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#1 JobScholtze

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 04:42 PM

Hello Fellow ops,

I am in the process of making a steadicam quad. I am looking for picture's of quads with steadicam on it, to learn the do's and dont's.

Any tips are welcome.
Thanks
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#2 Marcin Brauer

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 03:38 PM

We`ll be doing a chease seqence on a mountain off-road track. There will be 2 ATV with stuntman driving and 3rd one with steadicam hard mounted (on photo).

I would like to ask all of you for any safety precausions you may have developed over the years with riding on all sorts of vechicles.

Thanks!

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#3 Tom Wills

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 03:54 PM

I'd be quite careful with that thing, especially at higher speeds. They're liable to flip, destroying the rig, and throwing you of. Never, ever belt yourself into one. That would just let you be crushed. Also, helmets, kneepads, etc. should be worn.

It's never worth it to risk not doing all this on such a dangerous machine. The wheelbase is so high, the springs are so tight, and they go so fast so quickly that a split second can be the difference between it flipping or it driving, and sometimes even escaping without injury or not.

Be careful, and enjoy the shoot.
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#4 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 04:12 PM

Go slow.

Pre-drive every shot many times, normally, in position without the rig, rehearse slowly with teh rig, then full speed rehearsal. make sure that everyoen is in good comnicatoin and has an EXACT plan of what is happening. - Including what to do if things go wrong.
Plan and eliminate as many suprizes as you can.

Go slow.


Fly safe,
- Mikko
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#5 Ramon Engle

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 09:39 PM

Mikko, good advice. Planning makes all the difference. Lot's of communication with your driver as well. The driver is a big factor. If the ATV isn't his he should be very familiar with ATV's or he shouldn't be driving it.
Being able to talk to DRIVER/DIRECTOR/PICTURE CAR DRIVER is also a huge plus.
I have a Dave Clark headset system that uses Motorola radios and VOX acctuators that work really well. You can be seated right next to the muffler and and the mic doesn't activate untill you speak(albiet loudly). I've got a set of helmets with headsets built in as well.
Like Mikko said, know the route. If your speed is more than 25 mph I alway saftey the arm so it can't bottom out. Make sure your gimbal is secured to the arm post as well.
Tom I'm not sure I would ride unstrapped. Even at low speeds. The key grip I use has a roll cage built around both he and I. I'm secured by a harness which has a point on either hip.
Build some Show card mud guard. Especially if you are seated in the rear. Other wise you be covered up with dirt or mud after the first rehearsal. I'd put on my raingear anyway. And lightly wrap the gimbal with cling wrap.

This is key: level your vehicle mount with the full weight of you and the rig on the ATV. If you don't you'll be fighting the rig from pulling away from you while your shooting. It's a great workout for you abs but your footage will look like crap.

Check out the Toyota footage on my demo reel

http://www.steadicam...hp?detailID=267

30 feet from the vehicle on a 50mm lens.


Hope this helps
Ramon Engle
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#6 Marcin Brauer

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 02:13 AM

Thanks for advice. I will try to keep it as safe as possible. The driver is the owner so that is a good thing - but this will be the first time he drive with crew on board, so far he was just rideing it for fun.

Anyway, I was told that it would be safer not to strap down to ATV - there is gonna be a pipe that should keep from falling. But we will see - first drive though the terrein at low speed will determin safty precausions.

Thanks again!
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#7 RobinThwaites

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Posted 19 September 2005 - 08:46 AM

Hi Marcin

To do this for the first time with a driver who is doing it for the first time is not a good plan. An experienced driver can help you a lot. I assume you are shooting off the back so make sure that there are a LOT of weights over the front wheels to keep them on the ground. Not someone sitting there, it needs to be lead or some other ballast.

