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Operating with wind (Parp) no not that kind


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#1 Jamie Hammond

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 04:52 PM

I'm kind of new to the steadicam game, Ive had my own Actioncam for about a year now but predominately i'm still assisting. The rig has been flying quite alot over the year and is definitly the best direction change i've made. Anyway I was out in Morocco on a BBC drama a couple of weeks ago, and the director had me 360 ing the actors (static). As we were on quite an open plain the wind was really whipping up, and obviously it started to interfer with my operating, catching the camera and kind of knocking the fluidity and level out of my shots(aggghh frustrating). The actioncam is alot slighter than a few of the more main stream rigs so my question is really, do you guys out there come across the same problems in high wind? or is there a better way to set up the rig as to not act like a bloody great sail boat?

Thanks :ph34r:
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#2 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 09:12 PM

I've had the same problem shooting in the desert. There are a few ways to cut down the effects of the wind: 1. wind deflectors held by grips or other crew members 2. gyro's 3. antlers
I've used gyro's very little and have never used antlers. I've mostly used the 1st option, which can vary in effectiveness greatly. It depends on who is holding the deflector and how strong the wind is. There's only so much you can do with really strong wind or very weak grips holding the deflectors.
There may be some other options, but those are the three than come to mind first.
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#3 fosteralex

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 04:48 AM

Hi,

Wind is always a large consideration when filming outside (or in studio with large fans for that matter). I've had a couple of occasions where I have really been on the edge of my operating skills. At what point do you say "nope - sorry to windy"? I have never had to say "no" yet - or should i put it this way, there was at least one occasion when I maybe should have done? Filming for a 16mm drama, 50% steadicam and it is getting very windy. I was filming in woods, so in the trees it was ok but then comes a long tracking shot over uneven ground, and up the side of a ditch, on the edge of the woods. After three or four takes where it is plain to see that the framing is not great because of the wind i say 'look I'm sorry this isn't going to get any better'. The director says don't worry we can use the last one and we move on <_< . Needless to say when I see the finished film that shot is there and looks crap. Should I have said from the outset 'to windy', despite getting something that the director 'can use'?

Alex
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#4 David Campbell

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 02:14 PM

Keep in mind that while your DP may be understanding of the problems you have with the conditions you are presented with, chances are Directors and Producers are not. I suggest in extreme situations you lower expectations and let powers that be have a pleasent surprise when you exceed them. High wind is indeed an excellent case for gyros (noise ng for sound generally but may fly on exteriors) and I suppose antlers can help (though I have no experience to back up this feeling). Grips with 4x4 double nets or even solids can help if they are sensitive to staying between you and the wind (sailors feel the wind and move accordingly) and your movement. As a last resort you can use your own body sometimes or have your assistant stand close and help deflect. If you have any control over the shot you may orient things so the wind hits from behind rather then blasting from the side, ha ha ha ha hahaha oh yeah that'll happen.

David Campbell
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#5 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 07:16 PM

When the wind is so bad that it's really screwing with your shot, all you can really do is let the powers that be know that the wind is effecting the shot and let them decide whether it's good enough or not. And then you hope that other operators give you the benefit of the doubt if they see that shot. But I can't imagine telling a director that I won't do a shot because the wind is too strong. It's not like it's a safety issue...
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#6 Colin Donahue

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 09:21 PM

I am currently on a shoot in the Texas plains and it is cold and windy. I have only been operating for 5 months. I was wondering if there are any special techiques for working in the wind, or if changing the drop time or length of post will help. I am shooting XDCAM on an Archer sled. Total rig weight is about 45lbs. Any advice would be greatly apreciated.

Colin Donahue
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#7 RobVanGelder

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 09:41 PM

search for "Antlers" and "Gyro".......

Lowcost solution: find in a garden store that open-weaved windbreaker cloth, normally in green or black
You´ll see them around tennis courts too.

Buy something like 5x10 feet, (1,5 x 3 meters) and tack opposite sides of it on wooden poles (broomsticks?).

2 people can hold this cloth without sailing away (and they can see you through it) and shielding you for the wind, what it does mainly, is regulating the wind into a more steady flow, and you can cope with that more easily.

When using full size boards I find the wind "flapping around" them and it often does nothing much or makes it worse.
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#8 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 03:06 AM

Rob's suggesstion is fine, but you can probably just have the grips hold two 4x4 doubles next to you on the wind side and you'll get the same effect.

Rob's suggesstion is fine, but you can probably just have the grips hold two 4x4 doubles next to you on the wind side and you'll get the same effect.
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#9 chris fawcett

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 04:07 AM

Lowcost solution: find in a garden store that open-weaved windbreaker cloth, normally in green or black

Priceless tip, Rob. I'm going to buy some now.

Thanks!
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#10 RobinThwaites

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 04:53 AM

Go for black on anything like this so as not to affect any lighting (unless you want to of course). The big Lastolite scrims can double up as well.

Robin Thwaites
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#11 Colin Donahue

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 07:54 PM

Thank you for all the advice. As it turns out, the wind died down in the afternoon and I didn't have any problems... but I had the garden screen standning by.

Colin Donahue
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#12 PeterAbraham

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 11:20 PM

GREAT gag, Rob.

An interesting technique to dealing with shooting straight into the wind is, believe it or not, to have the grips be JUST behind you with as large a windbreak as you can manage.

The wind does of course pass you and hit the windbreak and causes an area of relatively calm air to be created around you. As you walk, they walk and the wind coming into the lens is dampened. ( Not eliminated of course ).

Larry McConkey told me this trick. I love Larry and admire his work immensely, but I thought he was insane with this one. Naw. He was spot-on.

Peter Abraham
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#13 Dan Coplan

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 09:35 PM

Any tips for balancing a rig in windy conditions beyond the obvious: Don't...balance indoors and then bring it outside (not always possible)...

Thanks.

Floyd (I love that we're changing screen names to identify who we actually are so I can be whoever I want in my signature).
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#14 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 10:11 PM

Dan,

Ummmm... dare I say... try balancing out of the win.....

Seriously, try to shade yourself as much as possible for balancing (and hell, operating too, if you can pull it off). And, while it seems to be out of vogue, make the rig a bit more bottom heavy. Depending on your shots, I find it very advantageous to have a bottom heavy rig that behaves in a predictable fashion than a more neutral rig that flutters about in the wind.
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#15 Lars Erik

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 02:47 AM

Gosh Dan, yeah I know exactly what you're talking about! Had a shoot a few months ago in the desert, and let me tell you, on those plain fields, the wind can be your worst nightmare...

I had to use all the production cars we had, and they all parked around my rig, my rig was in the centre. It helped just enough to get the balancing. Use antlers if you got them!

Good luck
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