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Awkward Operating Technique


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#1 Aggelos Mantzios

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 09:57 AM

I watched this behind the scenes video from a movie called Merantau showing the steadicam operator using a very awkward operating technique.
He has the arm mounted for left side operating but he holds the sled to his right side using his right hand to hold the center post, touching the gimbal handle only a bit with the side of his palm and with his left hand he is grabbing the center post just above his monitor. Crazy.. :blink:
Watch at 4:18. I believe he 's going to get a real problem with his back if he continues operating like this.

I don't know how his shots look like. I haven't seen the film. There are only some on the trailer It has some great fight sequences.
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#2 Tomas Riuka

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:47 AM

interesting indeed...can't understand why he might be doing so...
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#3 thomas-english

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 12:33 PM

Trying to control a massively bottom heavy rig. His Gimble looks like its at the top of the post. Poor chap.
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#4 Kevin Andrews SOC

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 01:04 PM

Only reason I could see is he's keeping the sled upright because it's top heavy. Adding weight to the bottom may max out the arm (blue springs), so he's "getting by" by holding the sled much lower to keep balanced. Not ideal.

Or it's just bad form as we've all seen from certain ads where the operator is holding the sled post far below the gimbal.
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#5 Carl Wiedemann

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 02:09 PM

The poor form looks like a result of bad habits or poor training. Reminds me of the operators I see using the Flyer or Glidecam and using a camcorder LCD as their primary monitor. Regarding the set up: if the camera is on the heavy side a pound or two of ballast under the battery mount would give him the proper counterweight and a 10 inch arm post would enable him to get camera to the height he's trying to maintain (even with the blue spring arm). Then again Thomas may be correct. The rig could be bottom heavy, in which case it seems like the operator just doesn't have a clue how to balance the rig. Perhaps he left his Allen wrenches at home and is stuck with the gimbal/post in that position.
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#6 Janice Arthur

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:54 PM

Hi all;

He is clearly borderline on set up skills as we know it. So it may be top/bottom heavy etc as you all have discussed. God knows with the rig he's got whether he can even fine tune fore and aft. He may be stuck with the camera where it is on the plate once its on there.

The top and bottom hand thing is to make it more stable. He's tried it one handed and its too wobbly/floaty; hard to tilt etc.; so he's tried this and it works and that's what we see. One hand top one hand bottom is his style to get stable shots. Two connection points make the sled more stable in his world.

Now through sheer strength of muscle power he can put himself through these shots but the hands being where they are give no help with the other parts of walking through space, etc. You can see this by how rigid his body is when walking and the lack-of-comfort body style he's got.

Good luck to him.

JA
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#7 Charles Papert

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:54 PM

might be fodder for another dubbed video...
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#8 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 03:30 PM

Wait a second...

We're supposed to use our hands when operating?

This changes everything.
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#9 Nick Tsamandanis

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:17 PM

Don't knock it - its a secret "ninja" operating technique :ph34r: , only known by a select few, I guess the cat is out of the bag now. Charles, can't wait for the next instalment, btw ALL my behind the scenes videos have been deleted -)
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#10 Charles Papert

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:39 PM

btw ALL my behind the scenes videos have been deleted -)


One word for you Nick--cache.
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#11 Nick Tsamandanis

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:42 PM

btw ALL my behind the scenes videos have been deleted -)


One word for you Nick--cache.

:ph34r:
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#12 Amando Crespo

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 05:39 PM

might be fodder for another dubbed video...


Hi charles, Hi mates....
Once upon a time, at Ischia (Italy), in a workshop (Cartoni´s) with Mr. Garret, Jerry, Tiffen´s top crew, and good operators, we had a typical discussion between "regular" or "goofy"...
In a while of laughter and been useful that Mr. Garret was pushing my cart, and no time to change the arm way (reg. to gof.), We had a good laughed time when I changed my hands....
Any way, the shot was really good. But I should never do it at a work....
The "art", or this op working way..is him problem or director problem. I´d like take a look to the shot before judge it.
Yes... May be the result was a disaster, but, if the director said: "All right"....
I upload some picts about this memorial journey.

Attached File  IMG_2127 copia.jpg   61.96KB   118 downloads
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#13 Amando Crespo

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 05:41 PM

other pict.Attached File  IMG_3889 copia.JPG   384.14KB   122 downloads

(Thanks Sven J. for yours hawk eyes)
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#14 Sven Joukes

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 03:02 AM

(Thanks Sven J. for yours hawk eyes)


Great pics! Great memories! Great time!
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