Robin Thwaites
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#8 markdeblok

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 04:24 PM

you will need to have a helmet, knee pads etc, a hard mount can give you a lot of support but could also hit you right in the face on a bump.
the picture does not show any proper modifications made for steadicam support and use.
take a look at http://www.de-beukelaer.com/ to compare
I do not work for them but have been working with them on a atv hard mount etc.

take care

mark de blok nsc
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#9 thomas-english

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 08:43 AM

I have heard of people using water as a counterbalance. That way you only need to fill it up when you hit location. A big barrel, completely full so it does not slosh.
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#10 Marcin Brauer

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 12:21 PM

Just got back. The shoot went well - no one hurt :) but the drive was a bit crazy. Narrow termac road on a mount side with a big fall on one side and a wall on the other. They change from quads to car. So we end up with between two cars - one with video assist and focus puller and the other with stuntman (who suposed to fake a flat tire accident). There was three rehealsals on 1/4, 1/2 and full speed.

So thanks again all for your advice - surely was helpfull.
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#11 Matt Mouraud

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 03:06 PM

We just tried the ATV today at the workshop. What a cool way to shoot. Gyros would do wonders on such shots !
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#12 Bret Allen

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 02:27 PM

Without a doubt no job is worth getting hurt on, or worse. We as Steadicam operators, will be asked to do things that that push the envelope of our abilities and our equipment?s from time to time and knowing when to say no is key.

When do we say no? Be informed. Know all the details of the shoot that you can. Ask questions. Talk to the director, stunt coordinator, key grip/rigger, location scout, whoever you think can give you as much information to make the shot as safe as possible. If it?s clear to me that safety is the first priority on everyone?s mind, and everything possible is going to be done to insure safety, then I?ll accept the job. That said?

I recently took a job for the Canadian ATV Company Bombardier, some pictures at: http://www.filmtoys.tv/atv.html (Note I used an old Model One. It?s shoots like this that equipment can get broken). This would be a big international shoot, big time action sports director, stunt drivers, etc. I asked all the questions I thought I needed to know. We were going to be on ATV trails in Northern California and ASSUMED the bikes wouldn?t be able to go very fast.

I did a pre-rig with the Key grip the day before to be able to hard mount the Steadicam to the front or the back. We talked about the risks of being harnessed in or not and we agreed that it would be better to be harnessed in.

What I thought would be leisurely tracking shots on trails turned into ?balls out? chases at speeds of about 40 or 50 MPH around curves over bumps and potholes. The first run scared the crap out of me and my harness was not nearly tight enough and whipped me from one side to another. I had the key tighten my harness so tight that it made my ovaries hurt, no wait I?m a guy. So now that I feel sufficiently strapped in, the next thing going through my mind is if this driver loses control and goes over the cliff or wrecks in anyway, I?m a dead man. At this point I was totally committed and all eyes are on me to get the shots. My life was in the hands of the stunt driver. And with every run we got faster and faster.

Folks, to make a long story short, we ended up having a great day and no one got hurt and the shots were out of this world. The director was happy, Bombardier was happy and I felt pretty good about my work, and it was just flat out fun, but? I really didn?t ask all the right questions. I didn?t have the courage to stop the shoot and demand that the key grip build me a roll cage out of speed rail. It was foolish of me to continue, when I knew more could have been done to make the shot safer.

We may all face making shots that could dangerous, but be smart, be safe and know when to say no.
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#13 Marcin Brauer

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 03:45 AM

Just did it again!

Much safer this time. I was to shot a column of bikers. We were driving on termac at 15kph.

This time I was flying Arri 235 on my EFP. Great and leight camera. Too bad is missing steadimags, but that is the only issue and all rest was perfect.

Here are two short clips of the ride from my assistant digital camera:
Clip 1
Clip 2

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#14 Stephen Press

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 05:25 PM

I?ve done a lot of shooting off quads for X games etc but had to stop the shoot on the last one. We were doing a straight run down a track between the bikers and the crowd. It hadn?t been well planed, I didn?t get there until the day and there was no room to turn at the bottom. The quad driver wanted to reverse back up the hill between each run. I wasn?t happy. I let them talk me into trying one but the bike fishtailed alarmingly so I refused to continue the shoot till they got somewhere for us to turn around. As it turned out it only took half an hour to organise and we were ready before the show started but there was some serious pressure on me just to put up with the reversing.
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#15 Charles Papert

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 07:39 PM

Interesting screen name you have there, Stephen...
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