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How long is to long to set up?

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#1 Blair Phillips

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 12:44 PM

Just got my steadicam flyer a few weeks back and I have been practicing line dances and a bit of stairs. Today I decided I would time how long it took me to go from completely packed (including my DSLR)to completely set up ready to shoot. It took me about 50 minutes.

I know with practice and experience I will get this down faster, but I am curious about how long it takes you guys who have been doing it for years to get from packed to ready to fly. Have you ever timed it?
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#2 Mike Marriage

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 02:03 PM

Depends on the set up, how many channels of lens control and accessories etc but just the camera and one motor takes about 15 mins. If I'm using my own camera, the COG is all premarked so I can get sorted pretty quickly. I normally tell production to allow 30 minutes minimum.
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 06:10 PM

If it's your own camera and a simple setup, you should be able to knock it out in 15 minutes as Mike said. Pre-marking is important when you are starting out as balancing from scratch quickly is a learned process.

If it's someone else's camera, you would be wise to arrange a prep for it, even if the client or whoever you are working for tell you "no biggie, just show up and do it on the day" etc. It's far more stressful to have to solve problems and potentially find yourself missing something that would get the job done more efficiently under time constraints.
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#4 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 08:02 PM

Hi Blair and everyone
What I think you will find helpful is to have a note pad which I keep with my kit and record all the details of each Camera and lens combination setup eg .Diagram of the base plate and mark which hole to use for each camera.Gimble height.Base position(if slides) Monitor position , Batteries position. In both Hi and Low Mode .

List all accessories,transmitters,motors(1-3)etc,etc.Where ever possible I go and do a pre at the rental house if I haven't used the camera or adaptor (P&S) with what ever lens etc.etc.

When I first started out I spent several days at a rental house trying out all the cameras/lens combinations so as i would be familiar with each setup.

As to your own camera you should know it in your sleep and should not take any longer then 15min max to set up .
Welcome to the steadicam community
good luck
Louis Puli
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#5 William Demeritt

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 01:34 AM

I don't necessarily think the question is "how long is too long?", but rather you should ask "how can I minimize it as much as possible?" Bring your rig to the camera prep and build into all configurations necessary, figure out all the headaches on a day when everyone won't be asking "how long until you're ready?" Build it, remember it, and then build it again on the day.
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#6 Brandon Sumner

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 09:15 AM

As you get more experience, and work on larger jobs, you will find it takes more time to tear off all of the AKS the AC's put on the camera than it does to build and balance your own rig.
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#7 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 11:09 AM

As you get more experience, and work on larger jobs, you will find it takes more time to tear off all of the AKS the AC's put on the camera than it does to build and balance your own rig.

What exactly are they putting on your rig? We put a cinetape on the camera and that's it. Maybe a ring light every once in a while.

Takes me less than 15 for a first build and that's taking my time
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#8 Afton Grant

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 05:35 PM

The correct answer is, "One second beyond the moment camera is needed." That's too long.
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#9 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 11:28 PM

The correct answer is, "One second beyond the moment camera is needed." That's too long.

Except when you get the call for the job after camera is needed.... (I got a call recently 2 hours AFTER call time when a production forgot to schedule a steadicam operator)

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#10 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 01:11 PM

Hey Blair,
how is my old rig these days? I think the amount of time is directly related to what goes on. Like Eric said all he puts on is a cinetape, quick. If you are putting on everything including the kitchen sink weeellll, could take awhile. It gets quicker with time. Bottom line be ready when they call for you, whatever it takes, sacrifice the 3rd ac to the gods if necessary!!! No just kidding, or am I??? Really Eric, that is all you put on a Cinetape? Your kit is that ready out of the box? Wow, you're my hero.
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