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Flyer LE - Archer and beyond.


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#1 Eugene Keogh

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 03:48 AM

Hello,

I'm an experienced television cameraman but I'm looking to move into operating a steadicam.

I fully intend to book myself onto the course where I'm sure I'll get plenty of great advice. However in terms of rigs I've been looking for a long time at what's about here in the UK and I'm pretty sure that one of the smaller rigs i.e the Flyer LE would cater for the range of cameras I tend to use.

Most of my work is done on a digibeta, DSR 450 or a Panasonic HDX900. I see people generally advising that one should purchase the best rig that they can afford, I understand the principal, but the jump in price is enormous from say a Flyer to an Archer.

So my question is this. Do any of you people out there use a smaller rig to fly these cameras with success ? Or is it a case that perhaps you went down this route and found it was a bit of a strain so upgraded?

My quandary is this. I could afford to buy a Flyer and start practicing and generally immersing myself in the world of steadicam, but I could never afford to buy a larger rig or finance one as with no work guaranteed this is simply out of the question and would just be silly.

Perhaps I've just answered my own question. Any advice would be appreciated.

Kindest Regards.

Eugene.
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#2 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 08:37 AM

Hi Eugene
Buying a rig is one thing, then there is just a few other things you will need . Focus control system ,Gimble zoom control ,Transmitters ,Recievers,Directors hand held monitors ,Hard mounts ,Wind diffectors ,and 2 x power cables for every camera ,Onboard recorder, just to name a few extras.
The rig is the cheap part of the overall swing of things.Do a workshop first before you put your money down as it is a little harder then it looks ok .
Good luck
Louis Puli from down under.
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#3 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 09:03 AM

Hello,

I'm an experienced television cameraman but I'm looking to move into operating a steadicam.

I fully intend to book myself onto the course where I'm sure I'll get plenty of great advice. However in terms of rigs I've been looking for a long time at what's about here in the UK and I'm pretty sure that one of the smaller rigs i.e the Flyer LE would cater for the range of cameras I tend to use.

Most of my work is done on a digibeta, DSR 450 or a Panasonic HDX900. I see people generally advising that one should purchase the best rig that they can afford, I understand the principal, but the jump in price is enormous from say a Flyer to an Archer.

So my question is this. Do any of you people out there use a smaller rig to fly these cameras with success ? Or is it a case that perhaps you went down this route and found it was a bit of a strain so upgraded?

My quandary is this. I could afford to buy a Flyer and start practicing and generally immersing myself in the world of steadicam, but I could never afford to buy a larger rig or finance one as with no work guaranteed this is simply out of the question and would just be silly.

Perhaps I've just answered my own question. Any advice would be appreciated.

Kindest Regards.

Eugene.


Hey Eugene,
you could go the Flyer route, get some gigs under you belt and then maybe go on to a bigger rig. Or you could check the for sale section and get a good deal on an older but still very serviceable larger rig, my two cents. And what Louis said about the extras is also true, but you don't need all that stuff right away, a few choice bits to start and you are good to go. I don't think anyone ever starts off with everything under the sun in their kit, unless you are the son of Bill Gates?
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#4 Carl Wiedemann

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:01 AM

Eugene,

If you're marketing yourself primarily as a Steadicam Operator then indeed you should have all accessories required to get The Production (director, producer, DP) the shots they want. However, if you have a production company, or are already established as a videographer, and are just looking to add some camera movements to your company's work, then you can work within the limitations of your accessories without disappointing a client. If you're shooting features you need a vehicle mount, wireless video, etc. If you're simply adding some movement to your company's corporate videos or event documentation your client isn't going to be disappointed if you can't do a vehicle mount because you wouldn't put such a shot in the script or book a gig that requires it. Many production companies are purchasing Pilot rigs to move their small cameras and few are purchasing all the accessories that Louis mentioned, yet they are adding visual appeal to their final products.

What you need to be looking at first in selecting a rig is picking one which will support the cameras you want to fly and all accessories you might want or need to add (and a rig which can power those accessories). With the two cameras you mention you'd be close to maxed out on the Flyer with the addition of basic accessories. If you're working on productions for which you need to pull focus, transmit video, add a matt box, on board light, etc, you'd need an Archer. If you were working with a DSLR then the Flyer would be great (but in that case you'd definitely need a focus control ASAP). Your requirements depend on the type of productions you're trying to service and your market.

Carl
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#5 Andrew Stone

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 11:08 AM

Most of what I would say has been covered off. I would suggest taking a course first. Buying a Flyer or a used Flyer is a good idea in my books even if you don't use it for hire but on self-produced freelance work where you can control what goes on the rig.

You would also want to become familiar with the cost of things, what stuff is considered good, what is industry standard and what is sub-standard. This all takes time and longer than one would think at the outset. There is also a spate of used gear on the market. A lot of it is good but again it will take time to get to know the gear and the relative importance of the accessories that may come with a used kit. In time, you may also have the opportunity to try out different rigs to see what suits your operating style and physique.

There are some operators that frequently post here that hire themselves out with a Flyer pushing its limits. Frankly I think you would be backing yourself into a corner or a regular basis flying those cameras as you would be putting on motors, video assist stuff, rods, a mattebox, maybe a bigger lens... exceeding the stated limits of that rig. You will get divided opinions on this. If you search the archives there are a few detailed and recent threads around this matter.

The Steadicam Operators Handbook is available from Amazon. The longer courses use the bigger rigs and there are 2 day courses offered by TIFFEN that utilize Pilots and Flyers. As Mr. Puli has stated it is a lot harder than it looks to do it well.

-Andrew

Edited by Andrew Stone, 28 July 2010 - 11:08 AM.

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