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New Flyer User - Any Good Practice Ideas?


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#1 Mitch Lewis

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 10:43 PM

I just took delivery of our new Flyer LE 24 with the HD-SDI monitor, stand and flight case. We're using it with our Sony EX3, mattebox, zacuto rods and Century wide angle adaptor (when necessary). In addition, I just got back from San Francisco where I attended an excellent 2-day workshop given by Peter Abraham. So now I realize that I need to practice, practice, practice, before I actually use it for a paying client shoot. (mostly corporate videos and local television commercials). I'm looking for some good ideas on ways to practice. Peter had some excellent ones we did at the workshop. He taped a straight line on the floor with "stops" at the end and we'd practice starting and stopping without jarring the camera. We also put chairs at each end of the line and followed people while they stood up, walked to the other end and stat back down. (I don't have anyone that could help me with this, so that might be hard to practice) He also suggested to mount a laser pointer on top of the rig and try and move around while keeping the pointer on a target on the wall (I haven't tried that yet....sounds really hard).

So anyone else have any suggestions on things to practice? Obviously (like everyone) I want to get comfortable with the rig sooner than later so I can start making money with it.

Thanks in advance! :)

Edited by Mitch Lewis, 24 January 2010 - 10:44 PM.

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#2 Paul Gardner

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 03:17 AM

I just took delivery of our new Flyer LE 24 with the HD-SDI monitor, stand and flight case. We're using it with our Sony EX3, mattebox, zacuto rods and Century wide angle adaptor (when necessary). In addition, I just got back from San Francisco where I attended an excellent 2-day workshop given by Peter Abraham. So now I realize that I need to practice, practice, practice, before I actually use it for a paying client shoot. (mostly corporate videos and local television commercials). I'm looking for some good ideas on ways to practice. Peter had some excellent ones we did at the workshop. He taped a straight line on the floor with "stops" at the end and we'd practice starting and stopping without jarring the camera. We also put chairs at each end of the line and followed people while they stood up, walked to the other end and stat back down. (I don't have anyone that could help me with this, so that might be hard to practice) He also suggested to mount a laser pointer on top of the rig and try and move around while keeping the pointer on a target on the wall (I haven't tried that yet....sounds really hard).

So anyone else have any suggestions on things to practice? Obviously (like everyone) I want to get comfortable with the rig sooner than later so I can start making money with it.

Thanks in advance! :)


Mitch,
Congrats on taking the Flyer workshop with Peter in SF. That's a great place to start. Next, I highly recommend that you buy a copy of The Steadicam® Operator's Handbook by Jerry Holway and Laurie Hayball (usually advertised on the right column of this Forum).
There are specific exercises starting on Page 54, however, the book will take you beyond the mechanics of traveling through spaces with the rig and give valuable insight into telling the story through those movements. Go thru all the exercises listed, then ZOOM IN and go thru the same exercises again. The Handbook, with chapters written by various top-notch Operators, offers many perspectives and from a variety of situations. AND, save your dough for one of the 6 day classic workshops.
Good luck and steady flying!
-Paul
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#3 Chris McKissick

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 02:51 PM

Hey,

in addition, I'd also recommend the EFP Training DVD... Lots of great footage!

cheers,

Chris
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#4 Mitch Lewis

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:04 AM

Hey,

in addition, I'd also recommend the EFP Training DVD... Lots of great footage!

cheers,

Chris



Okay I just ordered the book from Tiffen/Steadicam. (They have a few for $20 that are slightly scuffed) I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I haven't watched the DVD that came with our Flyer. I'm assuming that it's the "EFP Training DVD" that Chris is talking about?
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#5 Paul Gardner

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 02:39 AM

Yes, Mitch.... that's the one. One of the instructors on the DVD is the same guy who wrote the book. The other is the legendary Ted Churchill.
Good deal on the book, too...You'll be glad you bought it.
-P
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#6 Mitch Lewis

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:45 AM

Yes, Mitch.... that's the one. One of the instructors on the DVD is the same guy who wrote the book. The other is the legendary Ted Churchill.
Good deal on the book, too...You'll be glad you bought it.
-P


I watched Ted's video "The Day And The Life of a Steadicam Operator" and it was hilarious (and also interesting).

Thanks again Paul.
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#7 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:53 AM

I watch that DVD over and over again. Also my handbook is pretty dog eared now. A great read and reference. Something the books is really good for is all the reference shots from films. I have watched After Hours now a few times and many many other films they reference for shots.
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#8 Mitch Lewis

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:00 AM

I watch that DVD over and over again. Also my handbook is pretty dog eared now. A great read and reference. Something the books is really good for is all the reference shots from films. I have watched After Hours now a few times and many many other films they reference for shots.


Thanks Douglas. I need to start watching that DVD. :)
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#9 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:22 AM

Not a problem Mitch. It really covers the basics but you really pickup nuances in Jerry's and Ted's stance and op skills. Things unspoken but are there to be seen.

Just a little of topic but is that the main STEADICAM compound somewhere in Massachusetts?

More on topic now,
something that the guys out there should really consider, and your wives will love you forever for, is go and take some ballroom dance lessons. I use to be an instructor many years ago and I can tell you those old moves have given me a step above an op who hasn't. I am new to STEADICAM, but when it comes to moving smoothly with a mass, sorry ladies, in front of you, I've got twenty years doing that. Right now I am worried about letting my wife try my rig, as she has as many years in dance and would probably be really good at this. Plus she has a really good eye when it comes to camera comp. Now I am worried!!!

Edited by Douglas John Kropla, 28 January 2010 - 10:24 AM.

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