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Top (first) finger above Gimbal while operating


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#1 Phil Thomas

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 06:52 AM

Hi,

I've only been Steadicaming for a short while now but I've found myself during my workshop (using archers and masters) and just when practising on a pilot with my first finger on my post hand above the gimbal bearings. It just seems to naturally sit there and feels more comfortable while operating. I also seem to have better control like this. I was just wondering if anyone else operates like this or if there was any reason not to. I'm still early enough to be able to train myself out of it if there are some real reasons why you shouldn't op like this or if it's a case of if it works for me, go with it. I operate with my right hand on the post and the socket block on the left side of the vest, not sure that makes any difference but threw it in anyway.

Cheers
Phil
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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:06 AM

Hi,

I've only been Steadicaming for a short while now but I've found myself during my workshop (using archers and masters) and just when practising on a pilot with my first finger on my post hand above the gimbal bearings. It just seems to naturally sit there and feels more comfortable while operating. I also seem to have better control like this. I was just wondering if anyone else operates like this or if there was any reason not to. I'm still early enough to be able to train myself out of it if there are some real reasons why you shouldn't op like this or if it's a case of if it works for me, go with it. I operate with my right hand on the post and the socket block on the left side of the vest, not sure that makes any difference but threw it in anyway.

Cheers
Phil



Well, it's not a good idea. It introduces drag into the gimbal and limits your ability to pan, it will also introduce roll into you pans.

Learn to operate with all your fingers below the yoke, you will be a better operator for it
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#3 James Davis

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:02 AM

Sounds like a recipe for poor quality work in the long term, you're probably still gripping the gimbal really tightly which is why it might feel more comfortable now, but it is poor technique and should be corrected.
I did that at the very beginning a few years back until I got the hang of "flying" the rig properly.
Ultimately you want to be aiming towards introducing as little external input into the gimbal as possible, letting the arm and the gimbal do most the work for you without having to keep over-correcting all the time to keep your shots on point.
As well as everything Eric said if you are having to perform switches mid-shot it will make changing the rig position around your body very awkward and clumsy with this hand position.
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#4 Igor Votintsev

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 05:01 PM

This hand position is very comfortable for me (low mode only).

Attached File  L1030249122.jpg   160.66KB   405 downloads
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#5 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 07:16 PM

This hand position is very comfortable for me (low mode only).

Attached File  L1030249122.jpg   160.66KB   405 downloads



Read my post above. It's not the best idea
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#6 Jerry Holway

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:01 AM

Phil-

I agree with Eric; operating with your fingers around the gimbal adds friction, possibly induces rolling or tilting. You just paid a small fortune for that gimbal, so why defeat it with that handgrip?

On the other hand, sometimes it's a more convenient way to work (very rarely!)... and it might (MIGHT) be better to learn to work above the gimbal (far from the c.g) for some (VERY FEW!!) shots, or... if you want to defeat the gimbal for a look or a feeling in the shot - akin to handheld-like-sort-of - you might wrap your fingers around the gimbal.

But 99.99% of the time, don't do it!

Both good and bad handgrips are well illustrated in the book...

Jerry
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#7 James Davis

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:41 AM

When my head room is off my footwork has gone to crap and i'm not quite hitting my marks

I turn to the good book (http://www.jerryholw.../handbook.shtml)

and then I ask myself.....What would Jerry do..?
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#8 Jerry Holway

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:19 PM

have another beer.

Cheers.
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#9 Wolfgang Troescher

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:08 AM

When my head room is off my footwork has gone to crap and i'm not quite hitting my marks

I turn to the good book (http://www.jerryholw.../handbook.shtml)

and then I ask myself.....What would Jerry do..?


Jerrys book lies on my bedside table and nearly every day before I fall asleep I read in it. So Jerry is with me in bed every night...
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#10 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:40 AM

And this thread just turned creepy
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#11 Phil Thomas

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:02 PM

Hi,

Thanks for all your responses, better borrow the Pilot back off my mate and get practising all fingers below the gimbal. I've attached a photo of me doing it just so you can see exactly what I was doing before. That photo is a frame taken from the camera on the rig looking in a mirror in a lift though, thats why it looks like its my left hand on the gimbal. I do have Jerrys book too, it is also sat by my bed, next stop read back over the hand position section.

