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First Rig / Workshop Advice


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#1 Tim Westover

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 10:37 PM

I'll briefly summarize where I am at right now, I have been a camera prep tech for the past 2 years at a camera rental house. We do see steadicam operators but I've had little time to chat with them so I have a few questions that I'd be grateful for some advising on. I currently AC on the side and am very interested in getting into steadicam work firstly for my personal projects and because i've enjoyed the glide cam but I would like to look at it as an investment into a field that has always interested me. I know it is a competitive, costly, physically demanding field so I'm trying to figure out what the right route to get started would be. 

 

At my work I have access to good amount of camera's for my personal use on the weekends , and have owned a glidecam hd2000 which I used solely for DSLR shoots. I now have been shooting more on the F55 and Epic which are over the weight capacity of the glidecam especially with heavier lenses, FIZ units, matte box etc. 

 

With that said, at the moment I am considering saving more for a steadicam scout or zephyr and I know I would get a good amount of use out of them but as far as getting into the field of steadicam operating, at what point would it be a good idea to invest in a workshop and are their other things I should be considering before investing as well. I'm a bit hesitant at the moment mainly because it could be 6 months or so until I can drop the money for a steadicam and I don't want to forget by the time I actually purchase one. What investment do you think would benefit me the most at this point. I will be at there rental house for another year or so, so I will have a lot of access to cameras and time build upon steadicam operating skills. 

 

Thanks for your time!


Edited by Tim Westover, 30 November 2014 - 10:39 PM.

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#2 Chris Loh

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 11:22 PM

Operators handbook, then workshop. I got the opportunity to learn from several veteran operators after reaching out and have found that very beneficial. One passed on a job to me as well.

I'm not really one to give advice, I haven't been operating for long.. but the handbook has been great, and learning from experienced operators has been fun and I've learned a lot.

http://www.amazon.com/Steadicam®-Operators-Handbook-Jerry-Holway/dp/024082380X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417407446&sr=1-1&keywords=the+steadicam+operator%27s+handbook


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#3 Tim Westover

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 11:27 PM

Great, will look into that, thanks Chris


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#4 Jerry Holway

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 10:09 AM

The advice from everyone, repeated often, and here it is again: Take a workshop ASAP!


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#5 Tim Westover

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 12:18 PM

Copy that. As for workshops this might be an obvious question but would you recommend taking a longer workshop like one of the week long Main steadicam workshops or would a 2 day Abel zephyr pilot scout workshop give me a solid groundwork to build off of. Thanks all.
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#6 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 01:05 PM

Workshop before you build bad habits
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#7 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 04:50 PM

Hi Tim 

Do the 5 day workshop if you can .They are fantastic .

From my first w/shop in 1985 (the first in Australia)I still talk to many of the students who attended .

Life long friends.


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#8 Tim Westover

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 08:01 PM

Thank you all for the responses. I'll be looking into a workshop over the next couple months. One more question I wanted to ask (i'm sure it has been asked countless times) is how you all built up to the roll of a steadicam operator. Did you work through the camera departement (AC'ing or Operating) and eventually invest in a steadicam? I'm at a point where countless people who go through working at camera rental houses like myself move to the roll of an AC afterwards, so I'm debating whether to push for that or work towards workshop / steadicam training & investments.


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#9 Janice Arthur

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 09:44 AM

Tim;

As I'm sure u know every story is different and no one comes out with a straight line career.

Go for whatever you can make money from fastest; if that's AC and PA or gripping go for it right now. Have a goal of steadicam or DP that you're working toward but the point is get started on anything that brings in cash and you can make right now.

We all have friends who keep saying they're going to get to marketing themselves or making calls but no surprise they never get to it and hence they never "start". Funny though when I talk to them they say they're working at it every minute!!! Don't put it off is my tips get any job you can now.

Good luck and have a great 2015.

Janice
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#10 RhysDuncan

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 08:06 PM

i was grateful to early help i received from steadicam operators that i befriended ,they let me walk around the block for countless hours carrying a rig , b4 internet , and any manual, All tools need time to develop, steadicam

is not easy but extremely rewarding, i am mentoring a newbie who is good , hopefully on the way to becoming great, showed me some DJI ronin rig work he did , amazing  results with very little skill of the machine but a great understanding of the mechanics of cinematography,where as steadicam needs a huge amount of practice to achieve a level horizon for instance before you even start constructing shots , there are a lot of avenues to explore your skill today , even drones are cashing  in on the seduction of movement but for me my primary tool will always be my steadicam ,its beautiful simplicity when its in the right hands. :rolleyes:


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