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-   -   Steadicam Pilot - Getting Started Q & A (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/stabilizers-steadicam-etc/115235-steadicam-pilot-getting-started-q.html)

Charles Papert October 10th, 2009 11:17 AM

Hands-free will definitely teach one how to position their hips to get the rig to float where they want it, but there are still plenty of mistakes that could still be made, from head and neck position to footwork to arm position--and then there's fingerwork and grip technique as well. Theoretically someone could learn to fly the rig handsfree with it in front of them instead of to the side. I think there's a certain amount of value in using the hands-free technique but I fall short of suggesting it as a primary learning tool as you advocate, as I'm concerned that without supervision, some practitioners of that technique might gain habits from their hours spent walking around handsfree such as letting go with the gimbal hand while operating, if even momentarily. I think that a significant number of people who heed the hands-free advice without supervision will not have the discipline to duplicate hands-on form as closely as possible, i.e. with hands just above the proper positions on the post and gimbal, and will fall back to walking around with hands at their sides.

Also, if the rig is not dialed in to the operator properly (arm adjustments at socket block), when operating hands-free the operator will have to compensate by leaning the other direction, of course. Once you get that sort of muscle memory locked in the brain, it might be hard to erase (I've seen that at the workshops). Conversely, someone who is operating with both hands on the rig may adopt proper form but have to muscle the gimbal hand more to compensate, which is obviously a tiring way to do it but once you dial the arm in properly, they will automatically just feel better.

Everyone approaches Steadicam from a different vantage point physically. Some take it to it with a certain ease, others struggle madly with the body mechanics. The good news is that with enough practice, most become comfortable with the basics of flying the rig, but often what learning technique works for one does not work for all, so again I hesitate to advocate hands-free flying as a universal technique. Over the years I've seen Garrett continue to evolve his suggestions to individual operators at the workshop, and then Jerry has a completely different approach, and I might suggest something different myself.

Dave Gish October 10th, 2009 04:16 PM

Hey Charles, Thanks for keeping me in check. I did do my 15 hours of hands-free training after the workshop, so maybe that was for the best.

For anyone who doesn't know, Charles is one the top Steadicam operators in the industry. 61 IMDB credits and counting. We are blessed to have someone like him post here regularly.

Niall Chadwick October 31st, 2009 07:31 PM

In case anyone was interested.

My setup during a recent parkour shoot. http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r...icam_pilot.jpg

Im trying to get permission to post example footage.

Bear in mind Im going on a course in 10 days, so setup and forthcoming footage is probably not great :)

Dave Gish October 1st, 2010 07:35 PM

Composite Video Adapters
4 Attachment(s)
Composite video adapter cables:
1) For Sony EX1, V1U, & other Sony cameras
2) For Canon 7D
3) For various Canon cameras (including 5D)
4) SVideo to Composite Adaptor (uses small capacitor to combine color with block/white image)

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