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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old June 21st, 2005, 06:40 AM   #1
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Steadicam or monopods ?

Anyone here using some sort of steadicam or monopods ? If so, what are your experiences, and which ones do you like ?
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Old June 21st, 2005, 09:56 AM   #2
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Art-

I have't played with too many, but I have a Varizoom Flowpod under one of my GL2's and I am very happy with it. The monopod side is used about 90% of the time, but its great to have the flowpod on demand (it only takes about 5-10 seconds to switch) when you need it instead of switch cameras.

I also use a DV Rig Pro, but this probably isnt what your going for. By the way, this thing works wonders as a shoulder mount, but dont plan on moving around with it!

patrick
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Old June 21st, 2005, 10:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Guglielmo
Anyone here using some sort of steadicam or monopods ? If so, what are your experiences, and which ones do you like ?
I use both. I use my monopod for steadying the zoomed shots from across the room and high moving camera shots. The glidecam is good for long tracking shots. I find I use the monopod more often than the glidecam, however both have their uses.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 11:18 AM   #4
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"I also use a DV Rig Pro, but this probably isnt what your going for. By the way, this thing works wonders as a shoulder mount, but dont plan on moving around with it!"

Patrick, why not. The footprint doesn't take up much more space than a monopod would.
I use all tripod for lockdown shots, monopod when needed (for me usually during processionals for weddings), and DVRigPro for everything else as I get very stable handheld footage for filming plays and receptions.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 03:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot
Patrick, why not. The footprint doesn't take up much more space than a monopod would.
I use all tripod for lockdown shots, monopod when needed (for me usually during processionals for weddings), and DVRigPro for everything else as I get very stable handheld footage for filming plays and receptions.
Michael-
Let me be more specific. Dont plan on getting the glidecam style footage with it. The system is not designed to be used while walking in the way that a glidecam or my flowpod is.

That being said, the DV Rig Pro is perfect for run and gun situations. You can quickly (as quickly as you can get there) get stable footage. I wouldnt want to think about filming a wedding without this.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 04:07 PM   #6
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Patrick, your point is noted and you are definitely right in that you won't get steadycam type footage. I have gotten decent flowing footage from it, but actually i get better flow like footage by shortening my Bogen monopod and using it like a steadicam. While not as good as a stadicam, with practice I have been able to get very good footage.
But as you said with a flowpod, you get the best of both worlds, a monpod and a glidecam.
I haven't been able to try a flowpod yet. I have hard that it's triring on the arms because of the wieght, is this true? How do you generally use it, in combination with tripod, or do you use it for alot of run and gun stuff as well, using teh monopod portion mostly?

Michael
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Old June 21st, 2005, 06:36 PM   #7
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I worked with somebody else to make a flowpod like product, it is similar to a glidecam, except the post is a heavy duty boegn monopod. There are a couple other features as well. For the past couple weddings, I have shot completely with this unit, handheld and a tripod. I left my other stabilizers alone, and these two tools did everything I needed. I haven't used a flowpod so I cannot comment on how good the moving footage is, but with practice and this unit, I have gotten some ver good results (plus the costis half of a flowpod).
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 06:49 AM   #8
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Anyone using this thing specifically?
http://www.glidecam.com/product-2000-pro.php
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 07:47 AM   #9
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I used the steadicam flyer on location at a wedding after party a couple weeks ago. A few things to consider before you buy.


The bad....

1.) Learning curve...... It took me about ten weeks of SOLID practice before I could make shots like you see in the movies. Learning to feel for the steadicams multiple sweet spots isn't easy. It reminds me of learning to ride a bike in a way.

2.) Set up time..... Weddings are run an gun and unpredictable, so there will be times you won't be able to set it up fast enough.

3.) Obtrusiveness.... Yes people stare...some good, some bad. Expect all reactions.

4.) To much contrast......The steadicam has to much color contrast making it stand out in public.(grey, black, red).....Im in the process of blacking out my rig as best I can(black pads, black gimble handle/ stage knobs, sand down and repaint arm beams black)


5.) Sled sucks........ It needs more mass and rails. DV cams are light....... watch out for that breeze around the corner. Operating outside on a windy day is very hard, so extra wieght is a must.


