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Old June 10th, 2008, 10:50 PM   #1
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Highlights from Morning - First Outing W/ Steadicam

Here is a highlights clip from a video I am working on now showing the morning preps. This was my first shoot with Steadicam. I was pretty nervous about it, and still have some things to work on, but was happy with how things turned out.

I would love to hear your comments, what you liked, or what you might do different.

http://www.vimeo.com/1152479

Thanks!
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Old June 10th, 2008, 11:15 PM   #2
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You bring a steadicam to a wedding??? Are you crazy ?!?!?

Seriously though, looked like a good start.

Couple things that stood out to me beside just overall practice with the rig.

I think the opening shot has the operators reflection in it- that is something to really watch for and can be very tough when you do longer shots.

Be careful not to use the steadicam just because. Every shot should have a purpose or a
motivation- what are you trying to convey to the viewer and movement in the shot the best way to achieve that?

Lastly, you had some good shots in there but it looked like they were held slightly too long, so you see the move stop and something else starts, and that can really detract from the fluidity that your tool adds.

Hope that gives you some direction for your next shoot.

Patrick
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Old June 10th, 2008, 11:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau View Post
You bring a steadicam to a wedding??? Are you crazy ?!?!?
Patrick
You've started a revolution. Wonder how long it will be trendy??

Thanks for your tips. As I gain more experience I hope to learn what looks good/bad and how to use the motion more effectively.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 07:15 AM   #4
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One thing ive noticed from Patricks videos is that every shot does indeed have a purpose and there all quite short. Often the shot conveys happiness like a smile or laugh. Or a tear. I then watch some of our stuff and realise the shot goes on for a while to eventually climax with the reason it was there (stepping out of the car).

Steadicam has its place, like moving around the arch way, up and down the aisle. You need to mix in static to give the audiance a break. Watching steadicam shots are quite tireing.

For our shoots we are looking more and more to shoot for the edit rather than shoot everything and hope we catch something good. Once youve used a shot move on, dont show the same scenario again from a different angle.

It would be intresting to see a patick video with a narration as I bet half of us dont see the story or see what hes trying to convey in most of his shots. We just enjoy them.

Liked it though, would be better with sound but im in a crowded office at the moment.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 08:03 AM   #5
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Hey Matt,
Not bad. Although I found the shots really held for way too long especially after the makeup. The guys in a circle seemed to go on forever, and not really showing anything purposeful other than to say they were there. It might cut nicer if you split up between the two parties and show some contrast between shots. Some cutaway shots of flowers, shoes, and closeups would really have fit nice as well. Just my 2 cents though, overall there were no major flaws. thanks for submitting.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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Pretty good for first time.

I don't have anything to add to whats been said.

What steadicam unit do you use with what camera?
Thanks for sharing.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau View Post
Be careful not to use the steadicam just because. Every shot should have a purpose or a motivation - what are you trying to convey to the viewer and movement in the shot the best way to achieve that?
I totally agree with this. I've now shot 2 weddings with my Merlin, and the first wedding I used the Steadicam way too much. I used it all day long; not for every shot, but it was basically attached all day. The good news was that I got a lot of practice with it but the bad news was I had a lot of shots not work out quite right and didn't have as many static shots to make the edit work like I wanted.

The 2nd wedding I only used the Merlin for the photoshoot, for them leaving the ceremony (that was tough because I had like 5 seconds to detach from the tripod and pop on the Merlin with no time for balance correction) and for certain parts of the reception. Much better results.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 12:33 PM   #8
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What steadicam unit do you use with what camera?
Right now it is the Steadicam Merlin with the Arm/Vest and XH-A1's. The merlin vest seems to do a pretty good job with the A1, but I would like to upgrade to the pilot before too long. The merlin is very susceptible to being influenced even by a light breeze. I have heard/read that although all steadicam is susceptible to outside influence, the larger rigs can be better due to the increased weight of the system.

This particular wedding was on a windy day and I was unable to use the steadicam for the outdoor photo shoot after the ceremony. I didn't even try.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Matt Trubac View Post
Right now it is the Steadicam Merlin with the Arm/Vest and XH-A1's. The merlin vest seems to do a pretty good job with the A1, but I would like to upgrade to the pilot before too long. The merlin is very susceptible to being influenced even by a light breeze. I have heard/read that although all steadicam is susceptible to outside influence, the larger rigs can be better due to the increased weight of the system.

This particular wedding was on a windy day and I was unable to use the steadicam for the outdoor photo shoot after the ceremony. I didn't even try.
Here in Idaho we have breeze/wind pretty much every day, and I'm using a Merlin without a vest. I've found that I just have to be more "hands on" with the unit to get usable shots when there is a breeze. I would bet a larger unit would be less affected by a breeze, but I just wanted to let you know that you can still work the Merlin in a breeze, it's just more difficult.

If it's downright windy then using the Merlin well is pretty much an exercise in frustration.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
I totally agree with this. I've now shot 2 weddings with my Merlin, and the first wedding I used the Steadicam way too much. I used it all day long; not for every shot, but it was basically attached all day. The good news was that I got a lot of practice with it but the bad news was I had a lot of shots not work out quite right and didn't have as many static shots to make the edit work like I wanted.
I actually tried to pay attention to grabbing static shots even though I was wearing my rig. I have read over and over from others not to overdo it. I probably still came out a bit guilty, but after a few weeks of practice decided my best experience was going to come from throwing into play at some real events.

It's the only way to really start to learn what works and what doesn't. Most people on here I've noticed become better operators with each video. I even notice Patrick gets better and better. He is getting good at the whip pans... those are tough.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #11
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Funny thing is that I agree with you too. I had to shoot a lot with the Merlin at an actual wedding so I could see the footage and figure out what was working and what wasn't. It's like a catch-22 situation. You don't want to overdo it but on your first few weddings you kind of have to so you have a lot of footage to view and choose from and learn from.

The "whip pans" are cool but I would bet it's a lot easier to do with a full rig because you have all of your fingers on a larger surface to control the motion, plus the extra weight means the rig isn't so darn sensitive. With the Merlin you basically have 2 or 3 fingers on a very small surface and it's difficult to be precise and fast and have a soft touch at the same time.
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