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#1 James Layton

James Layton

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 02:34 PM

I'm trying to get advice on how to get going after having done my initial training with Tiffen UK. I've worked as a clapper/loader for years on features and I'm keen to move on with Steadicam but I'm having real trouble getting practice in without owning a rig and don't want to put myself out there without the confidence, for obvious reasons.

Could anyone advise me on getting the practice, or is it really just a case of buying a second hand flyer and strapping a video camera on...

Sorry if it seems daft, but it's worth asking.


P.S. On that note, does anyone know of a good condition, second hand Flyer?
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#2 Lukas Franz

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 04:52 PM

James, it is indispensable to have access to a rig and I'm shure it's the easiest way if it is your own. Especially when you starting you need a lot of practice, I mean A LOT! It's good you've done a workshop so far. If you wanna be a Steadicam Operator you need THE tool to get to work and you have to handle that tool to go for a further step. To begin get yourself a lightweight rig and a video camera and practice what you have learned in the workshop. The Flyer is a good choice.

Good luck.
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#3 James Elias

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 04:58 AM

Hi James:

I'm so glad to read that you are carrying on with Steadicam after taking the workshop.
We have ex-demo Flyers here at the moment so drop either Robin or myself (jelias@tiffen.com) an email if you need more information. I'm sure we could find you something suitable.

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#4 Lohengrin Zapiain

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 12:31 PM

Hey James,

The good news is that you got started with the right foot: A workshop. You wouldn't believe the amount of self-proclaimed "Steadicam operators" that did not take a workshop as they considered it a waste of time and money, you should see the amount of bad habits the acquired with their "self training".

That bad news is that Steadicam is about commitment (among other things like masoquism) and part of that commitment is a financial commitment. Bottom line is that it will take you a long time to start making money from your rentals, first you will be paying for you Steadicam loan for a while so the sooner you get it the sooner you will start practicing will you own rig, and as they previously said: you will need LOTS of practice to start with. I would suggest 6 months full time... 18 hours/day with just a bathroom break with the most boring exercises: walking the line... walking and stopping... etc...
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#5 James Layton

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 07:50 AM

Hi all,

Thanks so much for all your help - I really appreciate it.

Thanks, James, for getting back to me. I'm working it all out now.

There's one more thing I want to find out about. Where is the best place to start looking for early work, and how long should I expect to do free stuff for? Basically, I need to cut my teeth but I'm not sure where the best places to look are to get the early work - student films, small videos, internet films etc., so I can get a bit of a showreel together. Is there a good website, forum, place to advertise etc...?

Thanks for the help, and I know that a lot of this is contradictory to what people would like to tell me, but still, if you don't ask, you don't get!

Thanks again.

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#6 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 04:19 PM

I would advise against doing totally free stuff unless you are already very good friend with the person. It totally changes how people treat you. Demand some amount of money even from student films.

If there are any film schools in your area try to get in touch with the students and/or film teachers. Also post on places like craigslist saying that you are available and what you are looking to work on.

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