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#1 Alan Rencher

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:40 AM

http://www.theblacka...tein-steadicam/


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#2 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:07 PM

So many things wrong with that.. *sigh*

I trust somebody else will tackle this.

Follow Focus huh?
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#3 Mariano Costa

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 04:45 PM

...is that a joke? a regular follow focus?? and then all that mumbo jumbo about a stripped down red one?


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#4 Martin Stacey

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:03 PM

I'm not sure which paragraph of that made me cringe more.
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#5 Evan Luzi

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:03 PM

Hey guys,

 

Evan Luzi from The Black and Blue here. I'm the AC who built the rig and wrote the blog post. I see a few people have expressed (reasonable) doubts about this rig on this site, but many more people have been directed to the article via this forum. Several people arriving from steadicamforum.com are leaving comments that I think misunderstand why this post was written and why the rig was built.

 

I wrote an update on the article explaining the criticisms I've received in those comments, but I also wanted to share it here for those who have already read the post or simply didn't see it. Hopefully it lends some clarity.

 

A lot of attention has been drawn to this post recently with many people commenting about how this is the prime example of why Steadicam operators do what they do and why it’s important to hire professionals. I agree with this statement.

 

With that said, there also seems to be much confusion over my role in helping construct this rig and my telling of that story. So I’d like to clear up a few things:

  • I was not the Steadicam Operator. I was the 1st AC.
  • I did not have access to a wireless follow focus and the DP acknowledged this was an issue. There wasn’t money in the budget to rent one.
  • I was hired two days before the shoot to replace another AC who dropped out. I was hired at night, came in the next day and presented with this camera package.
  • I had no power to request additions to the camera package (no money). I had to work with what they had already rented.
  • I informed the DP this rig was less than ideal, but it was ultimately his decision to use it. As a 1st AC, I don’t second-guess the DP’s decision as long as I have given him all the information he needs to make an educated choice. He was also the operator. He decided to use it so I helped him work with and around it.

I agree with those who are saying this rig is not ideal and not the right way to do it — that is true. But as I mentioned in the comments below, my job as an AC is to help the DP fulfill whatever technical tasks they throw at me. In this case, it was “make what we have work as best as you can.” So I did that. He was pleased with the results and the director was as well.

 

Was it ideal? No.

 

Would I have liked a dedicated Steadicam Operator to work with? Yes.

 

Would I have liked a wireless follow focus? Absolutely.

 

Would I have preferred a rig built to handle the camera? Definitely.

 

But I didn’t. And getting those things wasn’t an option the night before the shoot.

 

I did the best with what I had — sometimes that’s what being professional is about.

 

I appreciate all the work Steadicam operators do. Like most below the line crew doing anything other than AC work, I admire their skills and readily acknowledge that I can't do it as well as they can. I would've loved to have had a proper Op on this particular shoot rather than the DP doing his best, but oh well, thus is life on a student film sometimes.

 

3 years has passed since that shoot and I've learned a lot since then. The article was never meant as a how-to or a "look what you can build," but more an exploration of resourcefulness. It also exists for those people who get thrown into a similar situation and are looking for ideas on how to make a bad situation better.

 

Hope this helps address some of the questions and concerns you all raised both here and on my website.

 

- Evan


Edited by Evan Luzi, 19 May 2013 - 10:06 PM.

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#6 Alan Rencher

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:02 AM

Evan, I think at a given point early on in all of our careers we've done some sketchy business. I think I try harder to wipe some of those shoots from my memory!


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#7 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:34 AM

Evan, while I understand your thought process of why you wrote the article you did both yourself and your blog a disservice publishing it. The moment I clicked on the web page and saw that "build" and how you excitedly wrote about how you got it built and saved the day with cunning uses of "proprietary cables" (a ptap is far from proprietary) and overcoming the adversity of such a heavy camera (a red one is not what I consider a heavy camera) and now to find out that this was an incident that took place three years ago, I have to question your expertise and motives for such an article. Builds like that go under the heading of "I hope no one ever sees this"

Good luck. Oh one other top tip, I don't know any ac's that wear a fanny pack for their jobs
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#8 Afton Grant

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:55 AM

I say this as a fellow operator and member of this forum, not as an administrator...

 

I don't really understand what the point was of posting a link to this blog in the first place.  To make fun of it?  It certainly doesn't seem like it was done in order to enlighten our community, learn something, or share information - what we should be striving toward with all posts.  I personally don't have a good feeling when any thread takes on a judgmental tone.  It's not what I feel we are about.  No gear is "best".  There is no right or wrong way to do any job.  The only truly "right" way to do any job is the way that gets the job done.  Sure, there is newer, fancier gear out there that might make you feel better while working.  Maybe that's what you need to perform better on the set.  Fair enough.  I'll tell you though, there are operators all over the world who you've probably never heard of doing things with gear decades old that will make your jaw drop.  

 

I don't know Evan.  Seems like a nice guy.  I don't think he needs to keep anything under wraps because it wasn't a picture perfect day.  He definitely seems to have the attitude I like to see in an AC - doing the best he can with the situation he's presented, rather than whining that he doesn't have a Preston or something.  I remember a while back, Charles Papert posted a video of himself stumbling and almost impaling himself on a fence, followed up a while later by a video of himself running head-on into a glass door.  It's a shame that public humility ruined his career.  ...oh wait.  No.  He's doing just fine.  

 


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#9 Evan Luzi

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:10 AM

Eric -- Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Where others may think, "I hope no one ever sees this," my philosophy has been to share those moments to peel back the curtain, so to speak. My website also started out as any traditional blog -- a journal of sorts -- and morphed into what it is now over the course of time. I excitedly wrote the post because I was a young AC and happy that what the DP challenged me to do I was able to do. Maybe I should be embarrassed about that.

 

As for your other thoughts... 

 

saved the day with cunning uses of "proprietary cables" (a ptap is far from proprietary)

 

 

Yes you are right. I changed the post to reflect that. 

 

 

overcoming the adversity of such a heavy camera (a red one is not what I consider a heavy camera)

 

 

Maybe not, but it was for this particular Steadicam rig.

 

 

now to find out that this was an incident that took place three years ago, I have to question your expertise and motives for such an article

 

As well as the shoot taking place three years ago, the post was written three years ago (you can see the date in the URL -- June 30th, 2010). As I said above, "3 years has passed since that shoot and I've learned a lot since then. The article was never meant as a how-to or a "look what you can build," but more an exploration of resourcefulness. It also exists for those people who get thrown into a similar situation and are looking for ideas on how to make a bad situation better." My motive was to share what happened, nothing more, nothing less.

 

 

Good luck. Oh one other top tip, I don't know any ac's that wear a fanny pack for their jobs

 

Thanks for the top tip! Surely they must wear pouches? Belts? Cargo shorts? We all have our methods.

 

Alan -- thanks! Yes this was three years ago, so it's a bit frustrating for me to be judged on it so harshly now. I've learned a lot since then. 

 

Afton -- thank you. I appreciate your viewpoint and support even though you've never met me before. This post was never meant to be a shining beacon of the right way to do a job and, like you said, there isn't ever a perfect way.


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