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#1 Jason Cortazzo

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 10:19 PM

Hello Everyone,

When covering a broadcast sporting event, and a focus puller wasn't in the budget, do you have control of both zoom and focus via a set of controllers such as two J-7's?

Can you even mount 2, J-7's, or a similar device, on your rig? Do you even want to?

Or, do you just go for the zoom control?

I recently purchsed a package which included a J-7 zoom control with a Canon 8 pin cable and a Fuji 12 pin cable. Would it be a good, but expensive, idea to also have the Canon 12 pin and Fuji 8 pin cables, as seen on the Tiffen site?

If you go the route of two controllers, which doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun, do you want to have all the Canon and Fuji 8 pin and 12 pin cables?

Keep in mind that the gig is on the road and you maybe given different cameras.

Thanks!
Jason Cortazzo
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#2 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 09:45 AM

You realize by excepting these jobs, you are lowering your own standards and taking work away from AC's. Plenty has been written on this subject, and I for one, totally disagree with one man operating! However, if you must, many of the successful one man guys use the Stanton jimmy jib controls for focus and zoom. The nonsense about production not budgeting for a focus puller is BS. It?s just another tactic to save $$$$ and put it into someone else?s pocket. Take the job, and when one comes around that has a budget, they will call someone else. Don't be short sighted. Sorry to be so frank, but this subject drives me nuts. I work a lot in video (well over 400 shows), and have NEVER shown up without a focus puller. Because of this, I simply bring more to the table. It doesn?t happen over night, don?t look for a fast way to be successful, it takes time, be patient, follow the course and stake your ground, and it will come to you. Steadicam is not a get rich quick scam.


Jeff
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#3 Jason Cortazzo

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 10:51 AM

Jeff,
Yeah, I totally agree. I'd much rather get the right number of people on the job and make everything better! I've been a Local 52 Grip for some 10 years, I'm all about the right amount of manpower. I'm just trying to figure out the technical questions of different cable configurations for different cameras and how the nonunion broadcast world works.
Which leads to another question of rates.
I quoted them a rate of 1200/day for the rig and operator. In keeping with the standards of the craft.
Would 1500 to 1600/day be market rate for rig, operator, and focus puller for a broadcast show? Giving the AC 500/day.
Thanks
Jason
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#4 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 11:25 AM

Jason, I don?t really like to talk rates in here. I can tell you this: I typically will charge an additional 20% invoice fee on labor for non-union work. This is becoming more widely accepted and it is fair game, as we need to cover our own benefits. The rates you are quoting are substantially lower then what I charge, but rates are very individual, charge what you feel you and your package is worth. There will always be someone who charges less, that's the way it is. If you?re getting work solely on your price, then chances are the work isn?t going to be very rewarding. Again, I don?t mean to preach, this is just how I conduct myself. Good luck out there.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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#5 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 12:37 PM

Jeff,
Yeah, I totally agree. I'd much rather get the right number of people on the job and make everything better! I've been a Local 52 Grip for some 10 years, I'm all about the right amount of manpower. I'm just trying to figure out the technical questions of different cable configurations for different cameras and how the nonunion broadcast world works.
Which leads to another question of rates.
I quoted them a rate of 1200/day for the rig and operator. In keeping with the standards of the craft.
Would 1500 to 1600/day be market rate for rig, operator, and focus puller for a broadcast show? Giving the AC 500/day.
Thanks
Jason


Wow... That's not really in "Keeping with the standards of the craft" That 1200/day is pretty much what most are charging for rental only.....
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#6 Jason Cortazzo

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 12:50 PM

Now this is getting confusing. I've looked through the archives and have seen rates from 0 to 2000 for gear and operating, and a vast difference for film or broadcast work. Especially in the LA market.
I guess I should have stayed on the original topic of the cables used for the J-7.
I see that rates are a touchy subject, so please disregard the the rate question and only reply to the topic of the J-7.
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#7 jay kilroy

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 05:44 PM

Gentlemen,

Did we really have to beat the guy up over all of this??? Not all the jobs that are available to a guy like Jason (no offense) are the Olympics and series TV. As a new owner/op Jason has to pay the bills and this particular job doesn't have the budget for a focus puller, but it will get Jason $1200 closer to paying off his rig. Did you guys start out asking $2200 a day??? My point is, at this point in Jason's steadicam career he will not be called for the same jobs as Jeff or Eric, so don't worry about him undercutting you.

