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Steadicam in Football


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#1 Tom Petropoulos

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 10:13 AM

Hello,

I was watching Monday night football last night and noticed a steadicam operator on the field. I was wondering if anyone could tell me how the operators get those gigs? it was the Steeler/Ravens game played in Pittsburgh, do you think the Op was a local?
Also I would like to be a shooter for NFL films, and advice on how do get in?

Thanks,
Tom
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#2 Tom Wills

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 10:43 AM

Well, if you're interested in oping for football, look at some high school and college games to tape. Most of the high schools would love a cameraguy, especially one with a Stabilizer, and the colleges uasually have people taping the game, so adding in a stabilizer might even be a little easier. It's hard operating though, especially during the plays. A lot of tracking the ball, moving quickly, and keeping track of your surroundings.

I personally prefer to use the Stabilizer for only certain shots, then pull the camera off and go back to the tripod. It's just not worth it for the style of shooting I'm doing to be down there on the field.
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#3 bobgilles

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 11:24 AM

Be careful what you wish for, those guys work their asses off. I was hired locally to operate a Pana G2 with a long lens for a 49er playoff game and it was grueling constantly racking focus (I was in the end zone). When I arrived in the morning and saw all the thrashed SR1's, I knew it was going to be war, the guy with the SR1 and the wide prime shot more mags than I have ever seen and ran all day. It was the most tiring non-steadicam day I have ever played on.
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#4 Jason Cortazzo

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 11:58 AM

I think the Steadicam Op on Monday night travels with the package for the season. I was fourtunate enough to land a job with Skycam for the Saturday night college game on ESPN. We also have a Skycam on Monday night. Generally, all the camera ops for all of the ESPN and ABC football packages travel the entire season with their respective shows. I think Monday night is the only package of the espn/abc packages that has a steadicam. As for how you get it, I'm trying to do that right now.
I have worked at NFL films studios from time to time as a grip, for the past 10 years. They have a core group of operators and assistants that they keep on staff all year, then during the football season, they pick up locals. As to how to get in, I'm sure there is quite a long line.
Yes these guys work there butts off. From what I can see they work the corners of the field when the teams are in the red zone, when the ball is mid field, they work the benches, crowd, and cheerleaders.
Good Luck
Jason Cortazzo
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#5 Johanwindfeld

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 05:19 PM

hey There..

In Europe, we use steadicam in many big sport events, and often in Football. Socker.....

The steadicam is often used at the end of the field to shoot the goals and when the players run close to the steadi... as a effect shot.. And in the beginning of the sport event the steadi goes in to the field with the players and shows the players up close..

In almost all the big european fotball events there is always steadicam or crane.

regards Johan Windfeld... and trust me.. the running is very hard! :P
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#6 Tom Petropoulos

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 05:44 PM

Does anyone know how and who to contact at NFL Films, I would like to be a possible 16mm shooter for them.

Thanks Again,
Tom
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#7 bobgilles

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 06:06 PM

856 222 3500 ask for Mark Markopolis



Does anyone know how and who to contact at NFL Films, I would like to be a possible 16mm shooter for them.

Thanks Again,
Tom


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#8 Rhys Duncan

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 04:41 PM

same in new zealand i do a lot of the rugby and have developed a lot of stamina running the entire sideline , it is amazing if you are persistant enough how often you luck in to some great shots even though you are no where near the pace of the players , timing is everything, rugby is a good game to cover , i am not to sure about the american football though , sport is not everyones cup of tea but a great training ground if you can do it.
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#9 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 04:53 PM

I think Steadicam should be considered an honorary Olympic sport..

One of the most amazing things I ever saw watching (american) football on TV was; a player cought a pass and made a run for it, like 30 or 40 yards, outran everyone and made the touchdown.
Didn't click untill aftwards that the camera had tracked him all the way down a good 30 of those yards to the line..
Then of course came the slow-mo replays, complete with a reverse angle.. and with the Steadicam op KEEPING PACE in the background. Actually looked slightly comical as the op's feet did those cartoon backwards circles as he skidded to a stop.
Good job to whomever that was..

- Mikko
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#10 Anthony Violanto

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 01:24 AM

His name is Phil. He used to be on staff here in bristol, and went freelance a couple years ago. He also does college gameday. A steadicam Ultra was purchased to travel with Monday Night Football. After football season the Ultra made its way to the xgames and other various remotes. An EFP travels with College Gameday.

~Anthony
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#11 Stephen Press

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 04:51 AM

Hey Rhys Love your work, wish they would cut to you more.
I saw a couple of highlights packages of some games where it looked like you were operating in low mode, how did that work out?

While I?m at it they should lose the Ezyrig down south it looks awful. I don?t get seasick but that thing just might do it. :rolleyes:
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#12 Andrew 'AJ' Johnson

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:18 AM

Hi Guys,

I Operate Steadicam on Rugby League here in Australia every now and then. Tell you what, its great exercise!

Having the rig on for about 50 mins per half is damn hard. (easier with my back mounted harness)

Its not only just the fact of having the rig on, but your shooting for the entire time, framing, zooming, focusing all yourself, - Looking for shots and also being aware of everything around you, although some of that is delegated to your assistant who has to be on the ball.

These days with digital links its easier (no cables), and recently, interesting now that the Steadicam runs onto the field after tries and goals etc, in between play - tracking around the try scoring player as he walks back.

Its a classic, when I go back to shooting on film style jobs and the grips cant understand why I dont bother docking the rig after every take or in between shots!

Best way to start out is to operate on the sport on a regular fixed camera positioin, to get an understanding of the game and how to shoot it, then try Steadicam. If you go straight into it with Steadicam you'll have no idea of how to shoot it or what the Director wants. Especially live TV. Its an art in itself.

-AJ
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#13 Matt Buckner

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 09:11 PM

A few years ago I was asked to do Steadicam for a college football game as part of the jumbotron crew. The plan was to impress the college so much that they would do Steadicam for all home games. The agreement I made was to shoot the first half with Steadicam and the second half handheld because the rate was low. I had some great shots during pregame activities and some okay stuff during the game but my handheld shots were just as good, if not better.

I had two cable grips assigned to me and they were both needed as I moved A LOT. It rained during the entire game so my rain covers paid for themselves. In the end the decision was made to not use Steadicam for IMAG because of the price. I also felt that the type of shots they wanted were better acheived handheld with lots of low angles of cheerleaders, players, and crowd. I was never used to track the ball or any plays, just filler after each play.
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#14 Charles Papert

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 09:25 PM

I'm pretty sure the best shape I've been in my life was during the blistering summer of '94 when I ran up and down the sidelines at the World Cup. Hats off to you guys, that's a bitch.

(and nearly every time I got to race alongside the striker getting the super-dynamic shot, the friggin' director would wait to cut to me until the ball would roll out of bounds--that bugger)!
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#15 Gus Trivino

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:39 PM

Andrew

I remember years ago I`ve seen in the Rugby word cup played in Australia where an steadicam Operator was crashed in a play by a New Zeland player in Canada vs New Zeland
There was a Canadian wing running near to the line and the steadicam operator follow him.
A very big "All black" appeared and give him a tackle and cought the Canadian player and the steadicam operator too in the same move!
The operator fell down v-e-r-y b-a-d.
I tried to see what happened, but only saw this moment...

Gus.
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