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#1 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 11:51 AM

Hello to all!

This is my first post on the forum and I hope not the last.

I've been flying a modified Glidecam V8 for 5 years now and wanted to share one of the best modification I made to it. Two years ago i've busted my original monitor and replaced it with a Varizoom one. In the package was a swivel shoe mount that gave me an idea. Instead mounting my new monitor on the bottom of the sled, I've mounted it to the base of my gimbal where it connects to the arm. The monitor is now right in front of me, just over my hand! DJ is a real joke. Since there is no more monitor on the sled its easier to set in dynamic balance with dv camcorders and allows me to mount a second camera on the base for quick low mode since setting up with Glidecam is pain in the...

What do you guys think about that?

(Sorry for my english by the way, I'm a french Canadian)

Jean-Nicolas (John if you prefer)
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#2 Charles King

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 01:27 PM

Okay, let me get this straight. You said you mounted the swivel mount just under the Gimbel and attached your monitor on that mount? Well, I for one, see a problem.

1. This will definitely affect your panning
2. This will even more of a problem when it comes to dynamic balance(I know the V8 doesn't allow but it can be done but it's a nuance to accomplish)
3. This will also effect the balance of the rig.
4. This will be very effect your two-hand operating.

now unless I misunderstood your point then this will be a bit of a problem. -Do you mind posting a pic of your setup please? Seeing will make me understand better your idea.
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#3 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 02:07 PM

Hi Charles
As you said: Seeing will make you understand better my idea.
I'll send picts as soon as I can.
I assure you it's a clean and effective setup. And a nice backup for those who hate DJ (since it's not even on the post it can be installed in seconds)
It's fixed ON the base of the gimbal so the monitor is like 2'' in front and just above my hand, not interfearing with the post.
Check out the picts when I'll send them...
John
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#4 Charles King

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 02:26 PM

Will be waiting to see them. Thanks John. :)
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#5 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:31 PM

Here are the pictures I just took...

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Any comments?
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#6 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:54 PM

Just add a Varizoom follow zoom/focus (I just ordered one) on the gimbal handle and its a nice small DV package...
By the way, I can also tilt the bottom camera. :D
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#7 Philip J. Martinez SOC

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:55 PM

HI Jean-Nicolas

How do you run the video cable from the camera to the Monitor?
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#8 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:38 PM

Now that's a problem.

On the picture it wasn't pluged in. I usualy use a realy light rca cable and have no other solution then leaving it hang between the camera and the monitor. It's certainly not my usual setup, but like I told before, when you absolutly have to DJ...

I just walk foward, my monitor beeing right in front of me. My neck is soo gratefull! As well as the resulting shots...
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#9 Charles King

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 08:15 AM

Okay, now I see what you mean. I still think it'll hamper operations but I guess if you're use to it then maybe it'll work for you. I still feel you will need all accesses with no interference what so ever around the gimbal. There will be instances where you will need perform a maneuver where this will be intrusive. Then again, it's probably my personally feeling. I've never tried this move before but I would need that particular area free to execute certain moves without any problems. Nice thought though. :)
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#10 Charles Papert

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 09:41 AM

I was quietly waiting to hear how you were managing power and video to the monitor as that was the first thing I was thinking about when I read your post!

Having the influence of a cable coming off the rig is just to be able to remote the monitor is a compromise that may negate a lot of the "good" that comes from having a fixed monitor position. That's a personal choice. I wold recommend that you pick up some ultra-lightweight/flexible cable to replace your RCA which will help also.(like this?).

The idea of having a forward facing monitor for DJ isn't a new one, it's been bandied around for years (dual monitors, one facing front the other back; reversing the camera on the stage; using a heads-up display) but I don't recall having seen anyone mount it to the gimbal specifically. There is a mental adjustment necessary to "understand" what direction to tilt the post when the camera is 180 degrees around from normal as I'm sure you've discovered.

One physical compromise of this type of arrangement is that you have relinquished a certain amount of inertia in your rig by removing the monitor and centering the counterweight--have you noticed that it flies more "squirrely"?

Finally, I'm tickled with your low-mode solution of flying a second camera on the bottom of the rig ready to go! Do you notice the difference in the image between the GL and the XL though? Another way to make a "ghetto" low mode switch is to simply flip the sled over and shoot with the camera upside down, then right the image later in the edit. If the monitor is attached normally to the rig, it will also invert with the camera giving you the proper orientation.

All these things aside, if you are happy with your monitor mod and you feel your operating has improved as a result, then it is a good one for you!
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#11 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 10:09 AM

Hi Charles

That's a nice web site you've got by the way...
Thanks!

And as for my monitor setup, I don't use it often. I don't realy like going Don Juan (even if I've beeing told that I'm good at it) and prefer walking backwards when I can. But when w/b is to dangerous or tricky, I switch to that method. The monitor is about the same position it would've been on the sled but is closer and stays there wherever you point the camera. It takes a little while to get used to it but works really well when you do. Your right about interference issues... but since I use this technique only for specific applications...

I thought it was a goog input for the forum. I think it could help out people who have problems with Don Juan.
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#12 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 11:10 AM

Thanks for your reply Charles(Papert). I realy like a lot of your shots. I'm even honored to get feedback from a guy like you.

I'm still stuck with my first rig... Trying to get the best out of it! I'm planning to buy an MK-V.

To answer to your questions, the battery is attached to the monitor and my rca cable is light and flexible enough. ;) (Thanks for the link)

I know I'm not reinventing anything, I did my homeworks and read a lot about Steadicam history. It's certainly not an ideal setup but I managed to master it. As you said, a little extra effort for the brain when pointing backwards fixed up by lot of practice... As for the two camera setup, it's not my usual setup as well. A director asked me if I could use both of my cameras on a particular shoot. The bottom one tilted up wide and the top one in close-up... He wanted to use both shoots in sync. "squirrely" you said! But he was happy with the shoots witch is the important thing.

I'm also used to the ''ghetto'' low mode techniques.

The difference between the GL and XLs is a bit noticeble but work pretty well with some tuning.

Thanks for your input!
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#13 Charles Papert

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:30 PM

Hey, enough about this silly stabilizer stuff--tell us about your involvement with Cirque du Soleil!
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#14 Jean-Nicolas Dorion

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 02:36 PM

Lol I'm just working here full time as a receptionist. The image dept. only works by contracts. But still... I have a foot in the place and speak daily with the big ones! ;)
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#15 Andrey Yazydzhi

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 01:46 PM

Jean-Nicolas!
In the beginning of my steadicam career (it was 10 years ago) I tried to mount monitor like You.
You'll understand the mistake when You will ran with speed with Your rig - Your monitor will vibrate around it's center and You could not be able to see perfectly the left and the right sides of Your frame picture(!). This monitor position is comfortable only for very slow motion.

Best regards,

Andrey Yazydzhi , russian steaicam operator&instructor,
yazydzhifilms.com,
yazydzhi@mail.ru,
+7 903 7406481
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