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Lords of Steadicam


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#1 Christian Betz

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:57 AM

International Workshop 30 June - July 6, 2013

Don't miss this unique event in Germany with 

Garrett Brown

Larry McConkey

Chris Fawcett

Alex Brambilla

Jörg Widmer

still some places are left !

for final registration:

call +498965113220

or mail: mahlo@betz-tools.com

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#2 axel ebermann

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:13 PM

Oh my god this is so out of my league but I REALLY want to go.

Potentially on a location scout in Germany in mid-july.


maybe I get lucky ? crossing fingers.

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#3 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:31 PM

I have been seeing pictures posted on Facebook of this workshop ... anyone going to write here and tell us how it went ?

That was a hell of a line up of instructors. 

I have met Jorg Widmar a few times at ARRI Berlin while prepping jobs - and his reputation is legend. 

Must have been cool to have Jorg and Larry as instructors.

Not to mention Garrett, Jerry and Chris.

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#4 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 10:25 AM

All I want to know is the story behind the giant snail.
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#5 Frederic Sturm

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 01:49 PM

Hi all!


This is my first post here but I've been reading quite a bit the last few years.


After starting out with a quick intro from an Operator and tons of practising with a pilot for the last two years, and lately
some actual (B-camera) application of this cute tiny rig on our projects, I have been lucky enough to have this workshop

take place basically in front of my door (I live and work in Munich).

Of course I wouldnt have missed this for the world, given I was looking to take a workshop before now moving to a bigger

rig and more serious work anyway.



It was an awesome experience alltogether, perfectly organized by Isabell and Christian from Betz Tools (thanks!).


All the instructors were extremely helpful, and especially talking to and learning from people who aren't just instructors,

but who are at the very top of this business gives a very practical allround experience that I think goes a long
way in preparing you for real work. The organisation was well matched to this fact, since we spent the better part

of the time working on actual shots designed by said instructors. I certainly love to find what works for me by
learning from different people (regardless what I learn), and hey - here they were, some of the best all in one place.


Needless to say, having Larry there was incredible. It turns out he's not just a perfect operator, but a Rock-Star instructor, too.

Hes great at explaining every detail, spots the tiniest nuances in the very basics and mechanics of operating and gives just the

right assistance to find out what works best yourself. Also of course, on the details of how to best work out specific things

from extremely slow walks to step-offs etc, who's better to trust than him.


But personally I benefitted most from him taking us along on designing and working out a long shot,

seeing his enthusiasm and perfectionism live at work is enormous, and I hope I'll remember and apply as much as I can from it!



The giant snail, Victor, is actually a siberian Dragon-Snail. Its still very young and not always under control. It does like chocolate, though =)

Does somebody remember its name?


All in all, it was great fun to meet all of the participants and instructors, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!



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#6 Marc R. Berger

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:32 AM

Hi Frederic,

I´m new to this forum too. I´m reading it with a lot of interest since a long time, but I´m a member only since I started with steadicam myself. Thank you for your insides of this workshop. I would have loved to be able to join it, and was looking until the last moment to get a chance to do so. It would be great if you could share some thoughts and tips Larry and the other instructors gave you about extremely slow walks...and all the other good tips you want to keep in memory. :) Writing down is best to remember.

Thank you!


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#7 Alex Kolb

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 06:04 AM

I'm sure Chris could explain it better than I, as he was the one who taught us about it, but he showed us a technique for slow walking in which he put his non-weightbearing foot down flat instead of heal to toe rolling. He left it very limp, and did not immediately transfer weight on to it. Then, when ready to step forward, he shifted his weight onto the entire foot.

The advantage I found with this method was it avoided any sudden movement from the intensity of a heel strike.
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#8 Marc R. Berger

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 07:30 AM

 I just tried it. This "flatfeet" walking is a very interesting approach...Thank you Alex, I´m going back to practicing.


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#9 Frederic Sturm

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 08:14 AM

Sorry for introducing some off-topic here but I guess it's in the spirit of showing how to benefit from multiple instructors =)


Chris showed us the mentioned technique and Larry immediately disagreed - again, I love that different people have different ways

which suit them best.


Larry showed us his technique where he slows everything waaaaaay down, bends his knees, puts his feet in one line in front of each other,

rolling heel to toe smoothly (sometimes when required also touching down toes first), never "falling down" on one foot (thus also eliminating

any heel strike that Alex mentioned) and at ANY point being able to stop and decide to go the other way. Thereby, total slow motion, he moves

his upper body and therefore the socket block through space in one continuous movement, no back-and-forth speed change, no side-to-side-shift,

no up- and- down.


While at more speed the arm can feather out a lot of back-and-forth, up-and-down, and side-to-side movement, at such slow speeds the

friction in any arm will be higher than the tendency of the steadicam to stay in playe, making perfect socket-block movement necessary.


Then again when shots get faster, and the arm can do its full job perfectly, just walk as usual (with well thought-out footwork anyway of course...).


Andrew Ansnick posted a pretty great description of it in the slow-walking thread: 


where Larry seconded his explanation:



I did take a video of Larry showing it to us, and when I have time I might post it.

Another key to this -as I have been told by Larry, and could definitely notice during the last 2 weeks, where I practiced my ** off pretty
much on this very technique- are thin-sole shoes or even minimal shoes. It really makes all of the difference when you need to balance

on one foot with a huge load attached to your body, that your feet get natural feedback of their position on the ground. Larry uses

vivobarefoot shoes for his operating, when it comes to this technique.



I discovered that for me, this technique, while requiring some in-depth training, works better than anything I've tried before -

that does not mean it's the right one for you ;)

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#10 Marc R. Berger

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 08:22 AM

Thank you Frederic. Can´t wait to see the video you took.

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