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Question for the experienced.


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#1 Darren Schmidt

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 03:48 PM

I have been flying a Varizoom aviator for about a year now. It's all I could aford at the time. I've been having some trouble keeping the rig steady through the shot.
I was wondering if i purchased a Archer, how much improvement would I see in my shots. Or does it just come down to practice and experience? I'm not really looking for advise on flying rigs, just if a purchese of a real steadicam would be a major upgrade in my work. I also have my eye on the sachtler rig, but I'm unsure if this is a wise alternative.

Thanks in advanced.
Darren

Edited by Darren, 24 November 2007 - 03:51 PM.

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#2 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 03:58 PM

Thats a pretty tough question to answer. Not being able to see exactly what your doing (right or wrong) makes it hard to say if a new rig or more practice will help. A question though, have you ever attended a steadicam operating course? Also, how sure are you that you have the rig, arm and vest correctly balanced and adjusted? The answers to those questions will help at least to answer your main question.

mm.
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#3 Darren Schmidt

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 04:48 PM

It could be any or all those factors. I have read the manual and the steadicam manual and adjusted my rig. I'm pretty confident it is at least close to balanced. My biggest concern is that a steadicam is at least twice the price as most the others. Does that money go toward making an easier flyable rig, or does it pay for that cool Steadicam logo?

After reading a post that said flying is 80% person and 20% rig, I was wondering if everybody is in agreement. I have no frame of reference. I live in Antioch Ca and do not have access to try or play with any other rigs. I'm planning on driving down to the DV Expo in LA, but I didn't see Tiffen on their list. I would hate to spend $25000 on an Archer with out trying it. I'm keep my eyes out for any way to get my hands on one, or at least a flyer.

Edited by Darren, 24 November 2007 - 04:49 PM.

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#4 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 05:15 PM

I would hate to spend $25000 on an Archer with out trying it. I'm keep my eyes out for any way to get my hands on one, or at least a flyer.


Darren,

Hi, welcome.

Here are a few things I found beneficial from the workshop.

1. I was able to use several different types of rigs (all Steadicam brand. Everything from the flyer to the Ultra2) and not just for 5 min once. I had 6 days to use them. That helps me realize the differences in them.
2. I feel like it jump-started my skill by at least 2 years of trial and error. I too had not just a manual, but a 2 hour VHS tape with my rig. The 6 days I spent at the workshop taught me FAR more then the manual and tape did. Having the instructors looking at your technique and form is great. Seeing how others operate is good too. Being immersed in the craft is effective.
3. If you have a rig, and have been operating some, a workshop will let you see what the Steadicam "logo" has to offer in comparison to what you have. I have a Steadicam but I still know what I want to improve on it. Largely because of workshops, and using the new rigs.

If you are planning on $25k + on a rig, the price of a workshop is well worth it.

Hope that helps some.

The Sachtler is decent. If I was given one I wouldn't complain.. much.
But I would try and sell it for a clipper2. =)

Bryan
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#5 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 10:23 PM

I live in Antioch Ca and do not have access to try or play with any other rigs. I'm planning on driving down to the DV Expo in LA, but I didn't see Tiffen on their list. I would hate to spend $25000 on an Archer with out trying it.


If Steadicam is not at the expo, call them up and make a short trip to the Glendale factory. Try to reach Frank Rush. Take the workshop. I did the Maine Workshops and loved it. If you can't take the big ones, then shoot for the 3 day. If you can't do that, then try paying a local operator his dayrate and spend 8 to 10 hours for a bit of one on one... just a thought.

-Alfeo
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