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#1 Martin Moody

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:50 PM

Hello Everyone

I am a film student in Los Angeles, CA and am getting close to graduate. I am majoring in Cinematography and have been working on many outside projects from music videos to shorts. My goal is to work my way up to a Operator/Steadicam operator in the industry. I have been doing research as well as contacting people for advice. I have not yet purchased a Steadicam system but I am leaning towards the Clipper 24. I am posting this to get any feedback and advice from people that, own their rigs as well as have gone through the "starting out and learning" process. I have as of now, no experience with any Stead cam system and would love to be pointed into the right direction, for workshops or maybe even some sort of private lesson. This way I can get the a feel and at least tried a rig, before working on financing as well as committing to the purchase. I am very serious about getting started and would love to see what you have to say!

Thanks

Martin Moody
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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 01:41 PM

I am very serious about getting started and would love to see what you have to say!
Martin Moody


Hi Martin, welcome to the forum.

If you'll do some searching here of the archives you'll find ample answers to your current questions and then some. The short answer is take a workshop, take a workshop, take a workshop. That's the long answer too. Tiffen has a two day workshop program coming to a location near you fairly soon. Peter Abraham has taught hundreds of students; myself included. There are other longer workshops by Tiffen and other companies as well but the two day is a great start...and affordable too.

I currently own a Clipper 24 that I've customized and upgraded. I migrated up to it from a Flyer, then a Clipper 2, now the 24. I'm very happy with Tiffen customer service and product but there are other brands out there as well that are very reputable, meaning I've never read of any unresolved complaints about them. Search the Forum and you'll see pro's and cons about them all.

Another avenue is to look at some of the used rigs currently for sale; they are great values and usually include accessories that make the deal even sweeter. It's a close-knit community so the used sales are a very good way to go.

Good luck!
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#3 Kris Torch Wilson

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:06 PM

Hi Martin,

First off, congrats on the upcoming graduation. While a degree will probably NEVER get you a job in our business, the discipline you had to go to school and 'learn how to learn' will pay off in the long run. There are a couple schools of thought that I will throw out: buy a rig, print some cards, and announce yourself to the world OR become a conventional operator first, hone that craft, and then tackle a steadicam. I am of the belief that you really must do the latter. I know there are those that have become successful steadicam operators that didn't work there way up the ladder but unless you are a trust fund baby you will have a very difficult time breaking in and paying for your new rig. I honestly don't know how guys do it. The art of camera operation takes time and training. Composition, set politics, pan, tilt, zoom, don't zoom, focus, how to say "NO" are all hard enough without having a monster strapped to your body. And when I first started with a rig that's what it felt like. Please don't let me discourage you from your goals. By all means you must take a workshop. You will get a feel for this game. The Tiffen 5 day course will give you a chance to try all of their different rigs. The 2 day course is designed around the flyer. Other companies offer workshops as well and yes all of them will tell you their rig is the way to go. After the workshop if you have the bucks, go for it, but keep in mind NONE of the shows that I'm around will give you the time of day. I'm not trying to be cruel, just honest. I work in the multi camera live television world and it is super competitive. I have to believe the film world is the same if not more so. I was an assistant for several years before looking through the viewfinder.... hated every day of it... but I am now convinced it was the way to go. Good luck...Don't give up... but be willing to swallow some crap and your pride along the way.

Torch
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#4 JobScholtze

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 12:09 AM

Thats awesome advice there, nuff said
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#5 Martin Moody

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 12:57 PM

Thanks for the words everyone. I will be taking a workshop in September and then go from there. The more i am looking into the financing and costs involved with starting out , i am leaning towards first working my way up in the industry until i can afford paying of my own rig. I am expecting a lot of hard work on the way to my goals but if it will get me where i want to be i am up for the challenge, the learning, and fun times working on films!

Hi Martin,

First off, congrats on the upcoming graduation. While a degree will probably NEVER get you a job in our business, the discipline you had to go to school and 'learn how to learn' will pay off in the long run. There are a couple schools of thought that I will throw out: buy a rig, print some cards, and announce yourself to the world OR become a conventional operator first, hone that craft, and then tackle a steadicam. I am of the belief that you really must do the latter. I know there are those that have become successful steadicam operators that didn't work there way up the ladder but unless you are a trust fund baby you will have a very difficult time breaking in and paying for your new rig. I honestly don't know how guys do it. The art of camera operation takes time and training. Composition, set politics, pan, tilt, zoom, don't zoom, focus, how to say "NO" are all hard enough without having a monster strapped to your body. And when I first started with a rig that's what it felt like. Please don't let me discourage you from your goals. By all means you must take a workshop. You will get a feel for this game. The Tiffen 5 day course will give you a chance to try all of their different rigs. The 2 day course is designed around the flyer. Other companies offer workshops as well and yes all of them will tell you their rig is the way to go. After the workshop if you have the bucks, go for it, but keep in mind NONE of the shows that I'm around will give you the time of day. I'm not trying to be cruel, just honest. I work in the multi camera live television world and it is super competitive. I have to believe the film world is the same if not more so. I was an assistant for several years before looking through the viewfinder.... hated every day of it... but I am now convinced it was the way to go. Good luck...Don't give up... but be willing to swallow some crap and your pride along the way.

Torch


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#6 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 01:42 PM

Martin,
Forget what Robert and Chris said,
Buy the Pro and all the extras and even back-up of everything, leverage yourself to the eyballs, you should be in about $150,000 by then and since your young you'll have a lifetime to hone your craft and pay off the rig, Of course you'll be living out of a cardboard box and stinking up the set from the lack of showering. . .LOL . . .

Noooooo . . .I'm just kidding . . .

They all have great advice . . . .Make a name for yourself and learn to shoot and always be creative! then swallow your pride and suck it up and all good things will come . . . if it's your passion you will always succeed. Life is too short to be unhappy so make sure it's your passion

Oh and congrads on graduation, "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader" . . .hahahaha

All the best

Say hey to Peter Abraham when you take the flyer course, he's the Man!
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#7 Jessica Lopez

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 05:33 PM

I second the manning of the Peter! Your going to have lots o fun :)
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