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Looking for Steadicam Operator for RED, warning: LOW BUDGET


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#1 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 08:33 PM

Hi,

for the low-budget feature film "SUMMERTIME", shot in NYC, Manhattan and Brooklyn, we are looking for a Steadicam Operator for our RED ONE for a party scene. It takes place in the evening on the 16th of July 2009. Please only apply if you are available.

The scene is an aproximately 1:30 minute long one-shot of one of our leads walking through a party in Brooklyn and involves some very interesting movements.

As we're on a low budget, we can only afford to pay a small compensation of 150 USD. I am very sorry to have to ask this, but it would be perfect for someone who is starting out and needs the experience or some 4K material for his reel, plus it's just one shot basically.

It would be great if you would have your own remote follow focus as well.

Thanks for any applications in advance,

cheers, Xax

PS: you can email me at xax at stilfabrik dot dot at

http://www.stilfabrik.at - cinematography / http://www.stilfabrik.cn - photography
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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 09:02 PM

the low-budget feature film "SUMMERTIME", shot in NYC, Manhattan and Brooklyn, we are looking for a Steadicam Operator for our RED ONE for a party scene. It takes place in the evening on the 16th of July 2009. Please only apply if you are available.

The scene is an aproximately 1:30 minute long one-shot of one of our leads walking through a party in Brooklyn and involves some very interesting movements.

As we're on a low budget, we can only afford to pay a small compensation of 150 USD. I am very sorry to have to ask this, but it would be perfect for someone who is starting out and needs the experience or some 4K material for his reel, plus it's just one shot basically.

It would be great if you would have your own remote follow focus as well.


So you want someone to show up with at least $15K of gear (Flyer and Follow focus) and you want to pay them $150??? Are you kidding me?

While I hope no one takes your "Offer" I'm sure someone will thinking that they did themselves a good one....
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#3 Ed Moore

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:38 AM

What really annoys me about this stuff is when my friends and I made our first little short film back in 2005, we scrimped and saved for AGES (did the whole "fund a frame", "£50 to become a executive producer" thing until we'd thoroughly pissed off all our extended families) so that we had the proper budget, which included £700 for the steadicam operator we used to do what sounds like a pretty much identical shot.

People offer $150 because they think they can get away with it.

And I have to say, it doesn't help that the big rental firms (ARRI and Panavision amongst others, I'm looking at you) often do make insane deals on their kit rental which are then used to beat down the steadicam operator ("we're only paying £250 for a complete S16mm package for a weekend, surely the steadicam can't cost more than that!)
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#4 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 07:08 AM

Well I'm in this project with around 40K of gear and I am getting paid no more than that. How are independent filmmakers supposed to have quality gear if nobody cuts them a deal?

You know why I do it?

Because of the script and the chance to shoot a feature film in NYC.

I am sorry that we don't have more money to share, but it looks like the industry here in the States is too elitist to make it happen anyways. Back in Europe, we easily found someone who started out and did us the favor for pocket change. We hired him back for a fully paid job just recently.

I was expecting postings like this and I probably have to realize that this is how it is and we'll have to find different ways to do it. There goes your american dream.

150$ is what everybody gets paid on this film per day, 40K worth of gear, 15K worth of gear, or actor, it's not a wage, it's just a compensation.

Edited by XiaoSu Han, 06 July 2009 - 07:09 AM.

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#5 RonBaldwin

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:08 AM

I am sorry that we don't have more money to share, but it looks like the industry here in the States is too elitist to make it happen anyways. Back in Europe, we easily found someone who started out and did us the favor for pocket change. We hired him back for a fully paid job just recently.


being elitist has nothing to do with it...when you need plumbing done at your home or apartment but can't pay the plumber's rate (or even half) will he be cool and work for 1/10th his rate? I guess where you live they will. We movie carnies can be a cranky bunch because we get this stuff all the time -- so easy with the 'tude. Here's a short I hope some op donated their time and gear for:

http://www.youtube.c...player_embedded

and the American dream comment...give me a break. Usually even the lowest budget films here will give around $150 per crew person and at least try to scrape up half the equip rental.

rb
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#6 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:32 AM

Sorry for the american dream comment, it probably wasn't appropiate.

Regarding the Plumber, aren't there apprentice plumbers?

"How To Become A Licensed Plumber

In order to apply you must have gained 3 years of more experience as an apprentice plumber."

"... a four-year apprenticeship, which involves approximately 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and at least 216 hours of classroom work...."

http://www.payscale....ber/Hourly_Rate - says that I am paying an apprentice plumber 10.34 an hour. He just started to plumb, but because of his "talent" and "thoroughness", he's good at what he's doing, but does not have much experience.

http://www.payscale....ber/Hourly_Rate - Journeyman plumber, I pay 17.07 already for a Journeyman, who just completed his apprenticeship, he has more experience, maybe lost a bit of his spark from his youth

So I am looking for someone who is starting out and looks to build his reel. As said, the money paid is not a wage, it's not what the job is worth, it's just a compensation for someone who does us a favor.

