Jump to content



Photo

Fighting Strong Winds on a Boat


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Joel San Juan SOC

Joel San Juan SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 114 posts
  • Providence RI

Posted 19 July 2009 - 01:18 PM

Hi All,

Was wondering if I could tap into your experience of operating the rig on a boat against strong frontal winds..

Was asked to do a boat shot and sold the idea of using the steadicam knowing that the benefits the horizontal axis.
After the set up (soft mount), got the grips to set up 3 4X4 flags to help keep the wind off: one on each side of me and one at the back.
Everything went well at the beginning until the boat started to pick up speed and i realised i was fighting very hard against the frontal winds. The shot was a mix of wide and long lens. With the tighter shots I could put the flags at the front to help fight the winds but with the wide it was quite difficult.

How should I approach the set up if I was to do it again? Would antlers come in handy? Can anyone kindly offer some operating tips? Your help will be very much appreciated ;)

Regards
Joel
  • 0

#2 Fabrizio Sciarra SOC ACO

Fabrizio Sciarra SOC ACO

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 240 posts
  • London,UK

Posted 19 July 2009 - 04:07 PM

Hi All,

Was wondering if I could tap into your experience of operating the rig on a boat against strong frontal winds..

Was asked to do a boat shot and sold the idea of using the steadicam knowing that the benefits the horizontal axis.
After the set up (soft mount), got the grips to set up 3 4X4 flags to help keep the wind off: one on each side of me and one at the back.
Everything went well at the beginning until the boat started to pick up speed and i realised i was fighting very hard against the frontal winds. The shot was a mix of wide and long lens. With the tighter shots I could put the flags at the front to help fight the winds but with the wide it was quite difficult.

How should I approach the set up if I was to do it again? Would antlers come in handy? Can anyone kindly offer some operating tips? Your help will be very much appreciated ;)

Regards
Joel

You may want to consider Gyros?
Hope it make sense
Best
F
  • 0

#3 Sydney Seeber

Sydney Seeber

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 376 posts
  • Hermosa Beach

Posted 19 July 2009 - 06:03 PM

I've shot my share of footage in similar conditions, and to be honest, that's why they invented Wescams and such... I've never tried a steadicam in that way. I suppose others have, I've only had a large rig a few years, but it wouldn't be my first choice... Depending on the conditions, the antlers may be more dangerous than useful. I don't think I'd want all that thing flying over my head on the bow of a boat going 30 knots, hitting surf head on... A helmet might be recommended. As was mentioned previously, gyros are pretty much all I've seen in the lower budget realm, and are built into the ship/helo mounted all-in-one systems, but you can rent gyros separately... They're not that expensive. You could probably get all you need for maybe $300 a week on the low end.
  • 0

#4 Mike McGowan SOC

Mike McGowan SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 624 posts
  • Miami, Florida, USA

Posted 19 July 2009 - 08:29 PM

Hand held would probably be better. On a big boat (100+ feet) steadicam is fine if your doing a tracking shot but if your just trying to keep a lvl frame it kind of sucks. I prefer hand held for what it sounds like you were doing and yes, a mako head or something like that (stabalizing / leveling) head is designed for the job.

If I were forced to do steadicam, I'd go hard mount and use my hypercam rig but without that, I'd probably go heavy low mode and stay towards the back of the boat. That being said, steadicam is not the best tool for a boat.

hope that helps,

mm.
  • 0

#5 Joel San Juan SOC

Joel San Juan SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 114 posts
  • Providence RI

Posted 20 July 2009 - 12:59 AM

Hey guys,

thanks for the feedback and advice. yup will probably look out for the gyros.
luckily we got enough footage before it became a little too dangerous with the winds.
yup mike toward the end i switched it to low mode and it was a little better
will definitely rule out the antlers coz it does sound too much of a hassle.
and will look into the options u guys have highlighted.

great to have you guys around!

regards
Joel
  • 0

#6 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 21 July 2009 - 08:39 PM

I just returned from shooting aboard an aircraft carrier in open seas; had to do a roundy-round on a chap on the flight deck. It's been years since I used gyros but I opted for them on this gig. Used a K-6 on the top and a K-5 on the bottom, very little rebalance needed except for springing up the arm (with XL and Primo, this setup maxed out two blues and two blacks on the PRO arm). It was heavy for sure but I was able to get the shot and wouldn't have without the gyros. I think Antlers would have worked too, but adding the weight to the top with nothing added at bottom would have meant extending the post greatly and that can be a pain. This morning we shot another scene on the flight deck but it was much quieter in terms of ambient sound and wind, and after one take the soundman determined that the whine of the gyros were killing dialogue and the director asked me to remove them. I really had to go to a death grip and ambient gusts were not pretty, but everyone seemed happy enough.

I think both gyros and antlers have their place.
  • 0

#7 Joel San Juan SOC

Joel San Juan SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 114 posts
  • Providence RI

Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:45 AM

Hey Charles,

Yup definitely agree that each has its place. I guess it will take a while for me to figure out the pros and cons of each.
Will keep trying, thanks for sharing ;)

Regards
Joel
  • 0

#8 Ken Nguyen

Ken Nguyen

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 245 posts
  • California & Viet Nam

Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:19 PM

Balance your rig bottom heavy.
Bring the sled as close to your body as possible.
Use your body as a shield.
Death grip, feel the wind and apply appropriate counter force to the gimbal.

If it is possible (talk to the DP and director), shoot with the camera on the same flowing direction of the wind (for and aft);
If the wind direction is headed straight on the front of your camera, bring the sled in the center of your body. Use your back as a shield if the wind direction is opposite.
When you move, try to glide forward together with the wind; or directly against the wind as you walk back ward.

As you are on the boat, try to guide the boat to this same technique.
The wave should hits on the front or tail of the boat.

Feel the wind and take advantage of it!
Ken Nguyen.
  • 0

#9 Amando Crespo

Amando Crespo

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 776 posts
  • Madrid Spain

Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:14 AM

Hi!. I´ll try to tell my BAD, very vey bad experience in my first time shotting from a boat.
It happened many years ago. 90´s, and I was a perfect newbie.
For a Tv documentary, a director asked me about the idea to shot with steadicam in a small boat (12 metros de eslora) to stabilze the horizon line. I said him, that steadicam couldn´t stabilize it, the result of the shot should be a perfect horizont line, but the images in the boat would move too much and it´d be sensation of annoyint.
No problems!. He said me... Well, we gonna to do it....First: I was just a second to falling by the hut....It was no possible to get my body on line... This was my first experience.
Others was in big boats and the wind is a touble. But if the wind is comming from east...you can go to west side....I know, the sun is in one direction...Gyros is one of the best friends...But try to locate a place who mades you like windstopper....
  • 0

#10 Joel San Juan SOC

Joel San Juan SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 114 posts
  • Providence RI

Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:21 AM

Great advice guys ;) Much appreciated!

Regards
Joel
  • 0




Betz Tools for Stabilizers

Boland Communications

SkyDreams

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

GPI Pro Systems

BOXX

PLC - Bartech

Ritter Battery

Varizoom Follow Focus

Omnishot Systems

Paralinx LLC

Teradek

rebotnix Technologies

IDX

Engineered Cinema Solutions

PLC Electronics Solutions

Wireless Video Systems