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#1 Blair Phillips

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:04 AM

hey guys and gals,

I have a Flyer LE and should be getting a digital Bartech system in a week or two. I took a flyer workshop in July but plan to take the week-long SOA workshop next time it is available. In the mean time I want to get as much experience in my rig as possible, but I cannot help but think about what I should invest in first: peripherals, or saving for a full size rig.

I am not going to buy a rig until I do the workshop, try on a few different vests, etc. I could save money for when that day comes in say a year, or get the peripherals that I will need no matter what system I eventually decide on and I can use on my current rig.

I figure the problem with investing in a director's monitor and down-converter is that it is additional weight for my already spartan 19 lbs limit. On the other hand, if I do not have a down-converter I am dead in the water for Red One et al.

Any thoughts?
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#2 Brandon Thompson

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:21 AM

Blair,
I am also a flyer owner. You have done well buying the BFD, a great investment that will stay with you when you do move up to a big rig. I got a redbyte decimator for my down converter. It is almost weightless, so i would buy that next if you are thinking about trying to take red jobs. You will be able to fly the Red, but stripped down of course. I like using the IDX HD wireless transmitter for video, and fly that on the bottom, and then just run a cable down the post. This allows you to balance easier. I would aslo say if you can buy the HD transmitter it is a good investment, but sometimes you can get production to get it thrown in with their package.

Good Luck,
Brandon
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#3 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 01:23 AM

Blair,

The first question you have to ask is what do you want to work on, what's you're market and what's your level of commitment?

if you eventually want to do features or episodic TV and you have a reasonable chance of making that happen, I would get your basic kit in order and then start looking at a "Big" rig

My philosophy is simple, NEVER let your gear limit your work.

if you are in the Los Angeles area, shop locally and most importantly look at what what the other two manufactures of choice (XCS and PRO-GPI) have to offer. Look at what's being used in the market you're in. You find VERY few tiffen rigs on Major TV shows and Features in LA, you see tiffen gear on live shows.
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#4 Nicholas Davidoff

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 02:01 AM

Blair,
It is almost weightless, so i would buy that next if you are thinking about trying to take red jobs. You will be able to fly the Red, but stripped down of course.


Regarding flying a Red on a 20 pound rig, here's a few things to keep in mind. If you show up on any Red set, especially smaller, indie movies, you're looking at flying all or most of the following items:

-Red body
-Clip on matte box, maybe with an eyebrow, hard matte
-Add one or two glass filters
-A lens which could be as light as a Zeiss superspeed or heavy as an Arri Ultraprime or Hawk anamorphic. It's always gonna be a different lens package and some are not light.
-Perhaps a Red Hard drive for various reasons, plus all matching bracketry. Can't guarantee you'll always get CF cards.
-The Red on-board monitor, for multiple reasons primarily so your non-union level focus puller can keep his job.
-Maybe a cinetape, for the same reason as above.
-A comtec and time code generator for the sound dept so editors will have guide track.
-Downconverter box, either Aja or Decimator
-HD transmitter, plus mounting bracketry.
-Maybe a Red base plate, top or bottom, 15 or 19mm rods that may or may not be compatible with your motor rod setup. Also need a place to mount HD Transmitter, Hard drive, etc...
-An extra iris motor, maybe even zoom motor
-A big spaghetti bowl of cables to run all this stuff
-Maybe a Red battery if your rig can't power high amps up the post.
-Ring light or on board light panel with battery pack

Every Red job I've ever done, big or small has required all or most of these items to ride on the rig. I couldn't imagine lasting a single day on these jobs if I had a Flyer. I haven't bothered to weigh this setup but I know it pushes well past 20 pounds. If I would have told the DP and producers that I can't fly many of these items because my rig is not ready for prime time, that would be my last day on that job. Yes, even the little crappy jobs. "My rig can't take the weight" is simply not a viable argument to try to modify the camera package or fly in a limited capacity.

