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Steadicam for POV perspective pointing down

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#1 Frank Schwaiger

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:31 AM

Hi guys,

 

I am learning now for 2.5 years and have a rather demanding client who wants to shoot a whole experimental but corporate movie in a very special perspective: he wants the camera in a POV perspective pointing down to the floor most of the time where we can see the body of the actor from his chest or stomach downwards, then eventually tilting up to a normal perspective and then going back to the POV style pointing down on the floor where we can the the actor's body again.

 

I assume that we would have to go with a 15-20mm lens (S35 frame, Sony F55 or Epic) to get this special POV look.

 

The director also wants very steady shots so a body mounted system with putting some cuts in the movie won't make it. Also he wants to make the movie seem to be one shot without cuts........... (we'll see about that. At the moment I will try my best to help him to get his vision on screen. That's why I am here. Maybe someone has some experiences doing these kind of shots or parts of it with a steadicam.)

 

I will describe two scenes:

Camera floats from the universe into the ceiling of a house into a bedroom where we see a guy getting up. The camera floats further to the POV perspective pointing to the ground and follows him / leads him out through the corridor into the bathroom in this perspective. Then we float into the ground of the bathroom and have a hidden cut to:

 

Camera floating from the ceiling into a bathroom into the POV pointing to the ground perspective of another guy who turms and walks into the corridor where he meets his children and wife. Here the camera switches to the wife's POV who is leaving the appartment and steps outside on the street (everything filmed from the overhead POV perspective pointing down.....)

 

Shots like this are going on and on. We switch actors as they meet, go into buildings and out of them through small corridors and appartments into universities and so on and on...

 

 

My first suggestion was to do it on a built set in a studio and a crane with a remote head and maybe some greenscreen for the exterior ground. Here I am afraid of the unflexibility of the whole system. A crane is big and very inert. Actors are way faster and move quicker than a crane could ever react in that special perspective where the camera is directly mounted in front of his head.

 

Another idea is to do it with a steadicam and a superpost (maybe with gyros?) from behind the actor or with a flipped image from in front of him. But the flipped image won't allow me to go back to the normal perspective in one single shoot and back. The superpost is to have more distance between the gimbal and the camera so the actor can be in between when I am behind him. But the superpost will also limit movement because of its length. The gyros were meant for more stability because of the superpost in the horizontal position. I thought of the gyros ore one gyro most of all to prevent the post from panning all around. But maybe the gyro will cause more damage than it will help. I'll have to do tests with them.

 

I also thought of the AR but don't think that the distance between camera and gimbal will be big enough to let an actor fit in between because the whole system is much more top heavy than a standard steadicam.

 

Maybe you can help me prepping these kind of shots with a steadicam.

 

Best,

 

Frank


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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 10:44 AM

Movi on body mount worn under the wardrobe
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#3 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 03:23 PM

Movi on body mount worn under the wardrobe

And here is the first logical use of the movi! 

Otherwise, would a Tango be fitted for this situation? (never used the rig, just wondering)


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#4 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 04:17 PM

 

Movi on body mount worn under the wardrobe

And here is the first logical use of the movi! 

Otherwise, would a Tango be fitted for this situation? (never used the rig, just wondering)

 

Tango is the wrong rig for that.  Actually steadicam for a straight down POV of the chest and feet is the wrong tool. the movi is perfect for this, the operator sits back and operates while the actor carrys the load


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#5 Frank Schwaiger

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 06:50 PM

Hello Eric and Victor.

 

Thank you for your suggestions. I really didn't think of the movi. It would be a very good idea. But I don't think that I can convince the director not to see the arms of the actors in the frame. The perspective will show them. Though I really like the idea of the actors carrying the load and the op sitting back...

 

@Eric: Please tell me why you are thinking that a steadicam is the wrong tool for that special perspective and steady movement?

 

I can imagine that walking and turning with an actor so close to me will be very hard. Also tilting up to the "normal" perspective is in danger to be very smooth when the rig is balanced to be horizontal. Furthermore the superpost will only allow perspectives from 1,8m to 2m height which is very high for a "normal" perspective. I think I have to test this.

 

Do you see other or more complications?

 

And because I have absolutely no experience in gyro work: Can they help me for this special shot? I read many threads here concerning them including Larry McConkeys words about it. I understand it so far that one gyro has two effects. It stabilizes 1 axis while it makes moves in another axis shaky. That's why you shouldn't mount a gyro straight upwards if you'd like to pan. Right?

 

Thanks again for your input.

 

Frank


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#6 Afton Grant

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:41 PM

Watch this: http://www.steadisho...l.cfm?shotID=53


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#7 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:52 PM

THX Afton, I thought of Jimmy's work as well, some of the finest....


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#8 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:01 AM

Hello Eric and Victor.

 

Thank you for your suggestions. I really didn't think of the movi. It would be a very good idea. But I don't think that I can convince the director not to see the arms of the actors in the frame. The perspective will show them. Though I really like the idea of the actors carrying the load and the op sitting back...

 

@Eric: Please tell me why you are thinking that a steadicam is the wrong tool for that special perspective and steady movement?

 

 

why wouldn't you see the actors arms if you shot it with a movi?  you are mounting it to a body mount like the doggie cam.

 

operating a steadicam over someones shoulder whey the move....  not as easy as it types


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#9 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:13 AM

http://www.walterkla...pment-2/farout/ plus a movi at the end. Right?
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#10 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:21 AM

http://www.walterkla...pment-2/farout/ plus a movi at the end. Right?

 

Pretty much


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#11 Frank Schwaiger

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 03:26 PM

Hi all,

 

thanks for all your input. I'll discuss the movi with my director. It's a great idea. I've already written an email to freefly because I need a system in Germany. Who should I ask? The German distributor Thor awaits the first movis in the 3rd quarter of 2013 and isn't a rental. That's way too late for us as we want to shoot in august. Can somebody from Europe help?

 

Best,

 

Frank


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#12 Alex Kolb

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 04:44 PM

If a Movi can't be found, there may be other stabilized remote heads that are light enough to work.

Christian Betz does dealings for both Klassen and various remote head companies in Germany. He might be worth contacting.
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#13 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 05:00 PM

What about something like this? I have no real source for this image (found it on my Facebook feed)

Attached Files


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#14 Alan Rencher

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:08 PM

The Defy gimbal is shipping now, I believe.
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#15 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:31 AM

How does the director plan on switching POV's from actor to actor without cuts ? Even if you do get close to the frame and operating that the director wants, the move from actor to actor will be really tricky.Is there an animatic for this sequence ? It might be worth doing one, just so everyone is on the same page in terms of execution of the shot.


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