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


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Old March 16th, 2010, 07:22 AM   #1
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Doing 360's with a Fig or Handheld

Hi all

At present I only am using my stedicam rig during the photoshoot at weddings as the other venues are so space restrictive!!! At a wedding, therefore it may get as little as 30 mins of use and bear in mind it ain't fun in Australia suiting up in 100 degree heat with a heavy rig. During the photog's time with the couple I usually wisk the couple away somewhere quiet and do some 360 degree run arounds with the rig with them kissing etc etc.

Can I get the same sort of cam movement with a fig rig or even handheld bearing in mind that my cams are shoulder-mount and clock in at around 8lbs!!!

It's quite an effort to arrive at the photoshoot location with the wedding party and photog and get left behind while I struggle with a heavy vest, arm and sled!!!! Then I have to try and find them (while suited up) and still do the couples footage. Then it's a hard walk back to the car and de-suiting. If I can get much the same footage with something I can grab and go rather than struggle to set up it would make the photoshoot side a lot more pleasant!!!

I just feel that using the rig for such a short time (plus it takes up my entire front seat!!) is becoming a pain and I'm wondering if all the effort and sweat could be replaced with something else????

Chris
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Old March 16th, 2010, 07:59 AM   #2
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Can you do a 360 on the Fig? Sure. I can do it with the EX1. It's about that weight. Doing longer stints will "check" your fitness though! I was reminded of that again this past weeekend with my EX1 on the Fig and doing some tracking shots with a model...
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Old March 16th, 2010, 08:08 AM   #3
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Hi Perrone

Thanks..I remember your office party gig and the fig rig with the guy doing a 20 min speech you told us about!! That must have been really hard work!!

I was looking at very short stints because with a shoulder mount camera I think you lose an awful amount of movement freedom that you would have if you just had a rig in your hands. I figured that your arms are more flexible than your whole body when it comes to more fluid movements so running around the couple with a fig rig would be smoother than running around with the cam on your shoulder.

Chris
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Old March 16th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #4
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I disagree with Perrone. Although I love the Fig I don't find it as easy to do smooth 360s as a steadicam would be. Or it may be me. I find it relatively easy to control my arms and upper body; it's my feet that don't seem to work smoothly. Maybe Perrone could do us some of those Arthur Murray School of Dancing left and right feet diagrams!
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Old March 16th, 2010, 06:49 PM   #5
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Where in the WORLD did you get the idea where I said it's easier on the Fig than with a steadicam. Nothing could be further from the truth. It can be done, I've done it. My footwork isn't all that great because I just don't spend enough time on the Fig to be proficient in it. I'd expect the feet of an experienced steadicam op to put mine to SHAME.

That said, I do stabilize in post and I am VERY pleased with what I get from it. I shoot about 10mm wider than I ordinarily might on a static shot, and stabilize. The footage comes out remarkably well.

You may want to check the following for fun... not a 360 but...

http://exposureroom.com/members/Perr...926676f1501ee/
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Old March 16th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #6
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Perrone, sorry to credit you incorrectly; your message at 12.59 gave me the impression that it was at least not a lot less easy to do a 360 with a fig than a steadicam.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 07:11 PM   #7
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Well, it wasn't me!! I would figure that running around couples with a fig would be a lot harder than with a stedicam but the issue is purely the fact that it takes a while to setup the rig and then walking around photoshoot venues laden with heavy gear ain't easy either..I'm usually the one puffing and panting at the extreme rear of the wedding party struggling to keep up as they move from spot to spot.

Hmmm maybe I need to look at different styles of shot when I have the bride and groom alone ... just more simple short tracking shots and leave the stedicam at home..it's just that it seems like an awful amount of hard work with heavy gear for maybe 10 minutes of footage???

What do you guys do on photoshoots with the B&G, just handhelds ???? or am I just being lazy ???

