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Shooting low-mode the "right" way


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#1 Lars Erik

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 05:53 PM

I've done some low mode the last months. Both film and HD.

I only have a low-mode bracket for the gimbal. So we've shot with the camera upside down everytime. And it hasn't been a problem yet. But the films I've been offered keep getting bigger, so I may want to invest in low mode brackets.

I was wondering if I bought a low mode cage, would this eliminate the need for a different low mode bracket for each camera, i.e. 435, SR3, F900...? Would the cage work as a universal mount for all cameras? Will film cameras fit in the cage or is it just for video/HD?


LE
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#2 paul magee

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 07:06 PM

Lars

I've tried three low mode cages over the years and I've yet to find one that does not
introduce a lot of vibration into a shot. I can only guess that it has something to do with the distance between the camera and top stage with no solid connection between the two. In the past I noticed an improvement if I stuffed stiff foam between the camera and the top of the stage to stiffen it up.
I try to avoid the cage if I can and have production rent the right bracket.

I have not tried the Bar-bel Sushi server but I think it is adjustable which might eliminate
some of these vibrations. Brant Fagin's new bracket looks like the thing for HD camcorders


Paul Magee
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#3 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 02:27 AM

I was wondering if I bought a low mode cage, would this eliminate the need for a different low mode bracket for each camera, i.e. 435, SR3, F900...? Would the cage work as a universal mount for all cameras? Will film cameras fit in the cage or is it just for video/HD?



Cages suck, use the dedicated brackets.
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#4 Steve Fracol SOC

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 01:06 AM

Brant Fagan's VLS bracket is great for HD cameras and all video "ENG" style models in general. I also agree with Fletcher regarding cages and low mode brackets. Use the good stuff if you want your work to shine. That said I still keep a cage in my kit for that day that I get stuck without anything....Only had to use it once...but at least I had it. (put tape on it that says "for emergency use only"). HAhAHA

To own every low mode bracket is expensive but well worth it if you can swing it. Most of the time I can request the camera house to supply what works with each camera. Older cameras are a bit harder these days but low mode for Arri, etc. can almost always be supplied by a reputable camera rental company. Not always but most of the time.

I am partial to Jerry Hill products if your going to buy. He makes good stuff that works well. Well worth the price in the long run.

Good luck!

Steve Fracol
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#5 Gus Trivino

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:43 AM

Hi Lars:

Cages is not the better option. I always was kicking it.
I use Jerry Hill Brackets ( www.steadimoves.com )
but in case of to buy a cage, I think a Baer-bel is a v-e-r-y good option.
http://www.baer-bel.de/
Weeks ago a Germany operator was filming in Buenos Aires and I saw his Baer-Bel sushi server.
The cage works very good, the price is not expensive but I think only fit HD & SR Cameras.
Best regards,

Gus
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#6 MarkKaravite

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:38 PM

Hey Lars,

My $.02 on the subject. 90% of the time, I always have the camera come with the proper Steadicam accessories:

100% video
Steadicam mags
Low mode bracket
Clip on matte box

A good AC will already have these things ordered for you before you even make the request. Although I own LMB's for a few older cameras (35-3, SR, HD), the one LMB I own which I use alot is the Hill bracket for a 435. The great thing about this bracket is that it works without requiring the 100% video tap (which is hard to find some times). The other great thing is that it tilts, which is really nice for certain low mode shots.

For today's cameras, I find that the Hill 435 LMB is really the only one I need to own. If you were to buy LMB's for every possible camera (Arricam LT, ST, Moviecam SL, Compact, Panavision LW, Genesis, SR2, SR3, 416, 535, 435, etc...). At $400 to $500 per bracket, you could tie up some serious $$ in LMB's, when the rental houses should really be providing them as part of the package. After I am booked, one of the first discussions I have is to confirm that the correct accessories are ordered. Production is used to paying for that stuff, no big deal.

Happy flying,

Mark Karavite
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#7 Lars Erik

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 01:01 AM

The problem here in Norway is that none of the rental houses have low mode brackets. So they expect me to show up with everything...

I'll be looking into the 435 low mode bracket. But what about the ST and the LT? I didn't see a low mode bracket for those on Jerry's page. Will the 435 bracket fit these also?

And what about the new 416? Will the Arri SR-3 Low Mode Bracket work here?

Anyone know?


Thanks for all the replies. Appreciate it.

LE
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#8 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:02 AM

The problem here in Norway is that none of the rental houses have low mode brackets. So they expect me to show up with everything...


This sounds more like an income opportunity to me if you were to be the only resource in all of Norway with those brackets.
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#9 Lasse Gustavsson

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 04:41 AM

Hi Lars-Erik!

I've just done my first weekend sat+sun operating my
new Archer rig, great rig and arm... well still a G50 but
it covers my needs for now!
About this bracket issue, do you know anyone in Sweden
that has these kind of brackets for sale or rent?

I'm going to construct an aluminum bracket for faster
dynamic balance with the monitor, and some kind of
fastening solution for external recorders like Archos etc.
I have a great contact within the "constructing-very-good
-precision-anodized-aluminum-parts-for-steadicam" industry
here in Sundsvall (middle of Sweden), so if you can't find that
specific bracket I might be able to help you out.

Do you have the tilt-stage or do you need a "tilting-bracket"?


Best Archer Regards
Lasse Gustavsson
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#10 MarkKaravite

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:33 PM

[quote name='Lars Erik' date='Jul 23 2007, 10:01 PM' post='29015']
The problem here in Norway is that none of the rental houses have low mode brackets. So they expect me to show up with everything...

I'll be looking into the 435 low mode bracket. But what about the ST and the LT? I didn't see a low mode bracket for those on Jerry's page. Will the 435 bracket fit these also?

And what about the new 416? Will the Arri SR-3 Low Mode Bracket work here?

Anyone know?


Dear Lars,

Regarding the ST & LT, do the rental houses have the 100% video heads? If not, then the dedicated low mode brackets will not work. To my knowledge, Jerry Hill does not make Arricam brackets, probably because these are Arri items that are designed to work with the camera body. There is a different bracket for the ST and the LT. The Hill 435 bracket will only work on the 435.

Keep in mind that with the Arricams, the viewing system determines which 100% video (and it's dedicated low mode bracket) you need. It is popular for rental houses to buy the LT with the ST viewing system. In this case, you would need the ST 100% video and LMB, even though you are using an LT body. Be careful on this.

The 416 has it's own Arri LMB as well. I don't believe the SR brackets will work, but I haven't tried it.

I guess what I am saying is that the issue is larger than just having the low mode bracket. Do these Norwegian rental houses expect you to provide Steadicam magazines, 100% video and a clip on matte box as well? If there is enough call for Steadicam, than the rental opportunities would warrant either the rental house or you purchasing the proper accessories. If not, then I would suggest finding a reliable source to rent the accessories from on a per job basis. Perhaps Arri Munich could provide what you need. It would only take an extra days notice to acquire the items. You may consider setting up an account, so you can order the items yourself, and charge production.

It's your call if you want to spend the $$ on the accessories. If it doesn't make financial sense to buy the accessories, then maybe a cages like the Baer Bel Sushi Server and Brant Fagans HD bracket could solve some of your problems.

Good luck,
Mark
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