Attached File  Steadicam Finger.jpg   58.65KB   331 downloads

Thanks again.
Phil
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#12 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:32 PM

Hi,

Thanks for all your responses, better borrow the Pilot back off my mate and get practising all fingers below the gimbal. I've attached a photo of me doing it just so you can see exactly what I was doing before. That photo is a frame taken from the camera on the rig looking in a mirror in a lift though, thats why it looks like its my left hand on the gimbal. I do have Jerrys book too, it is also sat by my bed, next stop read back over the hand position section.

Attached File  Steadicam Finger.jpg   58.65KB   331 downloads

Thanks again.
Phil



in that photo, you're doing it wrong
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#13 Wolfgang Troescher

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:37 PM

Hi,

Thanks for all your responses, better borrow the Pilot back off my mate and get practising all fingers below the gimbal. I've attached a photo of me doing it just so you can see exactly what I was doing before. That photo is a frame taken from the camera on the rig looking in a mirror in a lift though, thats why it looks like its my left hand on the gimbal. I do have Jerrys book too, it is also sat by my bed, next stop read back over the hand position section.

Attached File  Steadicam Finger.jpg   58.65KB   331 downloads

Thanks again.
Phil



Hmmm... you wrote: "thats why it looks like its my left hand on the gimbal". That means you are operating with your right hand? Did you operate in Goofy foot?
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#14 James Davis

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:30 PM

Hi,

Thanks for all your responses, better borrow the Pilot back off my mate and get practising all fingers below the gimbal. I've attached a photo of me doing it just so you can see exactly what I was doing before. That photo is a frame taken from the camera on the rig looking in a mirror in a lift though, thats why it looks like its my left hand on the gimbal. I do have Jerrys book too, it is also sat by my bed, next stop read back over the hand position section.

Attached File  Steadicam Finger.jpg   58.65KB   331 downloads

Thanks again.
Phil



Bad hand position and bad habit to get into too, I honestly have no idea how that can be remotely comfortable either, looks really awkward and contorted to me.
Gripping the gimbal tightly and in weird hand positions is usually a sign of someone who is putting too much manual input into the gimbal, rather than concentrating on flying the rig with their body and using the gimbal as it is intended, for light gentle corrections utilizing the yoke to control head room and booming.
Think about spending more time on dialling in your vest and arm set up too...when you stand upright in a stationary position does your rig sit neutrally when you take your hands off of it, or does it shoot forward, come back...off to the side etc?
Properly set up you should be able to stand still normally, remove both hands and the rig should float neutrally in its resting position, with proper control over your body and steadicam you should even be able to walk along like this without holding onto the gimbal, you need to understand the sweet spot of the arm and then how to utilize this to float/fly the rig correctly without having to push/pull it along as you move which is what a lot of people do in the beginning.

Anyhow thats enough theory for tonight, I suggest you go read and absorb the good book at least twice, spend some time in your rig focusing intensely on your technique, then say ten hail-jerry's before bed time.......amen.
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#15 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 11:29 AM

I ask myself.....What would Jerry do..?

Jerry would say... "If its not affecting your operating and your shots are solid. Who am I to tell you not to do so." (or something along those lines)
Flecther would say... "NO NO NO... Thats Wrong Wrong Wrong..."
Ture story durning my first NAB '09 as a Tiffen/Steadicam Demo Operator


Will it introduce drag, possibly
If more than likely will if you have short stubby fingers. I'm 6'2", no stubbies anywhere on me... Posted Image

I also grew up playing the Double Bass, so I have a natural grip that allows for the separation of the index and middle fingers.
Posted Image


My Ultra 2 gimbal also has a nice top plate that allow my index finger to rest upon and not influence the the post nor gimbal rotation.

NOW... do I stil operate in this manner, I don't think so, but how knows what the hell my hands are doing on set... I'm focused on other things.
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