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First Glidecam Experience


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#1 Vicki Smart

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 01:43 PM

Hi everyone!

OK, I posted a while ago about my university getting a couple of rigs. The time came for me to get trained on them on Tuesday afternoon. It didn't go well. As soon as I was in the rig, my back was on fire! Lasted about 3 minutes before I had to give in! Really annoyed because it is something I'd like to learn.

I'm tempted to find a group of friends at university to practice with (we need 4 people bracing to help tighten the vest on our rig, apparently!).

So, what could've caused my back pain? What I'm thinking, and it's the thinking of my instructor, was that one of the straps on the vest wasn't tight enough, and that caused the weight to be taken purely by my shoulders, instead of over my body. And any tips for a 5ft 2 girl? I don't think my size is an issue, there was a girl smaller than me in the class and she was pretty good, so i think if I practice it should come eventually.

Thanks!

Vicki
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#2 Tom Daigon

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:09 PM

So do you have back problems? Are you in shape? Please include more info as to which Glidecam system and vest you were using. It could be the vest was not adjusted to accommodate your height. If you are really interested in learning and using a stabilization system,you really need to buy this...

http://www.amazon.co...y/dp/0240811658
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#3 Vicki Smart

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:18 PM

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the reply. I've just had a look on the kit booking system, so apologies if things aren't in the right order. From reading, the rig is a Glidecam HD 4000 Smooth Shooter. It doesn't give a name for the vest, so I can't tell you that bit! I don't have any back problems and am in OK shape. I've just noticed I can download the manual for the rig so I'm going to read that now and see if it offers any advice.

Oh, we're using it with a Sony EX-3 and Vlock battery, if that helps at all.

Thanks again, and sorry I'm not totally up to speed with all the technical stuff yet.

Vicki
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#4 Tom Daigon

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:30 PM

I am a relative newbie as well. I do have one of the more advanced Glidecam systems (V-25 / X45 / Gold vest) and would hazard a guess that the vest was not adjusted for your height and and not configured to be tight and absolutely straight and centered on you. For beginners, the EX3 can feel kind of heavy very quickly (I have one as well).

I cant emphasize enough getting the book I linked you to. What it teaches applies to all rigs. There is tons of stuff you need to know to use the stabilizer

I also strongly encourage you to take a 2 day course offered by Tiffen. This will insure you will learn the right way to do things and avoid hurting yourself by just guessing.

I have been practicing with my rig for 10 months and I still need a break after 20 minutes, but the class I took really steered me in the right direction.
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#5 Sam Morgan Moore

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:51 AM

i guess the rig was too far from your body, like holding a dive wight out in front of your hurts flying a 'stabilizer' hurts if you do it wrong

dont take advice from me - do a workshop

S
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#6 Lars Erik

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:48 AM

Hello Vicky,

there can be numerous reasons for your discomfort. Without having seen what happened, cutting down too the core of the problem might be difficult.

The rig might be in poor dynamic balance, or the threads on your socket block might be wrong, your body posture might be wrong. All these cases can make the rig shift away from you. Giving you a hard and painful operating.

Your vest might not be correctly positioned onto your body. In the past I had some pain to my lower back, this was because the vest was too short.


In the future, have someone film you while operating. It will give yourself a more complete picture of your posture.


But in essence, do as Tom and Morgan said.

take a workshop (before you adapt poor postures), buy the book, read it and practice.

Good luck.


LE
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#7 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:51 AM

The rig might be in poor dynamic balance



Dynamic balance has NOTHING to do with how the rig feels on your body neither does static balance. THe socket block not being properly adjusted will but not the object affixed at the end of the arm
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#8 Lars Erik

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 05:48 AM

The rig might be in poor dynamic balance



Dynamic balance has NOTHING to do with how the rig feels on your body neither does static balance. THe socket block not being properly adjusted will but not the object affixed at the end of the arm


Hmm..you're right Eric. Thanks for correcting me.
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#9 Andrew Stone

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:48 AM

In addition to what has been said, you should try this to see how much your arm adjustment, as Eric indicates, is out of whack...

Put the rig on after you have set it up best you can. Assume a stance with the rig nestled in about 8 to 10" away from you. Your stance should be almost at a 45 degree angle to where you want to go. Make sure your posture is good as if you have a force pulling your torso and head straight up. You should almost be in a stance similar to what a Matador would be in. Now let go of the rig and see where it goes. This will tell you how far out your arm adjustments are. With good posture you should, with very little effort, be able to get the rig to float in front of you by making micro movements with your upper body to compensate.

Chris Fawcett, a Steadicam instructor (and operator), has put together a theory of posture that drives home the importance of posture. He conceptualizes it around the notion of Tensegrity, a theory of structural design popularized by Buckminster Fuller. You can download a paper Chris has done on Steadicam Posture from his website [ here ].

One more thing, when you go to look at the Monitor on the rig, bend your head down from the neck. Do not use your body to crane down. That could be contributing to the fire in your back. We've all been there.

EDIT: spelling & such

Edited by Andrew Stone, 15 October 2010 - 11:54 AM.

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#10 Brian Freesh

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:03 PM

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but there are no adjustments on that arm are there? I've used one years ago, but don't remember. I did try on an X-22 recently and I think it did not have adjustments. If it doesn't, that's a major design flaw. If it does, my apologies.

Notes on Andrew's informative post: With that stance your torso should be at a 45 degree angle towards the rig, your legs should be pointed the way you want to go. The leg nearest the rig should be a small step back from the other leg. If you simply stand at a 45 to where you want to go, you'll have trouble walking.

Also, and instructed to me by the same Mr. Fawcett mentioned by Andrew, bend your head at the top of your neck to see the monitor, if you bend your neck at the base you will put a lot of strain on it over the course of a day.
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#11 sebastien BARBARA

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:21 PM

I used a smooth shooter, there is non arm adjustement: The socket has two holes, the arm has two pins. Point :) Of course it doesn't help keeping the chin right :)
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#12 Andrew Stone

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:03 PM

Thank you for polishing my post Brian particularly the description of the stance. Also when I mention the rig "floating" what I should have said was the rig suspended so the lateral motion was minimal.
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#13 Tom Daigon

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:42 PM

Thank you for polishing my post Brian particularly the description of the stance. Also when I mention the rig "floating" what I should have said was the rig suspended so the lateral motion was minimal.

Hey, there will be NO post polishing in public please ;-)
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