Help with operating Smooth Shooter? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 17th, 2007, 01:18 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Yuba City, Ca
Posts: 126
Help with operating Smooth Shooter?

Does anyone have tips on how to properly operate the 4000 Pro/Smooth Shooter combo? I've got my XL2 attached to the rig, but it's still somewhat jerky (though, a LOOOOOT better than holding it by hand). The drop time for the 4000 Pro is like 1 second. The Glidecam rep told me it should be 2-3 seconds, and that I should try configuring the weights and telescoping pole. I did everything I could and either the whole thing was unbalanced from not enough weights or still didn't produce the correct drop time. Anyone know how I can fix this?

And how should I operate the Smooth Shooter? I've got my hand gently guiding the sled, but the thing keeps wanting to go its own way. Should it be doing that?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Vishad Dewan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2007, 08:25 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: New York, Boston
Posts: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vishad Dewan View Post
And how should I operate the Smooth Shooter? I've got my hand gently guiding the sled, but the thing keeps wanting to go its own way. Should it be doing that?
Ah ha! You've just asked the thousand dollar question. The answer is yes...... sort of.

If the sled is balanced properly (I'm reasonably sure the Smooth Shooter cannot easily achieve dynamic balance so we'll forget about that for now) there are very few aspects to operating that can be answered in any way other than, "practice, practice practice". Things like drop time are more of a preference rather than a setup requirement. You should be able to successfully operate at any drop time once you're used to it. Yes, it does seem the most common suggestion is around 2 seconds, but again, it's just a suggestion.

The sled ALWAYS wants to go its own way. That's the principle upon which the entire system is built - inertia. "An object in motion...." yadda yadda.

I recently read an article in "Am. Cinematographer". One of the DP's was discussing his lighting methods. He said something along the lines of, it's not always about what you choose to show, but rather what you choose to hide.

To apply that to operating a stabilizer, the system works best when it is allowed to simply go without operator intervention. Of course, we cannot just let go and pray for the best. But the operator is there to simply keep it on course, giving it slight corrections here and there to direct to where it needs to go. This could be the genesis of the appearance that an operator is dancing with the rig. It's a constant give and take.

It'll come to you eventually. Just keep practicing.

Best of luck,
Afton
__________________
Afton M Grant, Steadicam Operator
www.aftongrant.com | www.steadishots.org
Afton Grant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18th, 2007, 12:36 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Auburn, CA
Posts: 578
Vishad,

I just left you a personal email about your questions.

Tery
Indicam
__________________
He's only mostly sDEADy.

sort of from "The Princess Bride"

www.indicam.com
Terry Thompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2007, 11:28 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Yuba City, Ca
Posts: 126
Okay, so the sled wants to do its own thing, that's for sure. But how do I really keep it from panning from left to right during a shoot? I've tried grasping the sled tightly, to gently guiding it with my fingertips, to letting it lead ME. But the thing just doesn't want to stay on my subject. Ahhhh!
__________________
Vishad
Novus Productions - www.novusproductions.com -
Vishad Dewan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2007, 06:03 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Auburn, CA
Posts: 578
Vishad,

When you say that the rig wants to go wherever it wants and completly ignors you wishes, your "wishes" are incorporated into your left hand which gently guides the camera in the direction you want it to point. The system has to be balanced correctly for you to trust that the camera will stay parallel to the ground.

Controlling the sled is a skill that needs to be learned but with time it will become much easier. It feels foreign at first.

If it were that easy everyone could do it and steadicam operators wouldn't be as valuable as they are. When I watch a real good steadicam shot I appreciate all the work that went into it because I have a good idea of all the work that did go into it.

Tery
Indicam
__________________
He's only mostly sDEADy.

sort of from "The Princess Bride"

www.indicam.com
Terry Thompson is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:52 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network