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Operating Tips


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#1 MichaelStewart

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 12:27 PM

I know I need to go to a workshop and practice a lot, but are there any tips for operating?, panning?, stairs? Horizon?. One of the problems I am experiencing is as I am walking, it seems to bounce up and down some, saw Mr. Holliways tape and appears to go heal/toe (I remember that from my marching days, it seems to help alot. What about swaying? Well any tips would be great, my shots are getting better as I practice, expecting them to be soooo smooth like everyone else. well any tips would be great, I am sure everyone has been at this point before.


Thanks
Mike
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#2 RobVanGelder

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 07:19 PM

Hi Michael,

A workshop is always worth it´s mony, in my experience. Better don´t wait to long with it or you can get unwanted habits in your style of operating.

In the mean time, you can practice with a cross on the wall, walking in and out, normal walking and Don Juan, or you can attach a white wire between 2 points and follow that on exactly (with crosshairs on the video).


Rob van Gelder, Bangkok, Thailand
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#3 MichaelStewart

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 08:17 PM

Thanks Rob, I'll try those suggestions out.

Thanks
Mike
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#4 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 11:22 PM

if there is somthing you gonna spend the best money on the steadicam world its gonna be the workshop .....
1 its hard to get to see for example jerry hollway or larry mc conkey or good (mr garret bron) walking with the sled on ..for me was huge part of get to now what was roung with me
2 u gonna meet others guys that they gonna make the questions u never think to ask (stupid ones also are good)
3 u gonna have people that have been teaching this over a large number of eyars
so they realy now what is going on with u and the sled
4 (the philadelphia food kicks ass)
5 and if go and do not share this with me i give u the money back

guillermo (i wanna go again ) nespolo

ps pasta suck in the states do not eat them (sorry jerry )
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#5 MichaelStewart

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 11:42 PM

Thanks Guillermo,

I am definately going to get to a workshop soon. Do they let you bring your own rig to operate?

Thanks
Mike
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#6 Mitch Gross

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 09:29 AM

I am definately going to get to a workshop soon. Do they let you bring your own rig to operate?

You are encouraged to so that you get to know your individual gear all the better.
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#7 MichaelStewart

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 11:03 AM

Thanks Mitch


Mike
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#8 RobVanGelder

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 11:23 AM

And you might get a discount if you allow other people to use your rig to practice during the workshop.
I did his 2 times and that saves some money!

Rob van Gelder
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#9 MichaelStewart

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 02:22 PM

Thanks Rob, anything to knock the price down, although I am sure it is worth every penny and more.

Thanks
Mike
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#10 Anthony Hardwick

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 08:45 PM

I am definately going to get to a workshop soon. Do they let you bring your own rig to operate?

You are encouraged to so that you get to know your individual gear all the better.

This is only the case if your rig happens to be a Tiffen model - at least at the Pennsylvania workshops sponsored by Tiffen. You can't really fault them for that though. The workshop is a great one, and you will definitely learn a lot.
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#11 MichaelStewart

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 10:15 PM

Thanks Anthony, My rig is a cinema products SK2, discount doesn't realy matter anyway.

Thanks
mike
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#12 JakePollock

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 05:09 AM

Michael,

Since you're waiting to do the workshop, why not try to look up some operators in your area? If they'd let you just hang out with them on set, you could at least watch them fly live.

Two things I really took from the workshop (on top of about 10,000,000 other totally useful tips) was using the least pressure possible with your left hand and posture. Flying properly has so much to do with setting up the rig correctly and going about the physicality in the right way, too.

I remember on day 1 and 2 constantly torquing my back to get the rig lower. My posture was all about hand-held techniques and I had to re-learn to keep my body super straight and push to rig to get the camera where I wanted. And the left hand, man there really is no way for it to be too light (except with vehicles, etc.)

But, yeah, if there's anyway to spend time with an operator before the workshop, you'll A: keep yourself from learning bad habits and B: be way ahead of the game by workshop time. End result: you'll get even more out of it than the average bear.

Jake "no operators to steal/learn from in my neck of the woods" Pollock
Taipei, Taiwan
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#13 MichaelStewart

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 05:31 AM

Thanks Jake, operators are few and far between nearby. I have been practicing, things are looking better, I think my arm may be a little stiff for the weight, when I walk I get very slight jumps up when I take a step, very slight, but noticeable, will need to practice some more. Wish there was someone close by to watch.

Thanks
Mike
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#14 JakePollock

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 01:47 AM

what kind of arm do you have? you may be able to adjust it just right for the weight of your rig. otherwise, you could experiment with adding weight to the rig to compensate (not ideal). being balanced in every conceivable way makes operating SO much easier.

the other thing, is that it could be a question of posture. if your bending back, or doing something off, when you step it would affect the rig. again, posture is critical to good operating and to maintaining your back.

and as far as your question of marching steps/footwork, one of my instructors Louis Puli did more of a side step. try experimenting with body position in relation to the rig. don't face completely forward (to your direction of travel) and don't face completely sideways. find the sweet spot in the middle. it will orient you to the rig as if she's your dancing partner. once you find the right orientation, your footwork will probably come more naturally. as you try different orientations, constantly be mindful of your back. is it straight? what if your back is completely erect and bent slightly back. does that feel more comfortable? with each combination of posture/orientation/footwork, try pushing off. push the rig out ever so slightly before you start to step. find which way is the most comfortable for you (there WILL be one way that feels noticeably more comfortable) and which is the smoothest. once you have that, stepping deliberately will not translate as much to the rig (as long as your left hand is not too strong on the sled).

the other thing to learn with the left hand is to experiment with starting a walk (rob van gelder's suggestion of the cross hairs on the wall is ideal) and letting go of your left hand. watch how little the sled sways. it may pan a little, but if the rig is properly balanced, that's all it will do. now put your left hand back on the sled (thumb and index finger only) and see if the rig is as stable as before? ideally, it should be the same.

the great thing of having your own rig, is that you can practice all the time. and when you practice, experiment. after all, this thing didn't come with it's own manual when garret first designed it. like two-handed operating; that wasn't an automatic with the first rig. all of these techniques came from experienced operators experimenting and experimenting.


jake "wish i had my own rig to monkey with" pollock
taipei, taiwan
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#15 MichaelStewart

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 08:22 AM

Thanks Jake. it has the iso-elastic arm (single) that it originaly came with (sk2 version). Thanks for the tips, with enough of them to try, I hopefully will figure out what works best for me.

Thanks Again
Mike
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