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Waiting for Workshop

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#1 Chris Freilich

Chris Freilich

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 07:09 PM

Hi all,

My name is Chris Freilich, and I am a pre-newbie. I've been shooting for about nine years, though, and recently started thinking seriously about making a go at Steadicam operating. Unfortunately, I just missed the October SOA workshop, but I'm now signed up for the May workshop in Pennsylvania.

I've taken to heart the advice I've read here about waiting until attending a workshop before investing in a rig, so my question to you would be, how should spend my time in the coming months preparing for a potential fledgling career in Steadicam?

Here's what I'm already doing:
1) Notched up my exercise routine, which now includes strength, endurance, and flexibility training.
2) I've read all of the current forums, and I'm working my way through the archives
3) I read the "Manual of Style", and I'm still trying to figure out what is humor and what is real advice!
4) I'm reading all I can from the various equipment manufacturers.
5) I'm renting films with known great Steadicam shots and trying to analyze them as best I can
6) I've read the one available English-language Steadicam book out there.

I'm also considering taking my DV Steadicam out of mothballs and practicing with it with my DVX-100. But since there is no arm or vest, would it really be worthwhile? Would I be likely to learn bad habits? I know there are some standard exercises out there, but so far I've only come across one in the archives... is there a centralized source of these exercises outside of the workshops?

Any other suggestions of how best to use my time?

Also, if there are any NYC area operators who could use an extra hand for a couple of days, I'd love to come and intern with you. I was a 2nd AC for a while early in my career, so I'm sure I could be of some use! Ideally, I'd love to intern with a few different operators for a few days apiece to get a really good idea of how different people approach the job and the equipment.

Thanks for any advice, and thanks for this forum. I know I'd be completely lost about how to proceed were it not for all I've learned here already.

Chris Freilich
Aspiring Steadicam Operator
Bernardsville, NJ
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#2 Afton Grant

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 11:43 PM

Hi Chris,

It sounds like you're on the right track. All the reading I did prior to my workshop really helped a lot. When I arrived, I was already familiar with the equipment (rigs and accessories) that was presented. I at least knew what everything was, its function, its setup, etc. I had simply never had any practical hands-on experience with it. HUGE part, yes, but I at least had a big head start.

Practicing with a small DV rig is better than not practicing at all. All the principles of the big rigs are present in the small ones -- balance, inertia, horizons, headroom... Prior to my workshop, I had used the small rigs for quite a while, and observing the students that had never put one on before, I could see that my small amount of experience was definitely helpful.

Good luck with it all. Best,
Afton Grant
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#3 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 01:49 AM

3) I read the "Manual of Style", and I'm still trying to figure out what is humor and what is real advice!

It's all real. :P

Seriously though, I'll agree with Afton, Read all you know, the more you study up before the more you can concentrate on the actual operating at the workshop.

One other tip is to remember to practice regular camera work too. It must be 2nd nature before working with the added complications of Steadicam.

The best thing you have done, is signed up for the workshop :)

Welcome to the Forum and Steadicam!

- Mikko

Edited by Mikko Wilson, 05 January 2006 - 01:49 AM.

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