6.) One chance to get the shot......weddings are non repeatable events. Shots MUST be planned out to some extent.


Now the good stuff.....


1.) Fluid...... Talk about silk...there is no pogoing in ANY of the photography(unlike the steadicam mini). Float the rig up and down stairs, for example, with precision.

2.) Boom range...... 30 inches of dolly destroying precision. Subjects can be tracked with more accuracy than a dolly.

3.) Pro apearance........ People loved it at an alltel convention I did. It fit right in with that type of job.

4.) Steadicam customer service...... The best.... Many thanks to Kyle Young.

5.) Portable........... Everything fits in one bag

6.) Built like a tank............ Indestructible

7.) Light........ I only weigh 180 and can use it for hours








Good luck


John
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 07:58 AM   #10
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As for the monopod.........good for a dynamic vignette, but not for the bread and butter of the main video. I would think a light weight, fast leveling, blacked out tripod with a seperate set of baby legs would be better and the best of both worlds.


John
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 10:51 PM   #11
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I use both. Actually I use the steadycam (home brew) and my assistant uses the monopod, but we have and use both on a typical wedding. I use the stabilizer a lot like a dolly in places where I couldn't lay track.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 11:20 PM   #12
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I invested in the Fig Rig and it's done as well as any other stabilizer. And just like others it takes time to learn.

Cons- Difficult to hold and also operate your camera settings. Most situations require us to run the camera in auto while on the rig.

Pros- the learning curve is less than other rigs

it's very user friendly

the camera can slide off the rig and mount right onto a bogen tripod head

you can get great on the go footage with it

it's very versatile and dutch rolls, booms, etc. are very managable

It's just like other rigs and if you plan your shots and take time with setting them up they'll look great. I prefer the fig rig over others however because it's much more usable for unplanned shots and times when you have to stay with the subject in on the move situations.

The value for the cost was extremely good in my opinion.

Ben Lynn
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 01:30 AM   #13
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Manfrotto Monopod seems to be working just fine for me here!
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Old July 3rd, 2005, 01:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Lynn
I invested in the Fig Rig and it's done as well as any other stabilizer. And just like others it takes time to learn.

Cons- Difficult to hold and also operate your camera settings. Most situations require us to run the camera in auto while on the rig.

Pros- the learning curve is less than other rigs

it's very user friendly

the camera can slide off the rig and mount right onto a bogen tripod head

you can get great on the go footage with it

it's very versatile and dutch rolls, booms, etc. are very managable

It's just like other rigs and if you plan your shots and take time with setting them up they'll look great. I prefer the fig rig over others however because it's much more usable for unplanned shots and times when you have to stay with the subject in on the move situations.

The value for the cost was extremely good in my opinion.

Ben Lynn
I built two little contraptions and I actually prefer these now to using steadyishcams or monopods as mentioned above (for weddings). It's a |___| shaped thing with handles on either side (spaced about 15-16 inches apart) and the camera in the middle. Shotgun mic and shock is mounted at the top of one handle. Extra batteries are clipped on (I use big amp direct DC plug batteries). Cables are tucked and routed (designed it so there's room for them). It also mounts on a tripod (just leave the quick attach plate on it). When loaded it's quite hefty so it's much more stable than handheld, and as it's hefty you can easily 1-hand it to adjust settings (better than the figrig I'd imagine).

http://twodogfilms.com/temp/Image3.jpg

Me revolving around the couple as they dance (un-processed image low rez image (saved it before I really figured out how to export stills from Vegas properly) - not CC'd or anything, but gives you the idea).

Definitely something different, but works quite well for my style.
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Old July 3rd, 2005, 07:24 PM   #15
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Pretty good frame grab. The primary subjects are stationary enough I can tell it's an Army Medical Corps Captain just back from OIF or OEF, while the background is blurred indicating motion. His wife won't be pleased with the frame grab, but the color and composition look very nice.
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