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Old April 21st, 2006, 01:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert

One of the things that I find a little baffling about many DV-sized sleds out there, particularly the single section arm rigs, is that the camera almost always flies below eye level. On the big rigs we are able to slide in different length arm posts (that make the connection between arm and gimbal) to accomodate situations where you need to fly the camera higher, or lower. I admit to being a bit more intensive about this than some, as I have a total of 5 posts that give me a 24" offset in booming range, but I use all of them pretty regularly (my recent show with Jeff Goldblum forced me to regular mount the 18 inch "manmaker" to combat the 9" difference in our respective heights!)

I imagine this will be likely addressed in future generations of rigs, just as the adjustable pitch arm mount has been of late.
Charles,,

Got one of those for my rig and it has been nice. It raises the rig from about 12" to 18". It's in the Video Demos - CES - High Shot section of my web page:
http://www.indicam.com/index.php?opt...d=28&Itemid=57

I'm bringing the extension with me so if I get a chance to chat with you I will ask you about it's correct use. I made it for getting "basketball player" type shots. It gives a different perspective that I like. You know, another tool in the arsenal.

Tery
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Old April 21st, 2006, 08:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Chung
Thanks, Charles, for the clarification. Are there any clips of you at work (instead of showing the end result of your work)? That would be very educational :)
Hi Peter,

I think most ops have a personal library of some behind the scenes footage of themselves. However, the exposure Steadicam gets on behind the scenes footage of the large productions is much smaller. Watching the DVD bonus features, you'll almost always see a Steadicam Op off to the side, or fly through frame for a second or two. Rarely is it more than that.

A few DVDs do come to mind though. "Nine Lives" is, without a doubt, one of the best when it comes to featuring Steadicam. They even interview Dan Kneece and Henry Tirl. A few of these can be seen on my site, but there is much that I did not include. "The Shining" is a good one since it shows Garrett in quite a few shots using the rig which was still rather young at that point. "The Missing" has a couple quick shots of Will Arnot, all covered in body armor and face masks - protecting him from the desert dirt.

As for Charles, I'm sure he could give you the full list. There are a couple quick clips of him on "Scrubs". To trump all that, however, he was a featured extra in one of the episodes! By the way, Chas, Jim Bartell actually pulled that clip and sent it over to me to post on SteadiShots. Let me know if you are critical of your performance and would rather it not be posted. I think it, along with a growing number of these other steadi-related clips, will go into a new section all their own. Stay tuned.

Best,
Afton
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Old April 21st, 2006, 08:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afton Grant
Hi Peter,

I think most ops have a personal library of some behind the scenes footage of themselves. However, the exposure Steadicam gets on behind the scenes footage of the large productions is much smaller. Watching the DVD bonus features, you'll almost always see a Steadicam Op off to the side, or fly through frame for a second or two. Rarely is it more than that.

A few DVDs do come to mind though. "Nine Lives" is, without a doubt, one of the best when it comes to featuring Steadicam. They even interview Dan Kneece and Henry Tirl. A few of these can be seen on my site, but there is much that I did not include. "The Shining" is a good one since it shows Garrett in quite a few shots using the rig which was still rather young at that point. "The Missing" has a couple quick shots of Will Arnot, all covered in body armor and face masks - protecting him from the desert dirt.

As for Charles, I'm sure he could give you the full list. There are a couple quick clips of him on "Scrubs". To trump all that, however, he was a featured extra in one of the episodes! By the way, Chas, Jim Bartell actually pulled that clip and sent it over to me to post on SteadiShots. Let me know if you are critical of your performance and would rather it not be posted. I think it, along with a growing number of these other steadi-related clips, will go into a new section all their own. Stay tuned.

Best,
Afton
This is from memory but I think it was "My blind date" part 1 that Charles featured in, correct Charles?

