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Old February 14th, 2010, 05:03 PM   #1
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Stage productions ... getting higher

Many of our local stage productions do not provide us with a way to get the camera higher. They're more along the lines of having a stage with the audience on the gym floor.

I'm considering bringing in my own 4x6 platform to get us up and over the crowd, but having a back that has given me a fair amount of trouble in the past, I'm not eager to look at anything too heavy.

Has anyone found a portable platform that might be on the lighter side that could raise not only the camera, but the operator as well?

Thanks -
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Old February 14th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #2
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I saw one video crew recently with a simple aluminium stepladder - The ones where the top is also the hinge for the two opening sides. They'd simply put a bolt through the top and the camera head was attached to the top platform, and the cameraman just went up 4 or 5 steps to work it. I'm not sure I be cramp free after an hour up there, but it gave a good vantage point.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 05:31 PM   #3
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you mean something like this?
Spider | TR2EW Spider Pod System | TR2EW | B&H Photo Video

Maybe hire someone to tote your stuff for you?
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Old February 14th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #4
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Andy, the good thing about this system is that the camera isn't on the platform with the shooter. It would be very difficult to avoid shaking the camera if you are on the same platform with the camera. This product is very expensive though. I would love to see DIY suggestions on shooting platforms.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 09:47 AM   #5
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The ladder wouldn't work because of the back. I would need to be able to move around a bit.

The Spider thing looks perfect, but dang ... it's expensive.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 11:15 AM   #6
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portable stage deck is easily available - modular lightweight systems are popular in schools and colleges - but the lighter weight versions all wobble slighty - and only stiffen up when you get many locked together. Steeldeck is much cheaper than the $3000 dollars but very heavy (and solid) Alloy versions that are lighter are available -

This kind of decking is much lighter and quite stable, and a lot cheaper.
http://www.thomann.de/gb/millenium_b...system_out.htm
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Old February 15th, 2010, 11:29 AM   #7
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Good input. I just did a Google search for "portable stage deck" and found a large number of choices.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #8
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I find that I only need to go up about 2 foot to be high enough...

I just built 3 blocks (simple wood frameing and one side with a flat side) and one under each leg of the tripod. Then get somehting to stand on (didnt trust my DIY to stand on something I had made) and you are good to go for $30

Crude yes, cheap yes, effective definately.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 11:11 AM   #9
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spider pod HIGHLY recommended. rental here is $50/day though I may build my own. If you build one, make sure it's 2 pieces...one for the camera and one for you. Otherwise you will jiggle the camera and probably won't know it til you get into the edit.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #10
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"I find that I only need to go up about 2 foot to be high enough..."

I think that's probably true. Getting up another two feet would be a big help.

The Spider's a bit on the pricey side compared to the number of times it would be used, so maybe a DIY might be best.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #11
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Isn't this situation exactly what the movable LCD screen on cameras for? Crank the thing up on the tripod as far as possible, point the LCD down, and just operate it from the ground floor, looking up. Need to zoom/focus? That's what the remote control is for.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #12
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Hi Scott
We have aluminium ladders here that have fold points at the top and bottom so you can use it as a sorta low scaffold unit..probably around 3' high ... I would personal take a wander thru Home Depot and you might just spot something that's perfect for the job??

A lot of photogs I work with carry a tiny "2 step" ladder to get elevated shots. They fold up neatly and weigh almost nothing. A couple of those might do the trick too!

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Old February 18th, 2010, 12:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Boyko View Post
Isn't this situation exactly what the movable LCD screen on cameras for? Crank the thing up on the tripod as far as possible, point the LCD down, and just operate it from the ground floor, looking up. Need to zoom/focus? That's what the remote control is for.
Two hours of looking up isn't exactly what my body was made for. ;-) I have a remote zoom / focus on my tripod handle, but it doesn't control the iris.

I did consider a complete remote controlled system (again ... not a good return on investment), but things move too fast for something like that.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #14
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I just found these neat work platforms at Lowes.com "Werner Aluminum Portable Work Platform "

They are $39.

On the Werner website it's about 3' long by 15" wide and weight 12 lbs.

Get a couple of those and a 2/3-step step ladder and you've got something lightweight and will fit in easily in most cars.

Werner Ladder - Work Platform
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Old March 31st, 2010, 08:04 AM   #15
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I have the same platform. I wanted the scorpion pod
Spider | SCP Scorpion Pod Support System | SCP | B&H Photo Video
but price was a factor. So i found this
site YouTube - Spiderstage (English)
but is way to pricey. I found the base from intellistage and had a carpenter cut the plywood in four pieces. I watch the video how he unfolded the platform and put piano hinges to fold-unfold the platform. got a piece of black carpet to put on top of it. I is very sturgy, I weigh 230lbs. Allfor under $200.


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