shot is LOTS of practice.

- As for regulating operator speed, riding on a dolly (wheelchair, cart, handsfree (segway), etc..) does make it easier for the opertor as they can leave speed to a grip. - But then agian, if you can ride, it's always a better option than walking.. It's less work! ;-)
But even with a dolly, the slowest moves will take the most practice!

- Mikko
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Old November 30th, 2005, 11:21 AM   #5
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I just had this conversation with a budding operator yesterday. I told him to spend most of his practice time on the infinitely slow moving stuff (with plenty of objects in the foreground); it's much more bang for the buck than just cruising around.

It's just as Mikko said. There's no magic to it, it just takes time. This is also a test of the rig you are flying--the less friction and more precision in the system, the easier you will find it to create dolly-like super slow moves.

As far as walking goes, make sure you are taking tiny little steps, using as much of a heel-toe method as possible and really focus on pushing the rig ahead at a uniform speed to smooth out the irregularities in your gait.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 03:06 PM   #6
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mikko and charles, thank you both for your input.

i certainly have no aversion to practicing, and your tips regarding gait will definitely help.
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