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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 2nd, 2009, 06:40 PM   #1
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How do you stay comfortable while recording?

I have to admit, I'm getting older, and find that standing in one spot for two hours while recording a High School Theater show is taking it's toll on my legs.

In most cases, I have to set up in the middle of two rows.
My A1 in on a tripod with a video head, but I have to stand in order to control the camera. I cannot sit in one of the theater seats.

Anybody know of anything that can make me more comfortable? Something I can "sit" in that is high enough and narrow enough or "lean" on so that my legs will actually work the next day?

Thanks,
Howard
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 08:07 PM   #2
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Know what you mean. Try using a stool for the long sequences where you don't move the camera, and use the LCD and maybe the remote to start/stop.

When I first started I'd set the cam on the tripod a tad too low and have to bend over to use the viewfinder. That'll break yo back. Leg exercises help.

Cheers.
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 11:15 PM   #3
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Hi folks,

Been doing "extended time" videography for years. I've made up a few goodies to help things out.

IR Remote (via FiberOptic Cable) to Cam - Remote controls, if Cam did not have wired LANC Remote. Allows for remote control of the Zoom and pause. You can either attach said Remote to a Control Handle, or use it "Free Hand".

Extendable Control Handles (2'-4') - either single or duals. Allows for sitting down and controling the Cam's direction. This allows you to sit or stand, as you feel the need.

A Tripod that gives me at least a 6' 8" height. Allows for getting up over most things, can use a number of options to get higher.

Articulating Mount between the Cam and Tri-Pod Head - so Cam can be at any verticle angle required to keep the Control Handle(s) in the best position.

Most always use an external monitor to watch, almost never use the Cam's viewfinder or side LCD, except for setup. I use between a 5" to a 26" monitor, depending on need and space available.

A nice comfortable chair, or at least a 3" foam pad to use in whatever seating is available.

With these tools & mods, I can sit for hours, guide the Cam, etc.

You can see Pics of these, and other Mods I've made, by checking my other Posts.

I turn 63 in 3 wks, so I guess I'm in the "older" group too.

Harold
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 02:59 AM   #4
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Hi Howard,

I feel your pain, literally. I do dance and theater productions and when each act goes much beyond an hour I really start feeling it. Not so much in my legs but in my back. I've got a degenerating disc so extended periods of filming give me problems. It's actually easier for me to film movies than live shows.

So my solution. Walmart sells a folding barstool that gives me enough height to be able to reach my camera controls and it is small enough that it fits in most places. I also have a LANC controller mounted on my pan bar and an HD monitor that allows me to focus, frame and set exposure.

Good luck.
Garrett
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 03:32 AM   #5
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For low level wildlife shots, and others where I can't be right with the camera, I use a motorised tripod head (the one from index just about takes the XH-A1 with no other attachments) which has one remote control, a monitor (I can't see the built-in LCD very well anyway), and a Lanc for focussing and zooming.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:17 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone.

I have the remote that connects to my control arm, which does help.
I also think the external display and the folding bar stool are next on my list and maybe a longer control arm.

It is just such a tight fit in between two rows of seats. But I think several of the suggestions above will help.

Thanks again.
Howard
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:23 AM   #7
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Moved from Canon XH to Event Videography.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 01:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Hi Howard,

I feel your pain, literally. I do dance and theater productions and when each act goes much beyond an hour I really start feeling it. Not so much in my legs but in my back. I've got a degenerating disc so extended periods of filming give me problems. It's actually easier for me to film movies than live shows.

So my solution. Walmart sells a folding barstool that gives me enough height to be able to reach my camera controls and it is small enough that it fits in most places. I also have a LANC controller mounted on my pan bar and an HD monitor that allows me to focus, frame and set exposure.

Good luck.
Garrett

How tall is that bar stool?
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Old November 4th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #9
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I've given up trying to feel comfortable, sometimes my feet/legs feel like they are being attacked by a thousand bees after a long day of shooting. I've tried sitting but unless you have a decent (very expensive) tripod I find that I have better control over movement when standing. An external monitor, lanc controller, bar stool and heavy tripod should solve your problems if you can afford it.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #10
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i set the camcorders to record, then go and sit on the bride's lap or curl up on the pew.

wishful thinking :)
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Old November 5th, 2009, 12:33 AM   #11
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I have the same issue. Both of my knees starting to hurt since the past few months after a full day wedding ... :(
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Old November 5th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #12
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First and foremost, COMFORTABLE SHOES!!!! This means even if you have to wear "casual" shoes (which can be had in black at least), DO IT! I long ago discovered that my knees couldn't handle lots of walking or long days standing, and make sure I ONLY buy shoes with shock absorbing soles. There's a huge difference between flat, hard sole "dress shoes", which will kill your knees and back in no time flat, and good cushy walking/casual shoes. Just remember not to take too much footage of your feet!

For back pain, I've actually found a lot of relief supplementing with CoQ10, not sure why it works, but it's been a lifesaver for me - worth looking into and cheap to buy (even available at Wally World). I also have a good homebrew rig with a shoulder extension (making it easier to stand upright and not lean back to counterbalance the cam), handles (keeping arms down reduces strain), and a monopod/belt clip (taking almost ALL the load off the low back, and also helping maintain an upright stance). A good support rig is well worth it if you're shooting sans tripod.

If you're shooting long form events with a tripod, a LANC/remote is critical, and again, get good shoes so standing doesn't hit you too hard!
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