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steadicam work in europe

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#1 Markus Hosp

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 11:44 AM


i am doing camera work for several years now and i am considering buying a steadycam.

my only question is if there are ops needed in europe. i am not interested in having a lot of pricey equipment lying around at home collecting dust.

i think it is not possible to be booked without a workshop, but is it easy to get booked anyway?

how often do you pro guys work and is it the only work you do? can you live from steadycam wor, i guess no!

i hope you can give me some tips before i do a wrong step.

thanks a lot,

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#2 love my steady

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 12:22 PM


It depends of the country you live in,how is the film industry in Austria?commercials video clips etc?First of all just focus if steadicam operator is a job for you.

All the best
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#3 Markus Hosp

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 01:09 PM


i think austria is not the best country for it, but germany and italy are not far.

i am shure there are lots of productions in germany but how difficult is it to get in there...?

i am very interested in steadycam work, i have had 2 small rigs and want to go for a big one to earn some money with that.

thanks so far,

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#4 benedictspence


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Posted 16 September 2005 - 07:28 AM

Hi Markus,

It's not quite that easy I'm afriad. Working as a Steadicam op is the same as a lighting camera op (and I guess most self-employed jobs)- it's all about contacts. It's about getting clients who trust you, who will give you regular work and (if you're lucky) reccommend you to others. Ask anyone- it takes years to build up those kind of relationships...

Sorry dude but it's not something you can just hop into! However, if you're good at your job and willing to work hard- in a couple of years you could be working all the time!

Also, Steadicam with a full size rig is different from small hand held rigs- you need a long time before you'll be even halfway competant. Just to warn you mate!

Doing a Steadicam workshop is neither a prequisite of working, nor a gurantee that you will get work; however it'll help you get to grips with the kit and teach you the basics (and more) of professional operating. I didn't get any work from my workshop (thinking about another advanced one now) but equally none of my clients have ever asked me if I've been on one!

I generally do about 4-8 days a month steadicam and the rest is lighting camera (I normally work 4-6 days a week). Can you live from steaicam work? Yes, but I don't think it'll ever make me, personally, super rich- it's just damn good fun! I do steadcam because I love the fun of it- it also gets my foot in on some nice big tasty productions. I'm going down the lighting route more than steadicam- but it's a great skill to have!

Ben Spence
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#5 Markus Hosp

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 08:05 AM

thanks a lot ben for your answer.

i was not talking of handhelds, but on lightweight setups with dv,mini35 adapters etc.

i am shure it is not easy to get into business, especially in austria but i think its a very interesting job. i think there are unter 10 ops in austria, maybe 30 in germany.

the only thing is the mass of equipment needed.

i think a focus device and video sender/reciever can be borrowed, but i need a setup to learn with, so i will go for one.

i like this glidecam v25 but i think it is not upgradable, so i will go for some different arm and vest and a progear sled. (if i ever get contact to jan...)

i ve tried all brands of steadycams, even the new g70 which is a beautiful arm.
the progear is nice but according to many posts here jan isnt the best in consumer service.

what contact setup would you guys take in the upper and lower junction boxes?

i think i will go with pag batteries.

are there some other tips for a newbie like musts and donots?

thanks a lot,

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#6 Guido Lux

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 04:46 PM

Hi Markus!

I'm a german op and I think there are more ops in germany than you think! Some do only film, some only tv & video and then there are some (like me) who do both!
First tip: don't do it for the money!!! It's one of the best and fun jobs in the world but you have to do it cause you love it!! Sure, you make a little more than a "regular" cameraman but that shouldn't be you main motivation!
Second tip: there are some good ops in austria but there's not too much work there!
You can try to get into the german market but you'll have to fight hard because there are a couple of very good ops here and they will not just give there jobs to a newbee from austria!
It took me quite some time to get where I am now! I do between 15 and 25 days a month!
You have to love the job to take the weight day after day!
Third tip: TAKE YOUR TIME!!! Take a workshop!!!!! Then practice,practice....! I thought I was doing great after a year....when I look at the stuff today....I can't believe people booked me ever again!!
So practice all you can! Try to get a cheap rental sled to practice or find someone who lets you borrow his....!Save some more money and get a fairly decent used rig! It's going to be hard to find a decent sled for the 2 -3k?'s the you are willing to spend right now!
Want some more tips don't hesitate to mail me or give me a call!

Hope I was of any help!?

cheers, Guido Lux

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#7 HDFilmmaker


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Posted 21 September 2005 - 12:14 PM

Hi everyone,
I am looking at moving to Europe myself and was wondering about rates...
I know this is always a sensitive topic, but thought I would ask as a point of reference for a flyer operator with flyer rig. I know not every job is the same and many of us (myself included) can and should work our way up...until we build a name and reputation for ourselves.
Regardless here in Canada for indie work, normally CDN $300 day for an operator and $250 day for flyer...obviously sometimes less / sometime more but that is a normal rate for an fairly experienced operator. (That's approx $350 Euros a day). Obviously the operators working in 35mm motion pictures get a higher day rate and kit rental.
Does this sound right, or on the low side (compared to Europe)? I realize supply and demand is an issue...depending where you are located. Not to mention the cost of living over in Europe.
Any comments on rates would be appreciated. Not looking for anyone to give away their secrets, just hoping for a "better idea" of what to expect.
Thanks for any help or further discussion. These boards look to be a great source of information for the community.
Many thanks,

Michael Harris
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#8 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 12:21 PM

Thats Low dude. As you said its different for every market, but as a guide, the video camera guys over here charge 450 euro for a basic digi kit and 450 euro for themselves - rates for features/commercials and drama are totally different. I would have thought you and your flyer were worth at least the same. Hope this helps
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#9 Peter Milanov

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 12:38 PM

In Sweden the going rate for a TV operator including EFP size steadicam is about 800 Euro.

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