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New Guy on the Block


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#1 Dean Smollar

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 08:06 PM

Hi y'all!

I've only posted a couple of times on the board so far, so for this post I'd just like to quickly introduce myself to everyone. My name is Dean, and I've been operating for 5 years now, but only recently did I make the jump to working full time as a freelance Steadicam operator. I started operating on a Flyer as a freshman at Emerson College, and I fell in love with it immediately. It might sound cliche, but wearing the rig feels natural, like I was meant to have a deformed, mechanical third arm growing out of my midsection. When I graduated in 2008, I sold the Flyer to afford the move to Los Angeles.

2009 was a terrible year for me; I tried other jobs in the industry for a while, and kept freelancing on the side as a cam op or an ac as much as I was able to, but I realized that something didn't feel right. In January of 2010, I took out a loan, quit my job, and got a new rig (Glidecam X-22). I've been working my ass off to make a living as an operator since then, and lately it's started to pay off. I've met a lot of amazing people, made a lot of great contacts, and I hope that if I just keep working my ass of like this, that one day I'll be up there with all of the amazing operators on this site. I guess I'm gonna start posting here in the Journal section to chronicle my adventures/misadventures as a new operator in Los Angeles. Hope you like it!

Dean Smollar

PS: I just want to make it clear that I'm not just one of those flash-in-the-pan kids who just bought a crappy rig and is throwing himself into this world haphazardly. I assure you, I'm taking this very seriously. My teacher was C. Scott Coleman, I'm getting ready for another workshop with Curt Schaller, and I'm saving every day for the chance to go to the SOA Master class workshop in PA.

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#2 Brian Freesh

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 08:30 PM

Welcome, Dean!

Just waiting for someone to make a comment involving X-22s and crappy rigs...

You Emerson kids and your Glidecams. You can take the boy out of Boston, but ya can't take Boston out of the boy...

An X-22, by the way, is a Flyer class rig (and not nearly as good as a Flyer), not Archer class. The fact that people make those kinds of mistakes though is evidence of what is often mentioned around here, Tiffen has too many rigs and too much confusion between them.
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#3 Dean Smollar

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 08:42 PM

An X-22, by the way, is a Flyer class rig (and not nearly as good as a Flyer), not Archer class. The fact that people make those kinds of mistakes though is evidence of what is often mentioned around here, Tiffen has too many rigs and too much confusion between them.


I'd have to disagree with that; the X-22 and the Archer have the same weight range at 10-26 lbs. Also, the design of the X-22 base is reminiscent of the original Archer design, albeit a bit blockier in construction.

I'm not going to get into a discussion about quality. I've flown both, and I know the difference :)
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#4 Caleb Ennis

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 08:42 PM

Congrats on the stepping out and going full-time, brave of you. Save every dollar, and remember PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! B)
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#5 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 09:33 PM

Just waiting for someone to make a comment involving X-22s and crappy rigs...

I was more waiting for the question on what exactly is the shot that requires him to have a crash pad? Thats some hardcore shit.
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#6 Kevin Andrews SOC

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 11:18 PM

From one Boston dude to another, kick ass in LA. And at least you got into a rig and are starting to get some gigs. I also started with a Glidecam V-16 way back because they were based right in Plymouth. But boy is that product junk. You'll see when you eventually get into something larger. But fly it proud for now.
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#7 James Davis

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 04:34 AM

Just waiting for someone to make a comment involving X-22s and crappy rigs...

I was more waiting for the question on what exactly is the shot that requires him to have a crash pad? Thats some hardcore shit.



Funnily enough I got asked if I had a portable crashpad on a short film I worked on a while back, random I know but it was for a really simple stunt.... luckily I have been a keen boulderer for a couple of years, so I had one stashed in my bedroom :D

Congrats on joining the world of owner-operators Dean, looking forward to reading your journal
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#8 Brian Freesh

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 02:56 PM

You know what, fair enough. You said Archer-class, not Archer2-class, and my mind went to Archer 2 w/ G-50. If that's the weight capacity of the original Archer, there ya go. In that regard, if when we say "Flyer-class" we're talking 1st or 2nd gen, then yeah, I get where you're coming from.

Suffice to say that what's on paper isn't the whole story, and neither is weight capacity. The X-22 is more comparable to the Flyer LE, with the LE being more versatile other than official weight capacity.

I only meant to point out to be careful how you advertise, others might infer more than what is true. As far as I can tell, that one post in the other thread is the only time you've referred to it that way. Sorry to have made it a thing. :)
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