Just giving you a constructive heads up. Flyer might be good for little cameras and maybe putting a Red on a flyer might slide on some freebies or student projects, but when you bring your Flyer to an actual Red (or Alexa) job, you're setting yourself up for huge embarrassment. Not to mention a damaged reputation. Please fellas, think twice before showing up on pro sets with junior level equipment. To answer your question Blair, if you intend to get serious about this job, my advice is better raise the capitol and get the right gear BEFORE you get the bigger job. So you show up prepared and properly equipped, and you MIGHT have some chance of success. I know it's a catch 22, but the other way simply can't work.
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#5 Andre Trudel

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 03:38 AM

Eric has a great point, figure out what your market is going to be before buying any gear. I have yet to fly a red that weighed less than 24 lb’s. Fortunately for you, there seems to be a trend especially on the lower budget productions to use lighter cameras like the dslr’s and the new red epic. I would strongly advise you to go to the workshop before making any major purchases.

Edited by Andre Trudel, 28 November 2010 - 03:42 AM.

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#6 Charles Papert

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 04:13 AM

you know of a low budget production using an Epic??!!!
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#7 Andre Trudel

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 04:18 AM

Not yet Charles. My point is there will be. B)
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#8 Pedro Guimaraes SOC

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 06:46 AM

Not yet Charles. My point is there will be. B)


ummm.....maybe. The epic is much more expensive than a RED one! $28k vs. $17.5 for body only. All the assories will push the epic past $50k real quick. Epic is more along the lines of ARRI Alexa which is $63k. I don't see many low budget shows shooting on alexa or epic.

I do not think low budget shows will be shooting on epic.....probably still the Red one. Red one MX chip I think will be in use for some time.

With th release of the SCARLET yes. THis wil be more of the pricepoint of most low budget shows....
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#9 Blair Phillips

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 11:43 AM

Thanks for the feed back guys. I work (well, volunteer so far) out of Toronto. My next rig is will very likely to be a used Tiffen, since that seems to be the only thing with heft to it that will be in my price range. I think the XCS and PRO rigs are just something to drool over until I get a lot more experience. So far what I have been flying are HVX200 and DSLRs. I am sure one can go accessory crazy enough with these to break my 20 lbs back, but it seems unlikely.

On the red shoots I have assisted on the Zeiss super speed seems to be most common. What Nick mentioned is what I am afraid of, since almost every shoot I have heard of around here has been on Red. Those I have talked to I have had to make very clear from first contact the limitations of my gear. I figure its better to be embarrassed on the phone then when the whole set is watching, even on freebies.

I want to shoot feature film, and basically got my Flyer as a beater car for short films as I learn to not be an idiotic twenty-something.

But hey, 5d is getting more and more popular these days.
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#10 Andre Trudel

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 02:33 PM

My apologies, I was thinking of the Scarlet. My main point was that at a certain budget the cameras do seem to be getting smaller and lighter. I’ve had to break out my weight cage on more than one occasion this year. I do agree that being limited sucks but he’s working for free guys. My advice is to get to a workshop as soon as possible, practice with your flyer and read as much as you can on the forum. You’ll find that even some of the older rigs like the steadicam efp for example where not made to handle lager loads all the time. You have to take into consideration things like the vest spar, the gimbal, etc.
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#11 RonBaldwin

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 03:40 PM

But hey, 5d is getting more and more popular these days.


even the dslr's gain a bit of weight once you get all the gak on them you need to work.
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#12 Charles Papert

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 03:47 PM

DSLR's will likely have a year or two more before much of that work will be replaced by the pending cameras like the Sony F3, the Panasonic AF100, and yes Scarlet, if and when that does materialize. Look to the specs on those cameras equipped with cine lenses when considering a stabilizer purchase, and don't forget to factor in remote lens controls--the days of getting away with shooting super-wide and stopped down are probably short-lived also.

Those who are currently into Flyers should start thinking about used PRO or equivalent rigs that are in pretty good abundance on the used market these days. They haven't really dated in terms of functionality, except for the battery systems (if a PRO1) but lend themselves to easy customization or upgrading due to modularity with other manufacturers (MK-V, Steadyrig etc). You can upgrade parts as you can afford to rather than have to overextend yourself all at once.
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#13 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 08:07 PM

Agreed. The F3 and AF100 are the next game-changers in the lower budget indie film, commercial and music video worlds, as well as documentary. Meanwhile, I wonder if we'll ever see the Scarlet...
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#14 Charles Papert

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 12:59 AM

Mark, "game-changer" is so...2010.
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#15 Blair Phillips

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 11:24 AM

Well I am always happy to hear about lighter/better camera's. My flyer just might pay for itself one day after all. Fingers crossed!
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