John.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 08:46 AM   #19
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That wasn't me, that was "MRI Tech (Uncredited)". Looks a lot like me, though...(sure, go ahead and post).
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Old April 21st, 2006, 08:47 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
That wasn't me, that was "MRI Tech (Uncredited)". Looks a lot like me, though...(sure, go ahead and post).
DOH! I thought that was you :D

John.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 09:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
I can't think of the physics right now but the tactile sensation is such that it feels better to have the camera closer to your pivot point (gimbal). Also, the lens is that much closer to operating nodally, meaning that the further the camera mass is placed from the gimbal, the greater an arc it must make during tilts.
That makes sense. Also, if you get the pendulum effect (for beginners like me ;), the closer the camera is to the gimbal, the less the pendulum will affect your footage since it is a smaller arc.

Quote:
The extended arm posts simply elevate the position of the rig relative to the end of the arm. This shifts your usable boom range overall. I also use a J bracket that drops the position of the rig a few inches, which is helpful when shooting as low as possible in high mode.
Yeah, I guess it doesn't apply to me, then, since I only have the sled, which is a forearm and back killer, by the way(!) I'm just trying to hold it and walk around with it whenever I can so that I can build up those muscles... Any suggestions to reducing the strain? I know Terry recommends using a tennis elbow elastic band.

Afton, thanks for your steadishots.org site! It's great to be able to see the masters' work. I just need to find resources that help me to learn how to create footage like that ;)

Thank you all for your help and input! I am so thankful for this forum.
:-Peter
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Old April 21st, 2006, 12:31 PM   #22
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Peter,

I'll jump in again. More good questions.

The following refers to the DV camera type of stabilizers like Peter has and not the big guys.

Anything that helps a "sled only" user to operate easier and longer is a good thing. The Ace Tennis Elbow Brace (207288) is a cheap way to extend operating time. Glidecam sells their "Forearm Brace" and it helps to extend shooting time even longer.

If you are really serious about stabilization though you're going to end up with a body mounted support vest and arm. The more I test the PILOT sled without it's support system (flying a DVX-100a ) the more evident it becomes. Any similar sled i.e. Glidecam 2000, 4000 will have the same stress factors as well.

It sounds kind of like a sales pitch for a vest and arm but it needs to be said. This is the only way I know of that can change the operating strain to something very managable. A vest and arm combination makes a HUGE difference. You can use it for hours and not just minutes. At least that is what I have experienced.

There are a number of vest and arm support systems available for the smaller handheld sleds which are interchangable. Varizoom, Glidecam, Indicam, M516 are some that come to mind.

Tery
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 02:10 PM   #23
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Here's an update

Ok here's an update to where i was when I started the thread. My unit comes with a neat trolly case so I was thinking about packing up/taking out and setting up again. In order for the unit to fit into the case, the post needs to be at its shortest adjustment so I got to think a bit.

So, I decided to set the post at its shortest. This was fine until I put it back up to balance the sled - hmmmm - top heavy!! I added two small weights (supplied) to the bottom of the sled and balanced again. The gimble propably had to move about 15cm to get a dop time of between 2-3 secs.

And would you know, the rig is much easier to fly and I've gone from swinging like a dead cat to some really smooth shots (for my level of expertise anyway). The monitor is now at a more viewable level and the rig stays closer to me as well without wanting to fly out. I must add on this point that there is a very simple adjustment for middle-aged men like me - its called a paunch!! By raising the vest slightly, yours truly's gut auto adjusts the angle of the arm in relation to the vest. Who says beer don't have its advantages!!!!

Only problem now is that at the rate I'm practising, the gut ain't going to be there much longer and the physio is going to be impressed with my Arnie muscles in the near future! My wife did comment as well that my posture had improved!!! There's life in them bones yet!

I'm going out tommorrow to shoot some test footage so I'll try and post something later tommorrow if I'm not too embarrassed.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 02:39 PM   #24
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Ah Jeremy--I too once thought that operating a stabilizer would keep me lean forever--somehow it doesn't manage to work that way (unless one is running up and down the sidelines of a soccer pitch 4 times a week, that would do it)!!

Glad the rig is feeling better to you.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 03:17 PM   #25
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Shoot me for wishfull thinking Charles:)

I'll stay in bleachers - running up and down with a rig for an hour or two doesn't seem to appeal to me!
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