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S.O.C. Magazine Article


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#1 John Solorzano S.O.C. Magazine

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 01:01 PM

My name is John Solorzano and I am currently working on an article for S.O.C. Magazine. The topic pertains to all aspects of steadicam including, operation, equipment and most importantly schools which teach the trade. I know there are a number of schools around the country which specialize in teaching how to operate and utilize steadicams, but I would like to hear all of your opinions, professionals and experts, on which schools are the best. I appreciate any feedback. Thank you so much for your time.
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#2 Erwin Landau

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 03:42 PM

Workshops:

I took the Malibu Classic (sponsored by Tiffen, I took it with Cinema Products) initially with Garrett, it's like the boot camp for steadicam where you learn all your basics and build a foundation for your future operating. You are at least 8 hours a day in the rig for a whole week and can feel for your self how it would be on a regular work day to hump the rig all day.
They used to offer 2 one week long workshops a year (one taught by Garrett and one taught by Jerry Holway as lead instructors), given at a malibu mountain resort, now they also offer several shorter workshops 2 and 3 days training days. Usually one instructor for 4 students.


I also took the GPI workshop several times to work on "little bad habits" that I developed over the years. They also offer great teaching for any level, beginner through advanced professional.
Given once a year as a weekend 2 day workshop on a Studio backlot. Instructor availability permitting. All Instructors have at least 15 to 20+ years of steadicam operating experience. Usually one instructor for 4 students, using real backdrops for simulated on set drills.


A really good one was the Rockport Main workshop but I believe that that one is closing it's doors.


As of lately as the manufacturers of Camera stabilizers exploded in numbers, it seams that almost every manufacturer is offering there own workshops for there products... with very mixed success.


That would be it for full size Film Steadicam rigs here in the US.


Hope that helps.


Erwin
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#3 Dan Coplan

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 07:09 PM

John,

Are you working with Paul Babin on this? Just curious as I'm working with him on organizing a Steadicam panel discussion, material of which will be used for the magazine.

Dan
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#4 John Solorzano S.O.C. Magazine

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 07:14 PM

Dan,
Yes I am working with Paul Babin. I guess the issue is focusing on the subject of steadicams. Have you worked on the magazine before?
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#5 Anthony Violanto

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 10:48 PM

Everyone is always saying: workshops workshops and more workshops. But a workshop is only a week, whereas if a school offered a course, students could have a whole semester. If I knew of a school that offered that, with out a doubt I would have gone. Instead I put it on here and there when I can, and spend most of my time assisting.
But i guess every aspiring student who thinks steadicam is cool would want to take it... would this create so many steadicam operators that quality of work, rates, and everything else would suffer? (supply and demand sorta thing) I am just wondering if that has every been discussed- or if it is even a related topic of concern?

Anthony (trying to edumacate himself) Violanto
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#6 David Allen Grove

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 11:21 AM

I'm not sure but I think an entire semester of Steadicam Training would be prohibitively expensive. Considering a week long workshop is $2000? or is it more now.. it's been a while since I took one. You have to pay the instructors who have to be professional, highly experienced steadicam operators. (my opinion anyway)
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#7 Dave Wowchuk

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 12:23 PM

A really good one was the Rockport Main workshop but I believe that that one is closing it's doors.


Hey guys,

Just to clarify, the Workshops are not closing their doors. The owner David Lyman is selling it to another educational institution. It looks like he want to pursue some personal interests. Here's the link to the news on their site.

http://www.theworksh...amp;SchoolID=30
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#8 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 07:44 PM

But i guess every aspiring student who thinks steadicam is cool would want to take it... would this create so many steadicam operators that quality of work, rates, and everything else would suffer? (supply and demand sorta thing)
Anthony (trying to edumacate himself) Violanto

I think this is happening to a certain extent already.
I think a week is a sufficient amount of time to figure out if steadicam is for you or not. Actually, if the only workshop available lasted two months, it may cut down on the number of people who take workshops.
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#9 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 09:06 PM

A course?

While no one should ever think that a week long workshop makes one a Steadicam Operator, it does teach you to fly. At the end of the week you are prepared to be pushed from the nest and fly on your own. From there, the logical continuation is real world experience on student films/ low budget stuff while practicing at home, etc. I don't think it makes sense to do a long term class; I think it is better to gain real world experience while continually checking in with one's mentors, seeking additional advice. In order to move to a next level, one needs to find their footing at the previous level and then move forward. Experience allows better formed questions, etc.
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#10 bobgilles

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 10:05 PM

George Paddock's GPI workshops were by far the best for me, he would have the world's top operators like Guy Bee, Chris Haarhoff, Emmerick, Okane and so on break into groups according to skill level and specialty. I remember starting off with George on the basic walks and positions and then to Chris with running and Mark covering the art of using foreground action and stairs. It was a great help for me as I could ask questions about the business of being a freelance op from the best and biggest in the biz! GPI also opened the shop to classes on dynamic balance, maintainence, tips and tricks ect. by far the most complete 3 days you could hope for on studio sets at Warner bros.
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