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#1 EricCorriveau

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 11:42 PM

Hi everyone,

I am a freelance cameraman at the moment, and for many years, I was contempling adding Steadicam to my skills. All those years, I was studying the subject by reading everything I could find, and learned a lot just by frequenting this forum. But before stepping into a workshop, I was curious to know what are those specific exercises with the line and the cross on the wall. Could somebody describes in details these and other useful exercises ?

Hoping that Tiffen will reissue that EFP training tape. I only heard praises about that tape. And what can we expect from Mr. Papert's upcoming tape ?

Any info will be greatly appreciated.

Eric
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#2 RobVanGelder

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 01:02 AM

Hi Eric,

These exercises are the basic movements of Steadicam operating and also the hardest to perform well.
It´s all about framing and keeping a "constant" frame, without unwanted side-way movements.
Nothing is more disturbing to see than something that you know should be in the same position but it is drifting away and corrected.

By using this line and cross you train yourself to isolate the camera movement from your body-movement and also it will train you to use your Gimbal-hand with finesse.

There are several exercises based on this line and cross principle, with steps and increasing or lowering height, sideways tracking, switching tracking direction, etc.

Rob van Gelder, Bangkok, Thailand
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#3 EricCorriveau

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 09:41 PM

Thank you for the clarification, Rob. I appreciate.

Eric
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#4 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 10:02 PM

well eric im the number one fan of that video ....u can ask jerry anout this...
but nothing can compete with the workshop cause its all in there and for shure after u take it u gonna agree with me
about exercise.....start with the clasic line on the flor with the cross ont he wall (my wife its not to haapy about this) and from then .....all its up
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#5 Terry Thompson

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 01:07 AM

"There are several exercises based on this line and cross principle, with steps and increasing or lowering height, sideways tracking, switching tracking direction, etc."

Being relatively new to the Steadicam scene I don't know how to use the line and cross on the wall. I have used an exercise of zooming in somewhat and trying to keep the frame from moving around much as I walk forward. Is that the cross on the wall idea?

What is the line idea?

Thanks to any who reply.
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#6 RobVanGelder

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 10:40 AM

Yes, same idea, the line is to give you a definite direction, walking forwards or backwards, or forwards but looking back.

Or you follow a line on the wall that differs in height or your height differs, ( think walking on to sidewalk and back to the road).

all kinds of movements kan be designed like this.
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#7 Steve Johnson

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 06:32 AM

I find the hardest thing about practice is working with inanimate objects,eg. 360 degrees shots around c-stands, tracking in on a cross on the wall. Good practice but somewhat unsatisfying. One of the most difficult moves to master is maintaining correct headroom as you come off stairs, or on anundulating surfaces. Anyone have any pointers for this?
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#8 RobVanGelder

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 11:54 AM

Bottle (? real name ?),

The key to a constant headroom is a well balanced rig and minimum fingerwork on the gimbal:

1) Try to balance your rig so that it shows the proper headroom without touching the gimbal.
2) choose the drop time not too fast, like 4 seconds or even slower. When you have a bottom heavy rig, any deviation or correction will last unusually long, thus overshooting.
3) A bottom heavy rig also needs much force to steer or correct and again the chance of overcorrecting is very high as it reacts so slow to your input.

On a surface with different heights, we often forget (me too) that we have an arm that should/could compensate for the differences and only after that a slight correction in the tilt may be needed. Timing with the subject (people) is essential.

Stairs, I hate them too. Personally I don´t see much good in a shot of of someone following or leading in close-up on stairs, as you don´t show ( and it is often ugly) why this persons head is bobbing up and down in frame. Wide shots are ok, or shots that move from feet to head.

About circling: you should basically make a circle with your body, any correction on the gimbal wil move the center.
Try to make a circle with a chalk-line and walk this without really touching the gimbal and post. You will be amazed how suddenly the center stays where you want it.
Again, a well balanced (also dynamically) rig is important.

When you do a passing-by shot, where you keep the center on a subject while appoaching and passing, you should fine-tune your fingermovement (pan) so that it matches your walking speed. Many times, it only need´s a little bit of spin, and just let it go, while moving on a constant speed on your feet.
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#9 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 12:52 PM

be carfull when u shoot slow motion ...i have experience that using a 3 sec drop at 150 frames u can see your steps.......keep that in mind
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#10 Charles Papert

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 03:35 PM

I'm not following this--are you saying that you are seeing vibration through the rig when shooting high speed?

Erratic movements will usually smooth at with high speed shots as a bump will turn into a slow rise and fall.

What I find is usually more of an issue is that any kind of operating or framing error followed by a correction stretches out until eternity with high speed. Also, brief focus buzzes that normally would be forgiveable now are distracting.
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#11 Steve Johnson

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 06:43 AM

Thank you for your replies.
"The key to a constant headroom is a well balanced rig and minimum fingerwork on the gimbal:1) Try to balance your rig so that it shows the proper headroom without touching the gimbal."
Do you mean by this if you are framing a taller person you should use a longer arm post so that the camera sits higher. I fly a model 3, non extendable post, thats not strictly true I can extend it by attaching a post ext and sliding the electronics module down, (always useful in low mode). So I have to add weight to the bottom,(tilt battery back?) of the rig so that the gimbal is lower on the post which raises the camera height. Is this what you mean? :huh:
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#12 Charles Papert

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 11:22 AM

I would use a longer arm post rather than extending the rig (takes too long), and also adjust the fore-and-aft balance as Rob suggested so that the rig naturally sits with the proper headroom, so you don't have to use any force to hold the rig at the correctly angle. Most operators adjust the fore-and-aft just before rolling the camera on every shot,.
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#13 Steve Johnson

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 01:45 AM

:rolleyes: thanks for the clarification. clear and sensible.
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#14 bob1dp

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 06:21 PM

I'm looking for a list of practice exercises to work on Steadicam skills. Also some time. There was one trick I was told where you stop the camera slightly before you stop the rig.

1. Take a cross on the wall and a line on the floor walk to it and away.
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#15 bob1dp

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 01:27 AM

Any tips on coming to a smooth and steady stop?

Also I'm still looking for more training exercises.
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