Chris
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Old March 16th, 2010, 07:16 PM   #8
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Look at the link I just added.. I've got more stuff like that from the same shoot.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 07:19 PM   #9
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Chris, we use that time doing one-to-one interviews with the family and close friends of the B&G - one of the "difference" features of our programmes. Because we don't create the wedding, merely record it, we leave that period to the photographer. Most couples regard it as a necessary evil, for it's 40-70 minutes (depending on the photographer) which they're taken away from their family and guests, at a time when they'd like to be with them.

In the "fusion" programmes we're developing with our photographer pal, we'll combine some of his portraiture with our reportage of the continuing festivities - it's one of those times when the video shows them what was happening when they weren't there.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #10
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Hi Philip

Understood!! My photoshoot time is probably no more than 15 minutes..I just get the B&G alone do a couple of 360's and some personal shots, zap half a dozen stills for the DVD cover then I'm off to the reception and also do one-on-one interviews with the family, friends and guests and spend way longer there as it's always a popular part of the DVD!! It probably takes me longer to suit up and down than actually shoot the couple, hence the questions...I could probably save an awful lot of time and trouble with a Glidetrack and get the same results ..OK no 360 but a tracking shot would also do the trick for such a short sequence!!

Perrone...nice work on the car!!! It's as smooth as silk!!

Chris
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Old March 16th, 2010, 08:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Perrone...nice work on the car!!! It's as smooth as silk!!

Chris
It didn't look like that before I stabilized it... but that's my point. The FigRig takes just enough edge off the handheld to let the stabilizing software really do it's thing. Turns into what you see there...
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Old March 16th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #12
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If you're used to editing footage shot by a good steadicam operator, then Fig Rig footage simply will not impress you...especially if you're talking about doing 360s. I use a narrow-profile handheld steadicam that that doesn't slow me down one bit, so I don't have to worry about compromising, but if my only choices were to shoot with a full steadicam rig (with vest), or to bypass it altogether, I'd go without it and just shoot handheld. I'd rather capture more moments than put up with the down time and hassle of getting into and out of a rig. Also, using a steadicam can be very restrictive. What about a killer ground level shot or a shot from over your head? How about an extreme tilt, or setting the camera down on something stable for simple rock solid framing of the couple in motion?

I vote for dumping the vest if you feel it's that much of a hassle. You can easily make up for the shots you'll miss in other ways.

Alec Moreno
http://www.1Day1ShotProductions.com
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Old March 16th, 2010, 08:44 PM   #13
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Alec, I don't understand something...

No one here has advocated the Fig taking the place of the Steadicam. Doing so would be foolish. But he's looking to get OUT of the rig. If the idea that you are proposing is to go handheld, why NOT use the Fig? It's cheap, smooths out the foot falls, Can be braced, can do cranes, dollys, crabs, push in or push out, and can do long long tracking shots.

I just don't see much of a downside to it.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 10:36 PM   #14
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Thanks Alec and Perrone

Yes that is exactly the issue..spending more time getting in and out of a vest than it takes to shoot a short sequence.

When I first went into DV from VHS, my camera was a Panasonic DS50 (the sorta 6" long and 2" square and impossible to hand hold). I got two strips of aluminium bar, spaced it with 1" aluminium pipe with foam bicycle handgrips and the camera went on the bottom bar. A sort of square fig rig (rectangular actually) and it worked like a dream!!!

With any type of fig rig your stability and tracking has to be better than handheld as long as you keep the usage short there won't be any fatique either. I can, of course, just pop my cams on my shoulder but your arms are far more flexible and capable of smoother actions than your body trunk. Agreed it won't be as smooth as a well set up stedicam but for short shots Perrone has already shown that you can achieve smooth shots.

Chris
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Old March 16th, 2010, 11:54 PM   #15
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More FigRig stuff:

Stabilized


Fig with NO stabilization:

FigRig with A/B comparison of stabilization:
YouTube - Stabilization Demo
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