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#1 Oliver Roetz

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Posted 16 March 2004 - 02:59 PM

It eventually happened: I just finished my first job operating on a set for a documentary series. It took place in an old museum full of glass and mirrors :angry: . Besides that I had a wonderful lighting crew and a very patient director. The days before I was full of doubts and just not able to find any sleep...but, who cares... :P

First time on a set with my own rig...what a wonderful experience. And yes, it worked out well. Some problems of course and VERY tired in the end but - that's it!

But hey, without you guys this would have been much, much harder!!! Following this forum for months now all I can say is "THANK YOU"!!! You shared your experiences with me - what more can I ask for? Reading your posts, watching your photos and your show reels carefully was a perfect opportunity to learn a lot.

Thanks guys, keep flying safe wherever you are...

Oliver "a little step for the steadicam community...a huge one for me" R.
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#2 Nikk Hearn-Sutton SOC

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 10:13 PM

what type of rig do you have??
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#3 Oliver Roetz

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 02:37 AM

Hi Nikk,

I fly the Chrosziel RIG LIGHT with PRO arm and DSD Harness, Cine Monitor III and the Archos AV 340 for on board recording. For wireless focus and iris I use the Genio system.


Keep flying safe, Oliver
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#4 Marc_Abernathy

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 09:57 AM

congrats oliver,

did you take a workshop prior to your Operating or did you jump in with both feet? also, did you peice your Rig from different places or was it sold to you as one complete unit?

thanks for the feedback.
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#5 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 01:56 PM

happy for u im also starting to operate .....realy fun but hard to do ....i start with a old model 2 go to a efp and end with mk-v .
have fun that its the more important of all

ps tha hard part of the operating , i found its to deal with the not nowing of what the directors want ....( to much freedom ) but im working that out with my analyst.
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#6 Oliver Roetz

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 02:22 PM

Hi Marc,

thanks for the congrats.

Steadicam has been a dream to me for a very long time. While I was reading a lot and watching movies very carefully it became obvious that there is no other way for me but taking a workshop. That eventually happened two years ago. After the workshop I tried to stay as close as possible to the steadicam - I used to rent one from time to time. Since I am running my own little (video)camera/production business there were enough toys to play with.

A couple of months ago I decided to buy a rig. I bought it as a complete unit, everything was brand new except the Genio.

The day I got it, I started my daily practice. My office is covered with tape on the floor and crosses on the wall...and my little daughter spends her weekends walking in front of this strange looking guy ("Daddy, can we go swimming...please!"). But I guess the best practice I can get is being on a set.

BTW: How do you guys practice? Any good advice? Just curious...


Keep flying safe, Oliver
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#7 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 04:48 PM

walk the line
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#8 Marc_Abernathy

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 11:38 PM

yeah walk the line, practice breathing when you have to do a long take. get used to using those muscles you never knew you had. wear comfortable shoes!

oliver, i have no doubt in my mind that you will be an assett to the Steadicam community. i wish you much success.
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#9 Nikk Hearn-Sutton SOC

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 09:29 PM

I've been operating for alittle over 6-7 months now and each and everytime I mount up I learn something new or I do something that I did'n't know I could do. The beauty of it all is I'm still learning and I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'm apart of an elite group of individuals all around the world that can do what we do cause from what I've experienced and heard is that not everyone can do it and if your the only operator in your area, you are a HUGE comodity to those in the independent,local events,video/film production community that make you (us in general) a gem. Welcome to the art!!!!
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#10 Ruben Sluijter

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Posted 25 April 2004 - 05:43 AM

Stand up straight, relax your grip, watch your level, watch the headroom, wrinse and repeat for required result.

Peace, Ruben "It's not just a job....it's work!!!" Sluijter
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#11 PeterAbraham

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 11:09 PM

How do you practice. Interesting question.

I was out of a rig for quite a while there, and when my Mini was built, I did practice quite a bit to get my hand back.

I would start with a simple nothing shot. Moving down the hallway into the kitchen, to the window over the sink. Lock-off.

Nothing, right? But what if you do it fifteen or twenty times? What if you start to pick apart the moment when you rotate around the corner into the kitchen, feeling the wall without relying too heavily upon it?

How do you move through the kitchen? On an arc, a line or a linear track along the counter? Pivot to the window out of nowhere or slowly ease it in as you move?

We have so much power that frequently I feel that I at least run on Steadicam AutoPilot, moving through space and taking for granted the evocative nature of what we do.....what we can do.

So, to practice, you need just a few things. Your house/apartment.......and your own patience to pick apart the dynamics of the most simple 45 second move. I started REALLY getting snippy about my corners and whatnot, about rotations and speed. About trying to make the move as seamless as I could.

Micromanaging a shot is our gift. Practice that, and your body work, hand work and sense of composition will follow and flow through you.

Don't forget to fall in love with the Don Juan Position. It'll save your life one day. :)

Peter Abraham, E.M.T.
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#12 WillArnot

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 12:58 AM

Nice Peter. You give me goose bumps. I didn't want to bother w/ this til I read your post.

Yes, the subtlety cannot be overstated enough.

In the beginning it is so easy to be wowed by the fact that you aren't falling on your face. Experience will show you that there is a good and a bad way to turn a corner (usually good to keep a slice of the corner in the side of the frame, but at what point do you give it up?). Every move you make should have a concious motivation behind it, as Peter described so well.

I was a Grip for many years, and was a great dolly grip. In laying track (setting the shot) I was mainly concerned with "Where does it start, and Where does it end?". There were some finer points in terms of the speed and timing of getting from A to B, and that still applies to Steadicam. But the Steadicam of course takes it to a whole other level.

So do ask yourself those questions Peter so rightly pointed out. Speed, Height, Wide, Tight, Straight, Arcing, Foreground, Crosshair, Level, Background .... Why and how you get from A to B may be quit different to how you go to C, D, E etc.

Peter also mentioned lock offs. Crucial to good operating. Focus on balance. If you aren't totally balanced on your feet by the time you stop, your lock off will suck. So where is the rig in relation to you when your feet stop? Is that the best, most efficient spot? Where are your feet positioned, and can you smoothly start the next move from this position?

Steadicam is so cool.

Thanks Peter.

Will
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#13 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 09:14 AM

I think it was Larry (but it might have been Janice) who once talked about the frames between the frames. Meaning that a Director or DP will most certainly give us the broad strokes; the major points to hit within a shot. It is what we chose do with the frames in between, getting us between these points that often makes or breaks a shot. I think about this a lot - these are our frames to play with, to add our input and compliment the Director's vision.

Now I have goose bumps.
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#14 PeterAbraham

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 11:13 AM

I think it was Larry (but it might have been Janice) who once talked about the frames between the frames. .....It is what we chose do with the frames in between, getting us between these points that often makes or breaks a shot.

Oooh. That's a great way to articulate this idea. I might even add to what you wrote a bit, and suggest this-

It is what we chose to do with the frames between the opening and closing frame, that differentiates us, and makes for successful careers or not. ( Sweeping statement and not nearly the only thing that makes or breaks us). When a D.P. has 6 reels to look at. she or he ditches the 2 that suck, and watches the 4 that don't again, and maybe looks for what we each do with those frames within the frames.

I love how the subtleties matter SO much.
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#15 Benjamin Treplin

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 09:39 PM

I love this forum, especially when it makes me smile and suffer at the same time.
So is it with steadicam.

Thank you Will, Alec and Peter and all giving so much input.

Benjamin "trying to improve"
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