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#1 Damon Orienti

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 12:12 AM

Hello all! I recently purchased a Steadicam Flyer LE for my production company. Although I have a Steadicam operator that I plan on using, I've always been in love with the concept and idea of being an operator myself. But every time I strap this thing on, my lower back feels like its going to break in half after only a pathetic 5 minutes of wearing it. I'm a huge guy (6'6'') and I've seen 5'5'' girls that weigh less then a hundred pounds running around with these things all day with rigs that weigh as much as they do. My point is that I didn't just run out and pay cash for something I don't know how to use, it will be used by a professional, but I would like to learn for myself. I've spent hours watching tutorials, videos, read articles, and I just can't figure out why my back hurts so much. I already signed up for the 5 day workshop that starts in January, but I don't want to wait that long LOL.

My current rig -

Steadicam Flyer LE
Sony PMW-EX3
Shotgun Mic
2 Anton Bauer Bricks (1 on camera, 1 on Steadicam)


What am I doing wrong???

Other than that, I'm glad to be apart of this forum, I've always loved Steadicam :P
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#2 RonBaldwin

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 01:10 AM

you need some Lisagav (and maybe a few laps around the block).

Just wear the rig...you will get used to the pain
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#3 Damon Orienti

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 03:37 AM

I figured as much. Just was wondering if I was doing something wrong.


Thanks!
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#4 Dave Gish

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 04:22 AM

...But every time I strap this thing on, my lower back feels like its going to break in half after only a pathetic 5 minutes of wearing it. ...I already signed up for the 5 day workshop that starts in January, but I don't want to wait that long LOL.

Doing a lot of practice before the workshop can be counter-productive, in that you can build up bad habits that are harder to break.

Having said that, there are 2 likely causes for your back pain:
1) holding the sled too far away from your body.
2) not being in balance, which mostly has to do with the position of your hips.

For most people, the arm comes out on the right side of your vest, you hold the sled post with your left hand, and the gimbal with your right. This being the case, you want to keep the sled close the the left side of your body, with the monitor close to your left leg.

If you are in balance, you should be able to let go of the rig with both hands and it should not move. Proper hip placement is critical for this.

There are a ga-zillion other things that make up proper operating technique, so taking the class is absolutely necessary. But if you hold the rig close to your body, and you are in balance, back pain should be minimum. I actually feel it more in my thighs and heels after a long day.
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#5 Lars Erik

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 04:50 AM

Hi Damon,

in my own personal experience, whenever I get pain in my lower back, it's usually because I've fitted the vest wrong. Try making the vest tiny bit longer and see if it helps. This way you'll shift the weight down more to your hips.

Good luck. And don't rush it. January isn't that far away. Doing Steadicam the wrong way isn't very good for your body and muscles.


LE
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#6 Amando Crespo

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 05:58 AM

Hi Damon,

in my own personal experience, whenever I get pain in my lower back, it's usually because I've fitted the vest wrong. Try making the vest tiny bit longer and see if it helps. This way you'll shift the weight down more to your hips.

Good luck. And don't rush it. January isn't that far away. Doing Steadicam the wrong way isn't very good for your body and muscles.


LE


I agree, my friend Lars...
If you´re newbie, think about that your back muscles are not educated to fly steadicam.
Be pattient and practice..steep by steep... and you´ll get a strong back (slowly...).
Take a look Chris Fawcett´s post. Human body isn´t designed to fly steadicam, it´s a very hard work and your body needs to be educated for this new work.
Take it easy and practice....

Flye+rSony PMW-EX3 ... is a very light configuration...
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#7 chris fawcett

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 06:11 AM

Hi Damon,

In workshops, it is usually the big guys that have the problems you describe. It is often the lightly-built women that fly the rigs longest. This is because you have the strength to do it wrong, by using the wrong muscle systems to lift the weight. These muscle systems tire easily. Lightly-built people have no choice but to fly the rig correctly, by using postural muscle systems that can work all day. It's mostly a balance thing.

All this and more at http://steadivision.com/steadipos.html —some light reading for your Sunday afternoon.

All the best,

Chris
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#8 Rogerhaugen

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 09:17 AM

Hi Damon,

In workshops, it is usually the big guys that have the problems you describe. It is often the lightly-built women that fly the rigs longest. This is because you have the strength to do it wrong, by using the wrong muscle systems to lift the weight. These muscle systems tire easily. Lightly-built people have no choice but to fly the rig correctly, by using postural muscle systems that can work all day. It's mostly a balance thing.

All this and more at http://steadivision.com/steadipos.html —some light reading for your Sunday afternoon.

All the best,

Chris


Wow Chris!
Did you do a PhD in steadicam posture? he he
Impressive!
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#9 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 10:11 AM

Wow Chris!
Did you do a PhD in steadicam posture? he he
Impressive!


Well, he is in the business.

=)
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#10 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 10:42 AM

I would add that it is also important to get your threads right. If the in/out or side to side threads are out of whack, you end up with bad posture as you unconsciously try to wrangle the rig into some semblance of balance. That's what I found, anyway.
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#11 William Demeritt

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 01:33 PM

I'm sure the instructors will show you this at your workshop, but at the beginning of mine, Jerry put on the rig, got right into the "sweet spot" and said "This is Steadicam". Walking around with the rig extended away from your body, or square in front of you or in other orientations will tax your back quickly and exhaust you. Wearing the post right in the "sweet spot" is important. Even when you're pretty tired, checking to make sure the rig is right at that spot makes a world of difference.
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#12 Damon Orienti

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 04:01 PM

Wow! Thank you everybody for your help and advice! It's good to know that there is a professional community that is willing to help out, its really cool!

I looked up some stuff from Chris Fawcett about the anatomy of the back and how the Steadicam works on your body. Really really helpful. I plan on doing the exercises and wearing the rig everyday but doing it slowly. I have a buddy who took the workshop and is certified thats going to show me some stuff so that I don't develop the bad habits.


Thanks again!!!
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#13 Erwin Landau

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 06:22 PM

Wow Chris!
Did you do a PhD in steadicam posture? he he
Impressive!


Well, he is in the business.

=)




What business... Last time he told me he was standing around at Street corners...


Erwin "Confused" Landau
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#14 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 07:43 PM

What business... Last time he told me he was standing around at Street corners...


Erwin "Confused" Landau


Well Erwin, good posture comes in handy in many different lines of work. Steadicam is just one of them.



...At least that's what I hear...


ok, I already regret typing that. I won't hit post.. *looks for delete button* found it...
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#15 chris fawcett

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 02:46 AM

Too cold for street corners now. Safely behind glass...
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