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Steadicam Courses in the UK?


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#1 Jay Ryde

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 06:46 AM

Hello again everyone,

Q1. Could someone please tell me where I may find a Steadicam course in the UK? Preferably near London. I use a SC Pilot.

Q2. Also, If i may sneak in an extra question here!! heheh Are people mounting additional equipment to their Steadicams/cameras, e.g. lights and focus controls etc? I love my Steadicam but have to whack my cam in Full Auto (near-abouts) as I obviously cannot fiddle with it during ... err 'Steadicam'ing!'

(My apologies if I have gone against any rules here by putting two different questions in the same post, please feel free to delete if I have done wrong)

Thank you,

J. Ryde

Edited by Jay Ryde, 09 May 2008 - 06:47 AM.

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#2 Peter Hoare

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 07:32 PM

Hi Jay,

Tiffen Europe do workshops. Im booked onto the next one (starts in a few weeks) but it sells out in no time, as theres only about 6 places. I think they only run them once or twice a year.

The NFTS in Beaconsfeild (not far from you, and 2mins from me) also do a course but I wanted to do the official one.


With regards to sticking stuff on the camera, people usually have a remote focus and a video transmitter. Sometimes lights etc etc. I am doing a job at the moment with a redrock and I have the focus motor and video transmitter, both clamped to the support rails at the back of the camera. It works but its not very elegant :-D

Most cameras would usually use a remote follow focus. The standard is the bartech which isa about 1000 GBP for the transmitter, and about another 1000 for the motor.

I sometimes practice with my FX1, and I keep everything in manual but the focus. Its frustrating to see the focus pulling all over the place as you move but you can see what your filming, and its never used this way on a proper shot.

The focus receiver and video transmitter is usually powered off the steadicam sled. I know you mentioned you use Vlok batteries on your pilot, but Im not sure if the battery plate has a 12v output plug on it or not? The flyer and up has a 12v power rail on the sled for powering these gadgets.
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#3 Jay Ryde

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 06:09 PM

Hi,

thanks Pete for your invitation and course info, probably see u on their next course?! Once I've finished my wedding edit I'll give u a shout.

Q. Does anyone know which would be a good quality remote zoom/focus (and Iris if possible) control for a SONY V1E? A UK dealer is selling the BeBop remotes that are universal and use Lanc control.. but I'm unsure of the quality of these? Any comments or recommendations? Need to mount it on my Pilot as I'm going mad with using full auto mode at the moment! AHHHHHH!

Edited by Jay Ryde, 10 May 2008 - 06:10 PM.

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#4 Peter Hoare

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 06:27 AM

The bebob is ok. i got a manfrotto one which is qutie nice and will work with the V1.

Your going to find it hard to operate that as you operate the sled, any pushes will set it on the wonk....
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#5 Charles Papert

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 11:17 AM

With a 1/3" camera you should be able to set the focus at around 6 feet and not have an issue for most shots. If you are being bold and going significantly telephoto this may become a problem but it is also likely that given such a light rig you wouldn't be able to pull your own focus very effectively for that kind of shot regardless what unit you are using.

I'm not a Z1 user but I imagine it has similar features to other cameras of its type, so beware that the "Full Auto" mode is not using ATW where the white balance may be shifting a lot as that can cause visual issues (unless you need it for crossing between daylight and interiors etc). Auto-iris can be ugly too, but again depending on the needs of the shot it might be a necessary evil. Zooming of course is independent of camera modes, and I imagine for a wedding application you might need that capability due to the unpredictable nature of the event.

Nick Tsamandanis is an excellent Kiwi operator who does weddings on a Pilot; maybe look him up via this forum or over at DVInfo.net.
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#6 Jay Ryde

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 12:21 PM

With a 1/3" camera you should be able to set the focus at around 6 feet and not have an issue for most shots. If you are being bold and going significantly telephoto this may become a problem but it is also likely that given such a light rig you wouldn't be able to pull your own focus very effectively for that kind of shot regardless what unit you are using.

