Adding 3 axis gimbal to kit....
Posted 25 September 2016 - 07:37 AM
Looking for info on Steadi ops (more specifically film/TV ops) who have added a 3 axis gimbal to their kits. Was it a good decision or bad? What percentage of your revenue comes from each now? How much lower is your gimbal rate to Steadi rate? Has having the gimbal rig helped or hurt your Steadi gigs? What about using the gimbal with separate controller? I.e. Giving the DP the controller and you operate.
Thanks in advance for your input!
Posted 02 October 2016 - 12:35 PM
I have a pretty robust Ronin kit and Ive gotten a few calls for it, but really it works as a rental item.
when i go on set with it it goes as a package with wireless and fiz, so maybe 650-700...? solo, maybe 250/day. i charge my typical steadicam operating rate as its just as physically demanding in many ways. often more so.
i also have the ready rig which has been great for operating with it.
gimbal work makes up a negligible amount of my operating, but i have fun with it, trying different builds, putting it on the rig, etc.
i have not pushed hard to get it on set, but i do have two operating buddies in the area that have become experts in its use and get it on their sets all the time (renting it from me). but im kinda into the rental business and acquire a lot of gear.
pedro guimaraes has made a lifestyle out of it and is the poster-boy for gimbals. i have put all of his cinemilled gear onto my ronin. kevin andrews in denver has also had frequent success with it. its great for beaches.
i think it depends on how much you want to invest in it financially and how much you want to make it a part of your operating. the more you try to sell it to your clients, the more youll use it.
it has been extremely helpful on documentaries and is great for sports, like running and soccer which suck on steadicam in my opinion. i shot a documentary in jamaica on the anti-doping industry and track athletes and it was extremely useful.
it takes practice! its a whole new tool and set of skills.
Posted 03 October 2016 - 07:37 AM
Great, thanks for the info Brett, much appreciated! I think it would be a good asset to have as part of your kit, just not sure how much use it would get. Trying to gather as much info as I can so I can make an informed decision!
Posted 03 October 2016 - 01:32 PM
I am just getting into the 3 axis gimbal gear. I've been a Steadicam op for 22+ years. I look at this investment as a kind of longevity thing. Do I want to be running around with a 70lbs+ Steadicam when I'm 60? Nope. How long do I expect to be working? I'm 47 now. Is 65 reasonable? Will carrying less weight extend my career? Maybe. Do I want to be working past 65? All these questions are what's going through my mind these days. I love what I do and want to operate as long as possible. A 3 axis gimbal is just another tool in my arsenal. There have been many times in recent years when I thought a gimbal would get the shot over Steadicam. I have spent over $70K CDN getting a 'set ready' 3 axis gimbal set up. Will it pay off? Only time will tell. I sure as hell hope so. It's a really cool piece of gear and it's only in its infancy. Times are a changing. I have an idea of what my market in Canada will accept as far as rates are concerned. I hope my market agrees.
Best of luck.
Posted 03 October 2016 - 03:41 PM
Yes, I feel very fortunate to be getting an exceptional amount of work with my MOVI M15 kit that I have designed and customised along with a team of other people.
The key to this tool as people like Pedro, Motion State, Chris Herr etc will attest is using it to move the camera in ways that would be either impossible or very difficult with other tools, this is what gets DOPs/Directors excited and continually calling you back to work with them.
I guess like a lot of things, it's more about the Operator than the kit, although gimbals require a lot of extra toys to afford you the capabilities to offer these shots.
In terms of rates, I have no problem charging the same whether I do MOVI or Steadicam, but then my MOVI set-up has probably ended up costing the same as my steadicam set-up, if you really want all the options you need QRP mounts, scaff mounts, moy mounts, joystick/MOVI controller and wheels, a slingshot rig and an easyrig/serene arm based set-up for tighter spaces, a nice cart set-up too....it really does take a lot of toys, a lot more extra crap than we are arguably used to and it certainly makes some old school operators sigh with negativity because they simply don't understand what they are missing out on..... the creative possibilities are incredibly exciting.
As Brett already stated it is a whole new set of toys/tools and skills to learn but have faith, once you understand it there is a huge advantage to being a "MOVI/gimbal operator" with a steadicam and remote head background once you full understand the tech side of it.
I'm a big MOVI fan because frankly although they are the most expensive, they are still the best and offer the most versatility in my book, with gimbals it's not really about payload it's about flexibility and tune-ability, Freefly still have one of the best gimbal brains and best developed software out there by a country mile, they are becoming the industry standard for good reason.
The Ronin gets the job done, but the MOVI M15 is the "Pro Rig" of the gimbal world at present in my humble opinion.
Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:00 PM
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences guys. I think we all know how fortunate and lucky we are to be able to be a part of this great film/TV biz. I just want to keep doing what I love and pushing the envelope! Nice to see some steadi ops adapting to the technology and embracing it rather than fighting it