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First gig and shooting on Arri 435

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#1 Rupert Nel

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:52 AM

Hi guys,

I received my rig a few weeks ago, and I got the opportunity to work on my first job as a steadicam operator just more than a week from now.

It's not just my first steadicam job, but also first time shooting with the Arri 435.

I know that you can take the eye piece and IVS off the body to get some weight off, as I know the camera is pretty heavy.

I have a upgraded EFP rig with 3A arm. There will be an assistant carrying the 24v batt pack that will move with me as I will have to power the camera through the cable. My rig can only supply 12v.

If there is anyone who has some advise for me or any info that I can use on the shoot, I will really appreciate it.

Thanks very much.

Rupert Nel,
Cape Town, South Africa
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#2 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 09:21 AM

There will be an assistant carrying the 24v batt pack that will move with me as I will have to power the camera through the cable. My rig can only supply 12v.

You don't have the right equipment for the job. Pass on it until you can work out your issues of powering 24v.
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#3 Rupert Nel

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:30 AM

Hey Alfeo,

I here what you are saying.

It is not the correct way to do it and it is certainly not ideal. The shoot is for a film school here in Cape Town, and the students are doing their finals.

They don't have budget to hire an experienced operator with a high budget rig, so that is why I would like to give it a go, as I need the experience. If I won't be able to do it, they will really struggle to find someone to help them out.

I will sort out my power issues as soon as possible. I can see that this will limit me very much in terms of getting work.

Thanks Alfeo.

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#4 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 12:45 PM

Pay no attention to Alfeo, sounds like you have a handle on what you'll be shooting and what is accecptable. I would wear the battery belt yourself rather than relie on the AC to move with you.

We all started with less than optimum gear, just have fun with it and make the most of it
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#5 Jay Kim

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 03:53 PM

We all started with less than optimum gear, just have fun with it and make the most of it

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#6 Haris Pallas

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 06:03 PM

Hi Rupert,

Have a good start and listen to what Eric says...the battery on you!..It will be heavy and akward but you have to get used to it.
Let your assistant to guide you and maybe carry only the cables if any..

And have a good time!

- Haris -
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#7 brooksrobinson


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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:06 AM


A few things with the 435 to keep in mind in addition to the 24v power requirement:

• The 100% video top makes the camera lighter and narrower. It also allows for low-mode without using some type of wanky cage (there are two screw holes on the top plate to mount your dovetail plate to).
• If you get the 100% video top, you’ll need 435 steadicam mags with it. The 100% won’t fit with standard 400’ mags. You’ll want the 435 steadicam mags regardless, as they cause the film to move vertically and not horizontally, creating a camera that stays balanced during the shot as opposed to one that starts to tilt as the film rolls through the mag.
• You obviously also want a clip-on mattebox. This keeps weight down and saves you from hoisting a sliding baseplate with rods (2 - 15mm rods for your focus/iris motors come with the 100% top).

Another possible solution might be to have production get you an Arri 3. This is an older camera (predecessor to the 435) and runs on 12V (4 pin XLR). It should be substantially less expensive than the 435 to rent. If you go this route, there are several items you’ll need/want:

• Arri 3 steadicam mags. You’ll want these for the same reason as the 435 steadicam mags listed above.
• Clip-on mattebox…same as above.
• Fixed (straight) door with eyepiece video tap (these are OLD-school and usually black and white – check with established operators in your area who still might own these bad-boys as well as a cable to power it). The rental house will have regular video doors, but these can be heavier, bulky, and tend to get in the way, or at least I used to think so.
• Low-mode bracket. Rental house might not have these (they didn’t used to at most rental places in LA) – again, established operators should still have these in their kit.
• You’ll need some way to run motor rods off the body. Jerry Hill makes some great rod brackets that mount off the rosette on the side. Lots of dovetail plates also have screw holes to accommodate mounting rods to.

I’m only recommending this camera as a possibility to keep you from carrying around a battery belt, not because it is in any way a better camera. Before you decide to go this route, there are a couple of concerns with this camera:

• If you are running above 50fps, you’ll need a second discreet 12v power source. Most sleds don’t do this (Pro sleds do, unmodified XCS sleds do, maybe more)…I’m not sure about your EFP. In the case of running above 50fps, you’re back to carrying an extra battery belt which negates the benefit of using this camera. In that case, use the 435.
• The eyepiece optics for conventional operating off a dolly or sticks are terrible compared to the 435 viewing system. There are two vertical lines (light baffles) that are annoying to look at if you aren’t used to them. If this is a steadicam only body, you’ll be okay, but if this is the only body for the job, and you’ll be jumping from steadicam to studio mode, go with the 435.
• Again, finding a low-mode bracket (essential) and eyepiece video tap (not essential – but helpful) might be difficult. Look into this before making any recommendations to production or the DP.
• The video optics in the Arri 3 (even with the eyepiece video tap) are poor compared to the 435. The image on your monitor won’t be nearly as crisp or sharp with the Arri 3 as it will be with the 435. It also might be in black and white depending on the tap (as might the monitors at video village).

I hope I haven’t raised more questions than I’ve tried to answer. Good luck on your shoot!

Brooks Robinson
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#8 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:13 AM

My first film shoot? A model 1sled (no, not a PRO 1) with a CP-16. No video tap, so a video camera strapped to it and a grease pencil provided the frame lines compensating for parallax.

Vote for Rupert!
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#9 Rupert Nel

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:48 AM

Hi Guys,

Thanks very much for the info and advise! This is much appreciated.

Eric, I will definitely try to carry the batt belt myself. I feel confident that I will be able to pull it off, one has to start somewhere. I am looking to get the Marell 12-24v converter to supply 24v to certain cameras and accessories,but I will only be able to get this at a later stage.

Haris, I can imagine that it must feel a bit akward carrying the belt for the first time, I will just have to get use to it as quickly as possible.

Brooks, you definitely gave me a lot to think about, but that is a good thing! I need to think about all the different options, thanks for all the info. I think it would be best to stay with the 435, I know I can get a steadicam top for the 435 and I will also try to get the steadicam mags. I am still waiting on all the info from production, as soon as I get this I would be able to know if the Arri 3 would be an option.

Alec, it sounds like your first film shoot was a heavy one!! But at the end of the day you made it work. I think I should be ok!hehe

Thanks guys, your feedback is really important to me and it helps me out a lot.

Have great day or evening further!

Rupert Nel
Cape Town, South Africa
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#10 Gus Trivino

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 09:36 PM

Hi Rupert

Ask Clip On for lenses, steadicam magazines, and try to use the 435 lighter as you can.
I dont know what is your drop time and the monitor are you using, but if you use heavy camera configuration, maybe you will be problems to find your drop time with the EFP and only one battery.

Arri 435 is not a heavy camera, but remember that EFP was designed to use for video cameras (and that included vest, gimbal and top stage)
The fact you upgrade 12 to 24 doesnt means that the sled is perfect to fly heavies cameras.
Enjoy the experience and patience with the students!
Best to all and a hug from Argentina,

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