With all that said I would hate to have to do both things and basically try my hardest to get an AC on the job. If they won't do it then explain that you may not be able to achieve everything they are looking for with zoom and focus. You're not a miracle worker. So to answer your question Jason, it sounds like an expensive route to take to do something you don't really want to do in the long run.

I don't really want to start a war over all this, please don't beat me up too bad.

jay kilroy
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#8 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 07:35 PM

I don't really want to start a war over all this, please don't beat me up too bad.

jay kilroy
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Jay, nobody is beating anyone up in here, just some opinions and advice, take it or leave it. If you post in here, expect to get responses. Its all good. Follow your instincts and do your own thing, is my advice.

Peace.

Jeff
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#9 Jason Cortazzo

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 10:46 PM

How about those Steelers? :D
I hope they kick some Seehawk butt.
There should be a Steadicam there! I'm pretty sure there will be. It will probably be ABC's Monday Night crew.

Oh, by the way, I have a J-7 zoom control. I have a Canon 8-pin cable and a Fuji 12 pin cable. I see on the Tiffen site that there is also a Canon 12 pin and Fuji 8 pin. If one were to say...., get a job....., on the road, possibly with different cameras....., would it be a good idea to have all said cables. Or, would my Canon 8 pin and Fuji 12 pin suffice?

"Anyone, anyone, Buehler, Buehler?"

The 20% thing is great!!!

And no more rate crap!!! We all live and work in different markets and are at different levels of achievement, or lack there of!!!

Thanks

Now where's my Terrible Towel?!
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#10 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 07:20 AM

How about those Steelers? :D
I hope they kick some Seehawk butt.
There should be a Steadicam there! I'm pretty sure there will be. It will probably be ABC's Monday Night crew.


Yup, there will be a Steadi out there, among the million other cams...

To cover this year?s Super Bowl, the [ABC] network?s 36 cameras will include:
- Twenty hard cameras, including six Super Slo-Mos.
- Seven handheld cameras, including two Super Slo-Mos.
- Two RF and one SteadyCam.
- Five robotic cameras, two of which will be fixed on the goal lines.
- Two remote pan and tilt cameras on the field goal posts.
- One Sky-Cam camera suspended above the playing field.
- One unmanned fixed camera.
Other production equipment will include:
- One ?1st & 10? electronic first down marker.
- Forty digital video replay sources
- Three Telestrators
- Sixty mics, including 12 on-field parabolic microphones;
- Five-hundred television monitors;
- Ninety miles of camera and microphone cable.


Source: http://broadcastengi...unday-20060127/

There's some really amazing numbers in there... 500 monitors? :blink:


- Mikko
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#11 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 09:52 PM

Jason;
I love what Jeff said in his posts, but I think that another voice might give you a different way of hearing those things.....
1) You do yourself a disservice if you try to do the focus/ zoom thing and operate the steadicam...... Operating the beast is hard enough and I think that doing all three makes life even harder...... If at all possible, get an assitant and let them work out their own rate.
2) Secondly I agree, you aren't competing for the same jobs as Jeff or Eric, but you should reach for the sky and settle for less if you have to. Try getting $1000/8 and $700 for the rig for starters. I base that on $125.00 an hour, which if you are working a full day is a bargain for them. They should try to lug this thing around for 8 hours. I am assuming that you have poured some big cash into the rig itself, so think of the $700.00 as about 1/100 of the cost of the rig.

In the words of Jeff, all is good, and all should be open regarding the way things work.
Good luck.
Jamie.
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#12 Jason Cortazzo

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 10:14 AM

Lets be clear.

