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#1 Themis Gyparis

Themis Gyparis

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 11:43 AM

Hello again to everyone

Ok, just a few days back I made my very first shots with my Smooth Shooter and 4000 Pro for a 2-minute corporate video. As I was the main operator, I prefered to use steadicam shots as an alternative, knowing there was a strong possibility they may not turn out to be as good or even usable at all. Well, the guys that offered me the job from the company were impressed from the outcome, but I can't say I feel the same way! Only natural, you may think, but...

Balancing still remains a problem with this rig. By now I know for sure I am doing something wrong, because the camera seemed (to my eyes) to shake horizontally more than needed, even with the slightest moves. What I mainly noticed while balancing, was that, although the post seemed totally straight from all angles when left still with camera on top, after a few seconds it started turning very slightly on its horizontal axis and stopped a few degrees further (vertical axis remained perfectly balanced). What could that mean?

I don't know if I'm accurate on describing the problem. I know a light rig like mine has little inertia, but I've added enough weight on top and bottom (within arm limits, of course) and, although, the results are better, they are still not what I expect , despite the fact that I try to move as smoothly as possible.

I suppose there is still something wrong with balancing. Or with me, that could also be the case. But is normal the fact that the post balances perfectly with extra round metal plates added ONLY on one edge of its bottom, while three big metal plates are added on top? I mean, could the monitor attached on the other side work as counterbalance to so many plates on the other side? ... cause it certainly does in my case.... Notice, that 've tried moving the camera back and forth to compensate. Even when fully pulled back, it still leaned forward... (a JVC GY-HD 100)

Also, I saw better results when making the post longer, even though drop time was barely one second. I know this is wrong, but the post was much more stable, although I practically couldn't do anything else with it other than turn it left or right - vertical moves impossible... What can I do about all these?

Sorry about the long topic, but you guys are my most useful and accurate source of info. I want to go deep in steadicam shooting and although with such a rig that would probably turn out to be impossible, it just may be a good start. Please sympathize with my newbie questions and subject irrelevance . ANY answer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot in advance :)

Edited by Themis Gyparis, 04 October 2007 - 11:44 AM.

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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 01:09 PM

Balancing still remains a problem with this rig.


Hi Themis, Jerry Holway wrote "A Dynamic Balance Primer" which you will find on his web site. It's very detailed and well written. You'll also find a lot of information here on the Forum and in the Archives. Search and read. Have you taken a workshop yet? If not, you should ASAP; it makes a difference.

Congratulations on your first job!
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#3 Themis Gyparis

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 05:15 PM

Thanks a lot, Robert. No actually I haven't seen the notes yet, although I have spent endless hours reading and talking to people on the web. I think it's time I set my mind down to it and start doing some practical work. The most useful thing I did was to meet our very best steadicam operator here in Greece, Michael Tsimperopoulos. I think I'll arrange one more meeting, but first I'll also check what you said.
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#4 Themis Gyparis

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 11:46 AM

Wow! Well, Robert, I just found some time to download the Balance Primer... Honestly, I don't think I'll be able to even begin reading it with all these math... :) Any other suggestions? Some more practical advices would be greatly appreciated. The workshop is the best solution but none is held in my country...
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#5 Philip J. Martinez SOC

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 02:50 PM

Just read page 12
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