Posted 16 May 2008 - 06:21 PM
Firstly hello to you all.. im new on the site.
reason for me registering on the site is so that i can have a more indepth knowledge of the stedicam and get some guidance if possible..
ok my question..
i have a freind of mine, you might know him as ingo hoffman. ok, i dont know much about the camera buissness, but i do however the back stage ethics of productions and the knowledge of film and tv and the media. my friend is an operator of the stedicam, and i would like to know some information on how to be a good assitant for a stedicam operator. i.e whats the best commication skills or whatever i get, im gratefull for anything.
thanks for your time,and replys if i get ne ..
Posted 16 May 2008 - 08:38 PM
It depends as how far do you want to go with the Assistant approach... If you know as much as a Steadicam Operator, you might just become one yourself. And that's what usually happens... Great Assistants, if they are not carrier assistants usually don't hang out for very long... and some ops will refuse to train a prosperctive compatitor...
Okay it had to be said... so.
Do you want to pull focus for Steadicam? Which is the job of an experienced 1st AC.
Build, balance and make it ready for the operator? Which can be handled by an experienced 2nd AC.
You should take a Steadicam Workshop, which will teach you what an Operator does and with what problems he is confronted on a daily bases in addition to building camera, and putting them into Steadicam mode and building the rig from scratch... the dangers and required safety that steadicam requires, etc.
To be a good Steadicam assistant you should be a good Camera assistant to begin with. Not necessary but it helps you in the long run.... As you should know about cameras, how they work and how they break down. Know all the models that are "Steadicam Cameras". What cables are required for the Camera, like power, run and accessory.
Know about the different Steadicam Rigs like the different brands out there which also comes with unique accessories and cables and brackets and modified set ups and operator unique mods and work flows...
You do basically everything a Steadicam Operator does minus actually carrying and framing the machine...
What I like about my assistance is that they know my set up and all parts by hart, including names and where they are located, so that I can just ask for them and not get blank stares. Know what Batteries to use, where to find them, when and how to charge them.
Get me the camera in build mode that will be used on the Steadi as soon as possible and as complete as possible, with loaded mag, a lens, doesn't have to be the one that will be used on the day, the Clip on Mattbox, with possible filters etc.
Some Operators like for the Assistant to build and sometimes even balance the rig for the op, I still prefer to build it myself. But sometimes when you are on a longtime show, you don't have the time , especially if yo are also the Operator... to get everything ready. So getting to the rig almost 90% ready to go, makes life easier and gives you more time to spend with the Director and the DP... to create the shot or move...
I hope that makes any sense,
Posted 16 May 2008 - 09:17 PM
I'm not sure what your current skill level is but in terms of becomming a camera assistant, the best thing to do is work your way up the ladder. Get a job in a rental house or work on set as a PA. Eventually you want to start working as a film loader, then a second ac then a first. Once you are a good first ac, the steadicam course is a great way to learn the specific chalanges the steadicam operator faces.
In terms of just being helpful (like a personal assistant) to your friend, the best thing to do (as mentioned above) is learn exactly where each and every bracket, cable and screw is located. Be able to get it all quickly and easily.
Hope that helps.
Posted 17 May 2008 - 06:32 PM
as i c i have a long way to go to get to grips with things.. is there perhaps a document or sumthing you guys have that show the basics of a stedicam, like a instruction manual or sumthing that show the basics of were things go..
im looking into geting on to a course, but because im working full time at the minute time is a bit slack ( im a chef at the minute, fucking bullshit hours), but i realy want to start to know the basics on my own, so i can at least have a bit of knowledge when my freind has his rig in the future..
many thanks for the comments, realy realy appriciate it..
Posted 17 May 2008 - 11:24 PM
sent email to tiffen for my copy..
Posted 18 May 2008 - 08:54 AM
In my almost 30 years experience in TV & film production, this business is not the place to go for getting away from bullshit hours, if that's important to you. I've spent too many nights sleeping in trucks, on floors or office couches at best, because of a 3 hr turnaround to the next shoot, than I care to remember.
If this racket was all that peachy keen wonderful, everyone in the world would be doing it. It has a Dark Side, Luke. Just be aware of the demands of the business, both on set and off, and are you prepared to make those sacrifices.
That's why it's always best to work your way up through the ranks. You end up with a better understanding and appreciation of what makes it all work and how you fit into it. Plus, in the long run, it separates the men from the boys, so to speak.
Just something to think about.
Posted 18 May 2008 - 06:35 PM
my freind as i said before above, he has done 16 years plus as news camera operator and then on to stedicam work, hes preaty cool aswell.. ive been thinking about this alot and i want to make a change in my job and to try a new challange.. i dont want to sound to stupid as im a newbei but i realy want to learn some basics skills so i can impress my freind when he gets his rig
Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:00 AM
Formal, paid training is the only way to really get anywhere I think and practice. There are a few DVD's on ebay but there people charging for a knockoff DVD (read their feedback!).
I think with something like this if your the type of person who can see your flaws then read the forums, post your work so far and accept the advice. If you dont easily see your own flaws then you may need a class where somone will tell you. For me its the wife as my very first try yeilded some wonkey work. Everything had a tilt on it and as it turns out I was holding things too tight.
Posted 20 May 2008 - 08:09 AM
how is all ne way today..
the new indiana jones is out this week over here.. i bet there is some nice camera work on that movie this time
Edited by Aaron A Galway, 20 May 2008 - 08:14 AM.