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#1 TobyBarraud



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Posted 20 April 2004 - 07:50 AM

Hi you all.
As a complete novice operator I have about a million questions. Rather than lump them on you in a heap, I have cunningly decided slip them to you one by one.
I am going to be using a Steadicam for a specific function. It is an EFP rig that I'll be flying both indoors and out, shooting live action. My friend has generously lent me the rig, which is not exactly new, and is going to need a bit of restoration work. We are working on a pilot show, and if we get a series my plan is to put together my own rig. In the meantime I am happily working with what I have. Unsurprisingly, I have a limited budget for repairs, and so here, finally, is the question: what should I spend money on at this early stage in the game?
1) A new vest. I have a very slight build, and I am sure the EFP vest is not fitting me as well as it could.
2) A workshop. I am a total rookie, but the friend who is lending me the EFP is a great cameraman, and at least a competent Steadicam operator. I could get him to show me around for free, or I could invest $2g and a week of time to do the SOA course in PA. Bear in mind that we will be using the rig for a very specific function (ENG style live action) and that at the present my time is spread very thin.
3) A greenscreen monitor. The current monitor is not very bright. We're going to be shooting outside a lot. I can get a hood for the existing monitor, but maybe I need something stiffer.
4) Perhaps something entirely different that I haven't even thought of.
Your advice is valuable to me, and I appreciate this great resource.
Thank you,
Toby Barraud.
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#2 Mitch Gross

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 06:00 PM

There is no better way to spend money that on a workshop course. That vest is probably fine once you learn how to properly adjust it. The screen brightness can likely be worked around. And anything else you can think of likely pales compared to the wisdom and experience you'll gain from a week of intense education. I could hand you $100,000 of the finest brand new gear right now or your old rig after a workshop and you'd definitely be much better after the workshop. Also at the workshop they'll teach you how to deal with what you consider to be issues with your current rig. This is a no-contest question in my mind.
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#3 TobyBarraud



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Posted 20 April 2004 - 06:13 PM

Thanks Mitch.
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#4 Anthony Hardwick

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 07:40 PM

I second the workshop choice. You will learn much, and probably save yourself from picking up too many bad habits on your own. It's intensive, so you will gain good practice time with your instruction that will probably be the most efficient use of your limited free time. You will also learn a number of good drills and practice methods for continuing to improve your skills after the workshop.

Also, anytime you have the opportunity to watch other good operators at work is highly recommended. Having been an A.C. for 6 years, and a D.P./Operator for the last 9 years, I have had the good fortune of being in a position to meet, make friends with and watch many great steadicam operators doing their thing before getting serious about steadicam myself. I can honestly say that I have learned something valuable from every single steadicam operator I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with.

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#5 Ruben Sluijter

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Posted 25 April 2004 - 06:20 AM

I third (?) the workshop, if you're going to be serious about this job than the workshop is the only way to go (make the time, you won't regret it, I think any operator here will agree with this!).
With that experience you'll feel much more confident and a lot less pain, without it the learning curve isn't just steep, it's effing vertical.
As for the EFP vest, it should adjust nicely to your body and won't give you grief, it's very comfortable.
A good monitor is a very worthwile upgrade for the EFP, if you can get it then go for it as the original monitor is...uhm, well how do I put this...total crap...

Peace, Ruben "Trying to fill up every workshop through 2006" Sluijter
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