Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:27 PM
Greetings from the mid-south! I’ve decided to do a little introduction and become a little more active here on the forum. I’ll share where I am and what I’m planning to do for some of the other greenies like myself, or for others who are interested, so feel free to move on to the next post if you don’t care for it.
I’m currently located in Northwest Arkansas working full time at a small production company (5starproductions.com). I’m in a great location to begin my career, with 15 big cities surrounding my market region, and plenty of production companies in each to work with.
My interest in steadicam started about 3 years ago. But as with any career choice, I knew I had a lot to learn and experience before just up and jumping into the industry and calling myself “an operator” worth any consideration. I went through a 2 year film program, through which I met Mike McGowan (miamidp.com) on an ESPN shoot. Through that shoot and a few others, Mike introduced me to PRO’s awesome equipment. I got to assist several other operators in the area and learn the VERY basics of operating through (Matthew Hutchens, James Neilhouse, Bill Giglio and Dan Stilling).
I graduated in March and took Robert Starlings stabilizer workshop at PRO’s new facility in June (stabilizerworkshops.com). It was a 2 day operating workshop where we learned the full size PRO rig, the Lite rig and Robert’s XCS gear. Our last shot for the workshop was set up and directed by Ron Baldwin and Alec Jarnagin. They were both great to work with and gave a pretty good idea of how it would be to work with a director or DP on set. They also gave a lot of great tips for laying marks with tape (which was awesome!). The next day we visited Panavision and Division Camera who sponsored the workshop (divisioncamera.com), got to meet Kris Wilson, operator on the Jimmy Kimmel show, and visited the set of Dexter where we met Eric Fletcher. There are tons of great operators out there with wells of knowledge who are willing to help you! Brooks Robinson has also helped me many of times with questions I’ve had or just general advise.
This month I took my first job at full rate shooting on RED One. I had to end up renting gear from a local operator (Scott Jolly) to do the job. I was also accepted this month as an associate member of the SOC, and plan on joining the steadicam guild and SOA soon.
Right now I am in the process of figuring out which direction I want to go with buying a rig. My budget is 50k. I’ve been waiting for a good used PRO package to come up but haven’t seen one since May. My other option is to buy all new PRO Lite gear and Atlas arm (45 pound limit?). It would be nice to have in my market as most of the other operators don’t have full size rigs either (except for in New Orleans). However, I don’t plan on making this my home, just a place to start, and I would hate to turn down a job because I’m restricted with my gear to what I can fly. So I think I’m going to wait a little while longer and see what comes up.
That’s all I’ve got for now! Feel free to leave comments or questions.
Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:39 PM
Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:04 PM
Glad to hear you're keeping busy Tim! It was a pleasure meeting you and I wish you the very best as you start your operating career.
Thanks, Andrew! It was great to meet you too, and I hope work is keeping you busy there in LA as well.
Posted 22 August 2012 - 01:49 AM
By the sounds of it, you are off to a great start !
Get a big rig ... you might as well buy once, since it seems apparent that you are here to stay.
BTW - I'd love to know what the shot Ron directed was ...
Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:31 AM
Glad to hear you were able to find some gear to rent. If you're ever coming to or through OKC, drop me a line.