Band new GlideCam 4000pro / SmoothShooter pilot - have had it less than a week.
I know that training and just flying is going to get me the most bang for the buck, but I did get a chance and shoot a bit this weekend.
In the video I posted, there is a bit of sway/wobble from side to side, and I am courious what I should look at for the root cause of this?
I am fairly confident that I am balanced properly (left/right) and I have a drop time of about 2-2.5 seconds.
My SS arm is leven when relaxed.
While facing the talent I was walking backwards (more noticeable) and while chasing the talent, walking forwards.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Edited by Chris Sgaraglino, 23 February 2012 - 12:25 AM.
The systems do not work right out of the box, not at all, even with the system balanced perfectly by an experienced op, a new op will still achieve horrible results...take a workshop, it's worth every penny. seems you may have had a death grip on the post which translated into the sled moving with your grip on every step. but it could also be a bunch of other factors. Good luck and have fun, I would just hold off on advertising as a steadicam op until you have a bit more experience and can achieve smoother moves, it will come with time, training ( workshop) and practice.
Your Horizon is consistently off by around 15-20 degrees, you are consistently fighting this poorly balanced sled in every shot, this will greatly effect your operating.
If you haven't balanced the side to side correctly you haven't achieved proper static balance, which is one of the very basic fundamentals of setting up a Steadicam, if you struggle to do it by eye, pick yourself up one of these:
http://www.fine-tools.com/level.htm the rectangular vial bubble level file the eyelet off and keep it with you when tuning your side to side balance, this will ensure greater accuracy in getting your Horizon perfect when setting static balance.
In addition to this you are most likely gripping the gimbal too tightly and not anticipating your moves enough, having to over correct to compensate for your mistakes.
A Steadicam is a great tool, but it also takes a great operator to achieve the kind of quality you are probably used to seeing in high level feature/drama/commercial work.
I also checked out one of your other videos on your vimeo page, "the making of flinch"
As a Professional Jib assistant and someone who has a reasonable knowledge of crane related work... I'm not quite understanding why several guys thought it was a good idea to swing the crane from halfway down the arm, you're effectively taking away your ability to land the swing, giving yourself a less consistent swing, getting in the way of the focus puller and from a safety point of view it is really not a good idea, seeing as a properly balanced crane could quite easily keep swinging and whack you in the head if you were right next to it and accidentally took your hands off while you were swinging it.
Just my two pence but from a safety point of view I would look into getting someone who has more experience of cranes also to help you on productions as a crane can be a major accident waiting to happen if it is not properly and safely operated/maneuvered during your shoot.
A stark reminder of what can happen when it all goes wrong:
Another thing that will help side to side wobble is to extend the rig as far, fore and aft as you can. And if you're flying smaller lighter cameras, I recommend adding weight fore and after as well---the furthest from the center gives you the best performance for the least amount of weight (spin on a barstool with arms extended, and then do it again with dumbbells and see what I mean).
If I'm on a small camera, I have 18" rods extended in front and behind the camera. I mount a V-mount plate and power my FF thru that instead of the rig (also handy to quickly move to sticks and still have FF set up, if you need).
I don't know your individual rig, so I don't know if its for big/small/medium cameras...etc...but add this weight if you can.
Looking at the footage, I'd venture to guess that you have a death grip on the post. Don't let go of the post...but try doing some moves basically not using that hand at all...just to train your arm hand to carry the heft of it.
I strongly 2nd every other operator's comments on taking a workshop, or multiple workshops. I've taken one of steadicam's 3 day ones, but the 6 day one was of incredible value to me.
I've only been operating for a year and recently looked back at footage from my first workshop. Your stuff looks great compared to that! Keep working at it. It will take a lot of work and a lot more money on various accessories, but it starts to click after awhile. I already can't really use things on my reel from a few months ago b/c I feel it's not good enough...in fact, I experience the same phenomenon every few months.
Edited by Daniel Mimura, 09 March 2012 - 11:08 PM.
I’ll just reiterate the workshop thing. It’s probably a combination of things but I would also assume your hand is low on the gimbal. Keep your forefinger and thumb as close to the pan bearing as possible. Again, workshop…