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Footwork Practices?

operating footwork balance

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#1 Joseph Robinson

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 12:36 AM

Hello, I was wondering if there are any specific practices to do when operating (or even when not operating) to work on improving feet/leg movement/placement. My posture seems to be fine, but sometimes I will find myself getting my legs getting into weird positions or I will walk irregularly. My Professor also noticed this, he described my movements as getting myself stuck in figurative corners, limiting my range of movement. 

Thank You.


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#2 chris fawcett

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 07:26 PM

Let's see a video!
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#3 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 07:58 PM

Joseph,

By figurative corners, do you mean walk in v-shape likes duck foot steps?

I think, you think too much about Steadicam and footwork which influent the way you walk.

Just need to switch your brain back when you are not doing Steadicam.

 

Cheers,

 

Ken Nguyen.


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#4 Juan Lima

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 12:14 PM

There are some exercises you can do to improve your footwork and your balance in general.

There are good examples in the book "The Steadicam Operator's handbook" . I've never done diagrams so I can't show you similar examples.

Try to buy this book it's a good investment. For a few dollars you have tons of knowledge in one single book.

 

Learn the line dance of the Switch, It's a key movement. Keep in focus on what happens when you are in no man's land. Get an expert in this. Make variations and try to learn other "line dances".

 

Don't practice just footwork. You must teach your mind to coordinate body movements (Kinesthetic Memory). If you don't have a Steadicam in your practice, just use an imaginary one. What are you framing?

 

Kinesthetic Memory:  When a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task (thats include your footwork).

 

An example from other activities:

 

On alternative sports like Snowboarding you learn tricks. You teach your mind how to coordinate a group of movements in one single trick. Once you learn the trick. You don’t think in single movements anymore. You think in it as a TRICK. On practice you don't THINK in tricks anymore and you just DO the trick.

 

Fly-casting has another good example of Kinesthetic Memory:

 

You teach your mind how to cast a line. But here is the trick: You aren't just teaching your mind the required movements of Fly-casting. You are teaching your entire body how to transfer energy from your body to the line. You are "charging" your rod with the required energy to cast a line. Good fly-casting it's about proper transfer of the energy from your body, across the rod, to the line.

There is a lot of Steadicam in this. You can teach others the movements of Steadicam but you can't teach how to transfer the proper energy for the shot. You must learn this by yourself, with your entire body in motion.

 

Fly-casters have a phrase: There are poets and there are technicians. Both are good Fly-casters!

 

If you are a poet on Steadicam, just feel the movement when you are in practicing. If you are a Technician apply all the concepts But don't be a robot. Put all in practice together in one single motion.

Remember you are operating even in no motion.

 

Sorry for the Snowboarding, Fly-casting stuff. Just tried to illustrate the point.

Greetings!


Edited by Juan Lima, 05 December 2013 - 12:16 PM.

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#5 Jessica Lopez

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 09:17 PM

Hey Joseph, 

 

I find rollerskating an excellent way to condition for Steadicam footwork. I've been skating since I had the ability to walk. Even dabbled in roller derby. My one useless talent. But not so useless anymore. I can skate forwards, backwards, sideways, do tricks, spins, and crazy stops. I haven't tripped over my own feet in decades. Skating trains your body and brain to have good eye hand coordination and quick reflexes. It's also good cardio. 

 

Try it. Grab some roller blades, skates on quads, or the ice. Oh also add running and walking backwards to your daily exercise routine will help. 


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#6 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 01:05 PM

I found that my Kata from Oyama Karate had some interesting similarities to our foot work.  The key to the Kata is balance for stability and movement for striking or defending at any given moment and direction oriented.  Which is exactly what you want to be able to do while operating, if you get hung up on your feet and legs then you can not move around your rig proficiently and you will get tangled up and risk the ever dreaded bump on the sled or worst... tripping your self up!


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#7 Jarrett P. Morgan

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 04:16 PM

+1 for skating. I have been playing hockey for years and it trains your body to keep balanced and adjust movement subtlety to change direction or speed. I think it helps substantially. 


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#8 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 09:31 PM

Tai Chi is also a very good for health, mind, and as well as steadicam.

Or, just practice these steps:

Keep your weight onto one foot, (say the right one) stand still.

Use your mind to guide the other foot (the left one) to your desired direction.

Touch the tip of your toe(s) to that new location, feel it to see if it is safe to land your whole weight on.

Slowly land left foot flat on the ground.

Shift your weight onto the left foot.

Stand still on that left.  Keep and hold your balance.

Now, you can lift the right up, still in balance.

Stand on one leg for a while, then move the right foot to new location.

Repeat & have fun.

Once you think you are good, make your move faster.

But, the slower the step the more benefit for your body and mind.

Practice until you don't need to think about balancing anymore.

Breath normally; don't hold your breath.

 

Cheers,

 

Ken Nguyen.


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#9 Kris Torch Wilson

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 10:41 PM

I generally prefer to soak my feet in hot water while drinking a martini. I suppose these other suggestions work but sound like too much effort for this old fart.
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#10 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 12:24 AM

I just walk. seriously, you've been walking all your life, don't change it


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#11 Colin Donahue

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 11:07 AM

I have tried to follow the advice of  "just walk how you walk normally" . The problem is I have terrible posture and I sit and walk very hunched over. I was taught to have my shoulders back when operating, which I often forget to do. When I do I have them back, I sometimes end up balancing more on my heels and less on the balls of my feet. I was getting a pendulum swing on the sled that I couldn't figure out how to get rid of. 

This thread http://www.steadicam...showtopic=16171 helped me out a great deal. (the part about balancing on the balls of your feet... not the fight over which arm is better :lol: )

I had to retrain myself how to walk. Every time I sit down, I remind myself to sit up straight!

Practice, so that whatever you need to do, it becomes automatic and you can concentrate on about  shot.

 

Colin Donahue


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#12 chris fawcett

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 11:24 AM

I'm with Eric and Kris here.

When you walk normally and unaffectedly, you pretty much only use your quads to lift your knees, and an automatic spinal reflex takes care of lifting your foot, so your toes don't drag. When you think too much about any automatic process like walking, you tend to fuck it up. Concentrate instead in moving your frame beautifully though space, and your body will probably work out how to follow.

Of entirely anecdotal interest (or not), I spent my first 6 months operating goofy, which suited me fine, except that my walking felt clumsy. When I changed to regular-side, my footwork was instantly better. Retraining my handedness to match operating side was trivial, and took me at most a couple of days.

Fly gracefully,

Chris
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#13 Kareem La Vaullee

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 12:48 PM

Best footwork practice?

 

Just dance !

 

Dance like nobody's watching:

 

 

 

 

;)

 

K.

 

 

(Seriously)

 


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#14 Juan Lima

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 11:08 PM

Walk normally it's a very good advice.
The way you transfer the weight from one foot to another is very important.
I'm not sure we walk the same with or without a Steadicam.
I take smaller steps and try avoid side to side weight distribution.
I use entire body as a transfer tool. Feet go where it's easier to distribute weight gently in my case.

 


Edited by Juan Lima, 08 December 2013 - 11:10 PM.

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#15 David Johansson

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 04:15 AM

These guys know how to walk.

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=7Cxc_p2Nf5Y


Edited by David Johansson, 10 December 2013 - 04:16 AM.

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