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Flying heavy cameras.


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#1 Alejandro Reynoso

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 09:28 PM

Hi:
I had the chance to use a stabilizator (Fly Cam, a local brand) with a 11kg camera.
I could fly the camera only for short times because i started to have a pain in the lower part of my back.
Is it normal? I´m not used to fly heavy loads, but I have used backpacks as heavy as 30kg with no pain (My weight is 75 kg)
With proper training, do you feel any king of pain anyway or not?
Could be due to improper adjustment of the rig? (especially the vest). I tried to load the main weight on the hips.
As soon as I took the camera away from my body I could feel the weight pulling my lower back.
¿?
Thank you
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#2 Stephen Press

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 02:00 PM

Love hurts? actually if a little 11kg camera is causing you pain you are doing something wrong. Not to harp on about doing a course but do a course for you backs sake.
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#3 Alejandro Reynoso

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 09:06 PM

Thank you!
I was a little worried. If a 11kg camera hurts, then steadicam is not for me. But now I know I could have been doing something wrong.
If a 11kg camera hurts...I was horrified about the idea of a BL4!!!!
Thanks again
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#4 Erwin Landau

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 05:04 AM

Working in feature films, the average set up will be anywhere between 75 lbs and 85 lbs (34kg and 38kg)... my current bread and butter Camera is the Arriflex 535. If you are doing HD productions (single camera cinema style not ENG) the weight are in the mid to high 90ies... sometimes approaching 100 lbs (45 kg)...

That weight is meant for Vest, Arm, Sled, Camera, Lens, Magazine, Follow Focus, Transmitter, Cinetape, etc all the crap that they think you should have on your rig.

If you are serious about Steadicam as a full time job, you will have to get used to it and still frame and compose shots all day long for 12 hours and be able to walk home at the end of the day and come back 5 to 6 days a week for 6 weeks to up to 12 months...

If it would be easy, everybody would do it...


Good luck,


Erwin
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#5 Alejandro Reynoso

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 10:58 AM

If it would be easy, everybody would do it...


Good luck,


Erwin
[/quote]


I never thought it was easy. I think the work most of you do is quite a great job, managing physicall and artistic skills.
My question was especifically about pain. If at the starting of my firsts operations I was feeling pain, then I was doing something wrong and wanted to check it out.
Sorry if I sounded as I underestimate your job (And I want to become an operator, so I feel the oppossite: I really estimate your work! And I know I cannot reach it without hard work...but no pain!)

Best regards
Alejandro
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#6 Erwin Landau

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 02:58 PM

Alejandro,

In every bodily activity there is "good" pain (from: burning muscles, exhaustion, fatigue) and "bad" pain (from injury, like ripped muscles, ten-tends, inflammation, injured bone-skin, etc.).
If it's good pain that means that your body is starting to respond and adapt... if it's bad pain than either your form is not up to speed, the vest is not adjusted properly, etc and the added stress of weight is putting strain on your body that will leave lasting damages.

Did you take a workshop and learn the right basics and operating form necessary?
Does your Vest fit perfectly? Anything less will hurt! ... a lot.
Do you have the right Vest? Inferior or severely used vests will act like old sneakers from another person... no support... ergo pain in the long run.
Do you warm up and stretch before you put on your gear and add a significant amount of weight to your body?

The slogan: "No pain, no gain" still holds true. But it has to be the good pain. Your body has to adapt to the new and never experienced added weight... Your lower back will hurt in the beginning and as you get more experienced your back will get used to it as well as your hips, knees and ankles... the other points that have to be looked after because most of the times it's one of the last three that you will injure before your back.

Steadicam operating is a full time occupation and you have to prepare your body as well as your mind (the camera operating part, like composition, balance, framing, etc) for this line of work.

Great ways to improve your body and your mind (the mind set, beside watching every movie conceivable) are any kind of martial arts as well as Tai-chi and Yoga... great for foot work, balance and concentration. Try it.

Good Luck!

Sincerely,


Erwin
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#7 Alejandro Reynoso

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 11:11 PM

Thanks a lot for your response Erwin. It was very clarifying. I´ll check every item you mentioned and I will keep your words in mind.

Thanks a lot!!!

Best regards from Buenos Aires
Alejandro
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