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4 day concert series


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#1 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 12:34 PM

Well last night I shot the first concert of a 4 day series. Up until now, I've shot primarily College Football on Steadicam. I thought that built up my endurance, but I was sorely mistaken! 4 hours later, I'm up on stage selling the shit out of my last shot of the night and trying not to make a clumsy mistake!

I got many compliments on my performance once I was backstage, some from the performers even. I know there are things I screwed up and need to fix however.

I didn't have a program monitor because the engineer didn't have time to rig up a longer cable for me and the director figured I could just use the huge monitors on the sides of the stage. I didn't have a tally light because they want to ISO all of the cameras, so the director figured it didn't matter. I don't and won't have focus controls for the rest of the weekend because they don't have a budget for it.

The end result was that I sometimes didn't know when I was on, and I had to estimate focus using the distance markings on the lens (fuji). I had my fair share of amazing shots that made everyone gasp, but I had plenty of shots where I was adjusting something and the director punched me up.

~~~~~

I studied the other thread about operating at concerts to try and prepare myself as much as possible, especially the hydration part. What I'm wondering is if anybody can offer me some tips or tricks that could get me through the rest of this weekend without keeling over!
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#2 Kris Torch Wilson

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:45 PM

Mike,

Not much we can do to get you in shape while you're in the middle of this shoot, but try to get the rig off as often as possible.
Have your stand close by. I bought several cheap black stools (Walmart c. $15) that can be placed nearby and never be seen.
I try to sit, even if just for a few seconds whenever possible. 4 hours straight is crazy so you would not be out of line to inform them that you will be sitting out a few numbers or parts of numbers. If you can get the play list ahead of time and sit down with the director, you can come up with a game plan. Stick up for yourself!

Did you strip the camera of viewfinder and anything else that is not needed?

You MUST have some focus control. Really no excuse for not having. I know most budgets like the one you are dealing with are not going to allow for an AC but you should have something along the lines of a Stanton in your kit. $1800. Yes if you are just starting out it may be a lot, but if you're going to play the game...!

Program feed, tally, all this should have been taken care of before you show up. I have found that talking about this with production is a waste of time. Find out who the facilities company or rental house is and call them directly. If they can't pay for focus they are not going to pay for wireless video so we won't bother going there. What camera, what is the cable situation? It's curious that they are doing a line cut, which leads me to believe an engineer is painting your camera, and yet you can't get return or tally..

"The Director figured" This one really gets me fired up. We don't tell them how to go about their job. I too have faced this and must admit I'm getting less and less tolerant as I'm aging. Certainly not a role model for you on this subject!

I've rambled long enough.
Next.

Kris
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#3 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 02:23 PM

Kris,

I agree with everything you are saying. While the first night was pretty rough, last night was much better. I put the rig on my stand between every number, and sometimes it as a static shot. The good news is that I have never woken up sore as of yet. Maybe it's because we're staying at a holiday inn express ;)

The camera is a Hitachi Z-one C with a Telemetrics box, so all I have to deal with is a single BNC line (versus Triax or a CCU cable). I agree that the focus situation is pretty ridiculous! I've been passively shopping for a kit of my own, but am not informed enough to make a decision that will be usable for a wide variety of cameras and lenses.

The reason they can't provide program feed is because they are trying to use the viewfinder multipin jack with some custom cable they've fabbed up for an LCD monitor. I could really use some more weight on the bottom of the sled. These Flyers are pretty light down there with the PowerCubes and slim LCD monitor. I have the post extended all the way and the gimbal as high as the docking bracket will allow!
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#4 Kris Torch Wilson

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 03:36 PM

Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on things. Might try gaffing some batts on the bottom of the sled. Or if you can get by a sporting goods store, buy a pair of ankle weghts. Weight of cousre is an enemy on a long shoot but the trade off might be worth it. I am happy with my stanton, have used it on both Canon and Fuji lenses. It's not perfect but does the job.

Be strong tonight and don't fall in the pit!

Kris
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#5 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 11:57 AM

Mike,
As Chris said , there's no way for you to get "In Shape" for this, but the good thing is your flying a flyer, and the bad thing is your flying a flyer . . .!!


That camera may be slightly too heavy for that rig, so by adding weight to the bottom will only make you work harder to let it fly. If that is not the case and you still have some arm support adjustment left then by all means, get a little secondary 3.5" monitor and a second BNC attached it to your vest and barrel it with a mini BNC and that way you can have return and a little more weight on the bottom or just grab a Ped Camera weight and tape it on the bottom so you can shorten up the post.

Good luck, lets see a pict of the set up

Is this the camera your flying

Attached Files


Edited by Rob Vuona, 09 November 2008 - 11:59 AM.

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#6 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 01:39 PM

Rob,

