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How many Steadicam Operators Worldwide?


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#1 Adam Smith

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 08:49 AM

I know this to be a question that is probably impossible to answer, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

I'm working on an idea that involves our industry and I am looking for some approximate numbers to bring to the business plan.

What further complicates the question is that the project will only involve what we consider to be operators with "a legitimate company's" stabilizer (this includes small rigs such as the Merlin and obviously full sized rigs from the many great companies).

I don't want to include "Steadicam Operators" who are buying the cheap knock off rigs from over seas in this project.

I don't consider them to be a value to this project and frankly I believe this project offers those "rigs and their operators" no value.

 

I guess this could be considered a two fold question....how many operators? and what manufacturers do you consider to be legitimate players in our market? Who's in and who's out and why?

Any information provided would be a huge help and perhaps it would help me get this project off the ground.

 

-Adam


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#2 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 10:09 AM

Being that some of what I consider legitimate manufacturers don't make the complete system, like Walter Klassen or XCS, that really only leaves Tiffen, PRO/GPI and Sachtler. Someone can buy a Basson Steady rig from South America and slap a Cinetronic Monitor, use a Steadyrig Arm, with a Klassen Vest and have a much better overall system.
 
PRO/GPI** Vest, Arm, Sled
STEADICAM/TIFFEN** Vest, Arm, Sled
XCS** Sled
STEADYRIG** Arm and Sled
SACHTLER** Vest, Arm, Sled
MKV** Sled
Betz** Sled
And of course Glidecam* Vest, Arm, Sled...The Glidecam stuff is definitely getting better, they may be the oldest seller of complete non steadicam branded systems out there... when was the V20 first sold? 1994? Someone? Anyone?
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#3 Lohengrin

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 10:29 AM

a few years back the answer to this question was very simple: one


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#4 Evrim KAYA

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:20 PM

to add to the list of legitimate manufacturers:

 

MK-V** Sled, Arm

BETZ** Sled, Sled Parts


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#5 Kevin Andrews SOC

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 05:16 PM

I wouldn't count out Glidecam either. Made in USA, and going after the professional market really well with some of the newer x-45 gear.

 

They just need marketing and branding help big time. Big Time.


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#6 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:38 PM

Lohengrin

First, Please change your display name to your real first AND last name (Forum Policy).

Second, you'd have to go back more than "a few" years for the answer to be "one."


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#7 Adam Smith

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:51 PM

Thanks for all the answers. I figured the easier question would be answered first, as to what manufactures and why.

 

How many Ops though? Do you think this information is available through guilds? or possibly through manufactures and the list of customers they may have on file?

 

Alec, I presume from looking at the members list that there are almost 6,000 members. If anyone is to consider themselves even remotely serious in the art and/or employment of Steadicam, do you not think they would have become a member of this forum? I find it hard to believe otherwise, considering this is THE place to come to for information regarding our craft.

 

But really? Only 6,000 of us? I don't think so.

 

-Adam


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#8 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:23 AM

Working Steadicam operators whos main source of income is the work of steadicam....not even half that number...worldwide.
And MANY steadicam ops whos work you see on the big screen all the time seldom frequent the forum.
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#9 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 02:10 AM

But really? Only 6,000 of us? I don't think so.

 

 

Not even close to that many making their primary income from steadicam  More like 500 worldwide 


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#10 Adam Smith

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 07:55 AM

Those are good points Eric and Osvaldo.

I figured many of the Ops do not frequent the forum often. It is an interesting fact however you guys believe there to be way less than I first figured in terms of full time ops, I'm surprised Eric thinks its like 500 worldwide. That is astounding when you think about it.

 

This project is still geared towards Ops who own "legitimate" equipment whether they are full time or not.

Maybe it would be easier to find out how many rigs are in the field, as in how many rigs have been sold. The manufacturers would have to keep figures on this.

Right?

 

-Adam


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#11 Afton Grant

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:05 AM

I'd estimate somewhere in between Eric's and Osvaldo's estimates.  Just thinking of all the guys in the live world, the daytime television world, the reality world, the news world, etc.  They don't usually get the recognition that the film/tv guys get, but they're making their living doing Steadicam, nonetheless.


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#12 Jerry Holway

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:52 AM

Having taught so many over the years, and hearing back from lots of them that they are working, I would say 2 to 3 thousand are out there making a substantial part of their living doing Steadicam.

 

And most, as Afton says, are invisible to the more public world and promotion of American TV and film.

 

Many of them are also astonishingly good and creative operators.


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#13 Alan Rencher

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:08 PM

IMDB might be a good place to get a ballpark estimate. And I think that if you're income is PRIMARILY from Steadicam operating, and you have a comfortable income, you are most likely using professional, legitimate gear.


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