And I am not the producer, but the DP and thus I wanted to give it a shot. May I ask if you guys never worked for free? Never helped someone out? What a job where you can earn $700 a day immediately as soon as you've bought your rig?
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#7 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:52 AM

What about low budget films, student work and PSAs?

Even though an operator's day rate may exceed the budget of your production, if the project is well-planned and legitimate, there is a good chance you might find an operator to shoot it on a volunteer basis. In fact, if your project offers a challenge that the operator would like to work on (i.e. it's film, and the operator usually works in video, or a shot that will look particularly good in the operator's reel), you may find the operator quite eager.

One thing you must be sure of -- get the operator a copy of the final project on high-quality video the instant it's ready. Operators, especially the young ones most likely to volunteer, live and die by the demo reel, and your project's footage is going to be vital to that reel.


Taken from Eric Swansons "Steadicam FAQ"

We definitely will go the extra mile to make all those things happen. It's going to look good ( - here are a few early screengrabs), the shot will be challenging and visually appealing in the way the steadicam is used, it's shot in the RED in 4K, we can and will give him the shot first thing next day encoded in a format of choice.

I hope we can find someone young and eager for this.

Thanks for waking us up again though.
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#8 RonBaldwin

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:14 AM

I agree with your points, especially about apprenticing (seems everyone nowadays is in too much of a hurry to get to the top...if there even is a top), however, the plumber doesn't show up with $20k to $75k of tools that usually rent for $500 to $1000 a day.

We've all done these before and we'll probably do them again, but like I said, we get this a lot. What is disturbing is that we are now asked for serious discounts on big productions by stingy upm's/producers just toying with crew and their kit rentals. So we are pretty sensitive about folks asking for freebies.

You will find someone.

rb
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#9 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:45 AM

Thank you very much for your understanding.

I am sorry to hear about the developments on the big productions, that really stinks. I get why the reactions are sensible here, I guess a more thorough explanation of the project and the stakes would have been more appropiate.

Good luck fighting those UPM's ;)
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#10 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 12:31 PM

Apprenticeship is one thing, gear rental is another. I've only owned a full size rig for about three years, so I get a lot more of these calls than most people do, and this is what those calling don't seem to understand. Sure, I can play an apprentice role, if that's how you want to look at it. But, I have spent over 70 grand on the equipment, which is a LOT less than many here have. That gear will most likely receive some sort of damage, however minor or simply cosmetically, on your production. Wear and tear needs to be compensated, no matter how little my experience may be. This clearly does not only apply to the realm of camera stabilizers. So anyone wanting to utilize my services may at times get those services for free, but they still need to rent the gear (From me) and cover it with insurance. It's all how you want to look at it/justify the cost. I completely understand the situation you're in, I've been there myself. But with compensation that low, you will end up with a LOT of flaky individuals. There's not much motivation for strangers to take a call time seriously for $150. No matter how much you or anyone feels that not doing so is unprofessional, the reality of it is, getting people you don't know to show up for $150 can be very trying. I've had much experience in this area. The majority of those working on a production for that little do not work in the industry for a living, so threats of bad references/karma don't go that far with them, especially as I said, if it's people you don't know. Just saying... Bottom line, you can certainly find someone for $150. You should probably look for someone with $150 worth of gear as a day rental though.
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#11 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:46 PM

Xiao,
So you are looking for someone to do you a favor or maybe get a newb to do something for their resume , so other than offering them a reel builder, chance to sweat and risk their gear on an uninsured shoot there's nothing else?

You said you have 40k worth of gear on your project, what about offering up your gear in exchange, we promise to be careful with it, we won't need it for more than one shot, it shouldn't take more than a half hour or so . . . . ..

or maybe Rent a rig from B&H, they'll give you a deal . . . . . . and let someone else on the crew that's getting paid the same as everyone else have a crack at getting the shot for you. The AC on the crew, I'm sure would love to strap on a rig and give it a go.

Wait, better yet, you can do it yourself and save the money.

All ribbing aside, I think I can speak for all of us when I say we are all for someone making their dreams come true and if that dream is your movie, then awesome, good on ya ! But asking strangers for favors in the realm of petty cash is a little out of sorts.

Hook up a local on ( www.homebuiltstabilizers.com ) maybe they can pull the shot off for you and be very happy about getting the opportunity to use the Red.

Don't take it personally that you get a harsh response on the forum but pretty much all of us have been asked to do one of these and almost every time, it's way more of a headache and damaging to the gear and/or body that makes it very unappealing to us.