That is the camera. The box on the back doesn't appear to be Telemetrics, but it's about the same size. We also threw a .8x wide angle on the lens. There's no way I could fly any more weight up top without more to counterbalance on the bottom. The good news is my arm is not maxed out yet. I do have pictures of the setup. I brought the girlfriend along so she was my personal photographer. I believe she even took some videos of me operating so I may edit those together with the final product..

I did rig up strain relief with a carribeaner near my hip and a barrel mounted up on my right shoulder. I used the 75ohm belden spaghetti cable that Tiffen includes so the sled wouldn't steer itself. I could easily add another, since the only other line running to the camera was a 18ga headset cable. I saw some pictures that another operator posted that looked to be an L-bracket with 3 BNC barrels that appeared to be riveted to the shoulder of their vest. They had also rigged some XLR-to-BNC cables to manage audio through the same junction..

Speaking of vests. Mine was fairly moist after last night. I'd like to avoid carrying a wonderful scent around, so what is the washing procedure? The padding separates from the vest by Velcro. I believe that's a Peter Abraham design..

All great tips though!! To put this show's budget in perspective, they canceled the Sunday night show due to the amount of losses they suffered. I believe the lighting & sound guys actually pulled the plug on it because they were having contract issues. Good news is that my rate is covered under the contract of the Prod. Truck guys, but I still suffer one day minus pay that I could have had. Footage looks amazing and the director is sending me the line-cut asap with the promise of a final DVD down the road..
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#7 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 01:57 PM

Rob,

That is the camera. The box on the back doesn't appear to be Telemetrics, but it's about the same size. We also threw a .8x wide angle on the lens. There's no way I could fly any more weight up top without more to counterbalance on the bottom. The good news is my arm is not maxed out yet. I do have pictures of the setup. I brought the girlfriend along so she was my personal photographer. I believe she even took some videos of me operating so I may edit those together with the final product..

I did rig up strain relief with a carribeaner near my hip and a barrel mounted up on my right shoulder. I used the 75ohm belden spaghetti cable that Tiffen includes so the sled wouldn't steer itself. I could easily add another, since the only other line running to the camera was a 18ga headset cable. I saw some pictures that another operator posted that looked to be an L-bracket with 3 BNC barrels that appeared to be riveted to the shoulder of their vest. They had also rigged some XLR-to-BNC cables to manage audio through the same junction..

Speaking of vests. Mine was fairly moist after last night. I'd like to avoid carrying a wonderful scent around, so what is the washing procedure? The padding separates from the vest by Velcro. I believe that's a Peter Abraham design..

All great tips though!! To put this show's budget in perspective, they canceled the Sunday night show due to the amount of losses they suffered. I believe the lighting & sound guys actually pulled the plug on it because they were having contract issues. Good news is that my rate is covered under the contract of the Prod. Truck guys, but I still suffer one day minus pay that I could have had. Footage looks amazing and the director is sending me the line-cut asap with the promise of a final DVD down the road..


I just remove the padding from my vest take the inner padding out and wash the covers, I'm not sure if that vest has that ability.

Pretty much 90% of the stuff I do is Live TV so a Triax and more often Fiber is the cable of choice, so if your going to play in these arenas then get used to a cable.

The flyer is a cool rig but it has some limitations, so maybe a Zoe, Bebob zoom and focus control may be the right choice, Personally it's the Stanton controller for most of us. with the bigger rigs.

Proper posture will eliminate the fatigue you are feeling, although 4 hours is 4 hours . . . .

Unfortunately, unlike Chris, (Note Jimmy Kimmel) most of my shows have me in the rig for at least that much if not more, so I think you'll get it soon enough . . . . The Flyer is forcing you to have a gentle touch , which is good because when you do make the change to a bigger rig you'll find flying it easier.

All the best Fly Safe
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#8 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 11:46 PM

Well you're right about that soft touch Rob! I feel like I'm working way too hard to produce the same images that a bigger rig could do a little bit easier! But it's also a good learning process..

Peter Abraham confirms that the Flyer padding can be washed as is. Wash alone using very little soap and DO NOT dry it!

Could you point me in a better direction for the Stantion Zoom/Focus kits? Is JimmyJib the only retailer? I own a VariZoom Rock-PZFI for my DVX/HVX work, because that is most common right now (up until this concert at least).

I'm my biggest critic for posture, and I'm constantly adjusting the arm to make sure I'm forcing myself to stand properly and actually "fly" the rig when things get hairy. By the 3rd night, I was having a blast running around and couldn't believe it was over! I got in some really good shots too.

Speaking of which, It's picture time!
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#9 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 11:51 PM

And a couple more..
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#10 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 02:47 PM

Nice Job on that Mike,
But my God . . .I certainly would have taped a couple of weights to the bottom of my sled to get that post shorter . . . . Being that I am one of those vertically challenged Ops I like my post short to keep me from kicking the post . . . .

Stanton is the only Dealer of his Zoom and Focus, that I know of, but if your main camera's are going to The smaller ones with the LANC connector then the Varizoom, Zoe or Bebob would be the way to go. Stanton pretty much only talks to Canon and Fuji Video Lenses
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