I HAVE NO DESIRE TO BE A ONE MAN SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was just wandering how guys do it, since I know that at my level, the situation will arise. I guess I should be more careful with my newbee curiousity.

The device from Stanton seems a little large and takes your hand off the gimbal. The Bartech certainly has a nice price but I haven't seen any pics of how it is mounted.
Also, no "one man show" guys have responded yet.

How about those J-7 cables, anyone, anyone?

There were two rigs at the Super Bowl. One working the sidelines, and one shagging Ron Wood.

Thanks for the rate info!!!
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#13 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 02:35 PM

I know several operators who work in live TV, and prefer to do their own focus. Certain ops usually work with AC's / focus pullers for drama and single camera, but in live TV do not. Others always work with a focus guy, even when doing TV. In certain situations, not only depending on budget but also upon physical circumstances, and the sport involved, it can sometimes be best practice not to have a focus puller. In the UK, that's just how it is. All of the guys work with spotters / assistants though, and from time to time they will pull focus too. (I know that most of the football ops use focus pullers)

Some operators just get away with using a zoom handle of some sort on its own, and rely on the wide depth of field offered by the lens used; others use a zoom handle and some form of focus device. So long as the lens used has either an inbuilt focus servo or an external focus servo attachment, focus control is possible with one of the small electronic knobs.

In answer to your question re: 8 pin, 12 pin... I have Canon 8, Fujinon 8 and Fujinon 12 in the kit - you never know what you'll be working with, so be prepared for anything. There is also a seperate J7 unit which controls the focus for Canon or Fujinon, and attaches to the J7 zoom demand.

Personally speaking, I'm currently looking to buy a BFD, so I have a full follow focus package, complete with the BFD gimbal focus control and also a J7 focus unit just in case I need to use it for live stuff.

There's a topic entitled 'operator controlled focus device' in the follow focus section which discusses this subject further.
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#14 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:05 AM

Yes, I'm new to the forums here but I'm just wondering if getting used to pulling one's own focus is a good idea considering the advent of HD.... In my arena, when I switched from BetaSP to HDCAM, (Sony 750 and 950) the focus issue really bit me in the a$$, as it does to a lot of folks who make the transition... It is very difficult, sometimes, even when my eye is directly in the viewfinder, and covering unscripted live events, to keep the focus sharp. (I've been doing this 10 years...) Much, much harder than with typical Beta and/or DVCam. I mean, it's REALLY noticeable... In ways that don't show up with a typical LCD field monitor or viewfinder... And, I use the same LCD field monitor that comes with the new Tiffen steadicams... I may be a novice in the steadicam world, but I don't think I'd want to factor in something that would make my job noticeably more difficult...
By the way, the steadicam guy at the Super Bowl got a LOT of face time during the Rolling Stones halftime show...
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#15 Rich Cottrell

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:58 PM

Fuel to the fire...

Well... because the SuperBowl came up...
The steadicam operator who did the 1/2 time show is not the regular MNF steadicam operator.

I can not remember his name right now, but the regular MNF steadicam operator [he looks like the Eagles head coach BTW] should have also done the Super Bowl (game action) this year.
For the Super Bowl a few of the game action camera operators are part of the half time show, but usually from what I understand, there are camera operators who are there just for the half time show.

Back to the steadicam op?
For MNF, he operates on a Triax and he uses a Stanton zoom and focus control.
While I have never talked with him, I have worked a few NFL games these past years in Philly that were also MNF games. I have seen the external Stanton focus motor his lens and the Stanton demand on his steadicam gimbal.
I have never seen a focus assistant with him.
What I have seen is a utility with a docking stand nearby so as soon as a TV time out happens he can dock the rig if he needs to.

I have a picture of the MNF operator in the rig from last year's ProBowl [again I am sorry but i forget his name. I am told he is a very nice guy to work with] but it is too big to attach to the forum. Email me off the forum if you want me to send it to you.

I am not saying this is the way to go with "foucs for sports coverage", but MNF is the only regular sports broadcast that I know of that uses the steadicam for every show.
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