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Left Side Operating

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#1 Kit Mackenzie

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 01:50 PM

Hi there,


So as a relevant newbie to steadicam I am beginning to fly my rig a little more recently - I practice with an old Sony Betacam for the weight.


On a short film I had to do a shot down a very narrow corridor, through a doorway and behind an actor at a kitchen sink ending up with the camera very close to the counter top. After blocking the shot I thought I'd give it a go operating with the arm mounted to the left hand side of me and then crossing the body to end up on the right - the opposite of the norm. I had done this once in my early days whilst practicing (following the EFP DVD) but was amazed at how much easier I found it operating this way. I'm not convinced the shots were technically any more stable (the horizon more level etc) but it was much easier to sustain both the weight and refine the rig this way.


What I want to ask is has anyone else found this? And more importantly is operating in this way strictly "wrong" or worse for me? As I continue to practice I am tempted to operate this way more but don't want to rely on it if it's going to have a detrimental effect longterm....


I should add I am naturally left handed meaning my stronger arm and hand end up on gimbal rather than the sled so this may answer for why I find this method easier.


Many thanks for this forum and your thoughts.



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#2 James Davis

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 07:56 AM

Kit, I found quite early on that I preferred to operate with the rig on this side, I tried operating "the normal way" or regular, but it felt so unnatural and awkward, the moment I switched and tried operating goofy I knew I would never go back.

Strangely I am not left handed though, I am right handed, but I am also somewhat ambidextrous.

I don't think there is anything wrong with operating this way, it seems to be quite common over in the UK, personally I find it's quite nice for my spatial awareness, because whether I am handheld or on Steadicam I am always used to being aware and moving with the camera on the right side of my body.


Just my two pence.

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#3 Kit Mackenzie

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 10:02 AM

Thanks for that response James - glad I'm not the only one. I'll stick with goofy in the coming weeks and see if my inclination towards it persists. I hadn't made the connection between it having similarities to handheld but maybe that's what is making it feel more familiar.



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#4 Arvid Knutsen

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 08:29 AM

I recently took a steadicam course.  I had done some operating with the pilot before, and the pilot was mounted left side.

When I started the course, I was pretty sure that the left side mounting was the way to go for me, however since we were three operators at the course, and only one rig, I had to train with the right side. A few hours into the course I started complaining about this being kinda wrong, and that I wanted to try the left side. I changed it. And tried the left side which I had been craving for. But sadly this did not satisfy me at all. So I went straight back to the right side mount. 


So what is the moral of the story?? I dont really know. I guess it is at least smart to really test both sides thoroughly before choosing something for certain. I have been doing a few liveTV shows now, and I am pretty confident that the right side is best for me.

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