If you can't get a steadicam shot, reconfigure the script, do it with a doorway dolly, steal a wheelchair, do it on rollerblades, whatever it takes to get the shot to work in the script. On the next bigger budget project you do you will appreciate each piece of gear and the professional behind it that much more

• Shoot Safe
• Feed the crew
• Give them breaks
• Be Fair
• Everyone will smile and do it again

All the best
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#12 Amando Crespo

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 07:53 PM

the low-budget feature film "SUMMERTIME", shot in NYC, Manhattan and Brooklyn, we are looking for a Steadicam Operator for our RED ONE for a party scene. It takes place in the evening on the 16th of July 2009. Please only apply if you are available.

The scene is an aproximately 1:30 minute long one-shot of one of our leads walking through a party in Brooklyn and involves some very interesting movements.

As we're on a low budget, we can only afford to pay a small compensation of 150 USD. I am very sorry to have to ask this, but it would be perfect for someone who is starting out and needs the experience or some 4K material for his reel, plus it's just one shot basically.

It would be great if you would have your own remote follow focus as well.


So you want someone to show up with at least $15K of gear (Flyer and Follow focus) and you want to pay them $150??? Are you kidding me?

While I hope no one takes your "Offer" I'm sure someone will thinking that they did themselves a good one....

...So right reply...
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#13 Amando Crespo

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 07:54 PM

Xiao,
So you are looking for someone to do you a favor or maybe get a newb to do something for their resume , so other than offering them a reel builder, chance to sweat and risk their gear on an uninsured shoot there's nothing else?

You said you have 40k worth of gear on your project, what about offering up your gear in exchange, we promise to be careful with it, we won't need it for more than one shot, it shouldn't take more than a half hour or so . . . . ..

or maybe Rent a rig from B&H, they'll give you a deal . . . . . . and let someone else on the crew that's getting paid the same as everyone else have a crack at getting the shot for you. The AC on the crew, I'm sure would love to strap on a rig and give it a go.

Wait, better yet, you can do it yourself and save the money.

All ribbing aside, I think I can speak for all of us when I say we are all for someone making their dreams come true and if that dream is your movie, then awesome, good on ya ! But asking strangers for favors in the realm of petty cash is a little out of sorts.

Hook up a local on ( www.homebuiltstabilizers.com ) maybe they can pull the shot off for you and be very happy about getting the opportunity to use the Red.

Don't take it personally that you get a harsh response on the forum but pretty much all of us have been asked to do one of these and almost every time, it's way more of a headache and damaging to the gear and/or body that makes it very unappealing to us.

If you can't get a steadicam shot, reconfigure the script, do it with a doorway dolly, steal a wheelchair, do it on rollerblades, whatever it takes to get the shot to work in the script. On the next bigger budget project you do you will appreciate each piece of gear and the professional behind it that much more

• Shoot Safe
• Feed the crew
• Give them breaks
• Be Fair
• Everyone will smile and do it again

All the best

I´m sorry...
Best reply!!!
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#14 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 07:59 PM

"Don't take it personally that you get a harsh response on the forum but pretty much all of us have been asked to do one of these and almost every time, it's way more of a headache and damaging to the gear and/or body that makes it very unappealing to us.

If you can't get a steadicam shot, reconfigure the script, do it with a doorway dolly, steal a wheelchair, do it on rollerblades, whatever it takes to get the shot to work in the script. On the next bigger budget project you do you will appreciate each piece of gear and the professional behind it that much more"

Hi everyone
My comments exactly Rob .I am finding it hard to restrain myself on this one .

For your $150 here is what you can afford.There is TV station I know how use one .Just think what you can use it for after the shoot.

Good luck .
Louis

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#15 Amando Crespo

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:56 PM

"Don't take it personally that you get a harsh response on the forum but pretty much all of us have been asked to do one of these and almost every time, it's way more of a headache and damaging to the gear and/or body that makes it very unappealing to us.

If you can't get a steadicam shot, reconfigure the script, do it with a doorway dolly, steal a wheelchair, do it on rollerblades, whatever it takes to get the shot to work in the script. On the next bigger budget project you do you will appreciate each piece of gear and the professional behind it that much more"

Hi everyone
My comments exactly Rob .I am finding it hard to restrain myself on this one .

For your $150 here is what you can afford.There is TV station I know how use one .Just think what you can use it for after the shoot.

Good luck .
Louis

Oka, Mr. Puli!.
You´re a good steadicam op, (you are a master about). You´re also a good person. But, sometimes it´s not possible to be a pacamaker. To be a newbie isn´t a problem, it´s only a way. If you grow-up like professional, it will be right... But if you use the excuse that´re you new to hold FUC%·/"$%ING rates... along 1,2,3, years... It isn´t fair play....
If my family, my babies or... Have troubles because that I can´t find work with correct rates... Can you give me an answer?.
Love for you Louis
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