I'm not a Z1 user but I imagine it has similar features to other cameras of its type, so beware that the "Full Auto" mode is not using ATW where the white balance may be shifting a lot as that can cause visual issues (unless you need it for crossing between daylight and interiors etc). Auto-iris can be ugly too, but again depending on the needs of the shot it might be a necessary evil. Zooming of course is independent of camera modes, and I imagine for a wedding application you might need that capability due to the unpredictable nature of the event.

Nick Tsamandanis is an excellent Kiwi operator who does weddings on a Pilot; maybe look him up via this forum or over at DVInfo.net.


Thanks for the reply.. but as with most weddings an operator will be expected to go from outside-in and vice-versa all the time, so white balance is always going to be an issue if not controlled remotely. BTW, I use a V1E not a Z1.

I decided not to use my Pilot in a wedding job I did two days ago as I'd only got my Pilot the week before.. but for this particular wedding I was in/out all the time and it was a very bright sunny day plus a very dark and dingy interior.. plus i had no other form of lighting. here was zero room throughout the place and had to make do with the very tight V1E standard lens. This wedding was a real test to the limit plus putting up with really eccentric Iranians that for some unknown reason kept turning off all the lights when important events took place during the wedding?!! .. Dont ask?!

I could just imagine the problems of using my Steadicam that day.. I think it would have been useless not just because I have no proper experience with it and no way to control my V1 other than full auto, but I think even the most experienced operator would have been challenged with the little space there was and people jumping all around me. Im was pleased to get home alive!
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#7 Nick Tsamandanis

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 01:28 AM

Hi jay, from what you are describing, crowded room etc, I would not have used a Steadicam for that particular job, better to have tackled it with 2 camera operators on sticks. I don't actually use the Steadicam at every wedding because sometimes it just isn't appropriate - roomwise etc.. I use my Sony Z1 on the Pilot, full manual control, focused at 3 metres. I don't think I would ever use a remote focus system for a wedding. Hey Charles, thanks for the nice compliment, but I'm an Aussie, you know - g'day cobber and all that. :D
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#8 Charles Papert

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 01:41 AM

Aw nuts, that's a mistake I try very hard not to make, sorry about that Nick. Had you confused with another guy (not in skill, just in location)!
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#9 Jay Ryde

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 03:29 AM

Hi jay, from what you are describing, crowded room etc, I would not have used a Steadicam for that particular job, better to have tackled it with 2 camera operators on sticks. I don't actually use the Steadicam at every wedding because sometimes it just isn't appropriate - roomwise etc.. I use my Sony Z1 on the Pilot, full manual control, focused at 3 metres. I don't think I would ever use a remote focus system for a wedding. Hey Charles, thanks for the nice compliment, but I'm an Aussie, you know - g'day cobber and all that. :D


Hi Nick,

Thanks for your input. Unfortunately I am currently a one-manned show (im actually a stills photographer) and only have one video camera. Though my main camera is a SONY HDV camera (V1E) i have a second camera that is only a DV (SONY PC1000E) very small cmos camera, I didnt think it would be up to the job if only just used statically.

I like your showreel.. I was just visualizing some of your shots as I was following the bride the other day walking into the reception room. Though the main hall for the reception was quite big, the rest of the place was a like a cupboard!

re: Steadicam: How do you deal with moving between different colour temperatures? You say you've set your cam to full manual with a focus at 3m.. It appears there are some users using remotes on their cameras.

Regards,

J.

Edited by Jay Ryde, 12 May 2008 - 03:31 AM.

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#10 Nick Tsamandanis

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 07:50 AM

If there is a change in color temp I decide on the spot wether if its something I can fix in post, if not I stop and make the adjustment on the camera - time for a cut or fade.
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#11 Sean Seah

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 08:21 AM

If there is a change in color temp I decide on the spot wether if its something I can fix in post, if not I stop and make the adjustment on the camera - time for a cut or fade.


Hi! Nick, sorry to OT here but does Tiffen offer the 2day Pilot/Flyer crash cse in Australia?
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#12 Nick Tsamandanis

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 06:41 PM

Phil Balsdon conducts an excellent two day Flyer workshop. His contact details are here: http://www.steadi-on..._workshops.html
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