Advice for a rooky?
Posted 04 August 2004 - 01:33 AM
So here is a question that I?m sure has come up in the past by new operators. I?ve checked the forum archives and only found one response. I have a rig, I have a small reel, I?m thinking about taking out a substantial loan and buying a follow focus system, video transmitter and receiver, as well as possibly making upgrades to my post and monitor. I live in SoCal where there are a lot of great and established operators like a lot of you. Taking out a loan and going for it is a big step for me, but one I truly have a passion for so any advice you veterans could give a rooky like me will be much appreciated especially info on how to get gigs when you?re just starting out. Thanks to all of you for your time.
Posted 04 August 2004 - 05:15 AM
As far as the transmitter, the Modulus (as you probably already know) is the standard -- I think they are around $2k. I bought a tiny transmitter from Wolf Seeburg a few years back to use as back-up. I think it was $300-ish. The picture was pretty good, but only transmitted to one channel (cable 50 if I recall). A reciever can be had new for about $500 new (Sony TU series) at any professional video equip supplier in town (Band-Pro in burbank for example).
Posted 04 August 2004 - 05:34 PM
I?ve been doing some hardcore research on this forum for the past month or so. I agree, I think with me being in So. Cal Bartech is definitely on my list. I like the idea of starting with a one motor system and adding to it as the gigs come in. I agree that the Modulus is the industry standard and I?m definitely going to end up with one but I?m just starting out so for now, thanks for the alternatives. My main question is once I buy all the necessary peripherals, how do I go about finding the JOBS??
Posted 04 August 2004 - 06:55 PM
if you find the answer to this question, e-mail me directly -- don't post here on the forum, then everyone will know! In order to keep the job once you have it...all I can say is:
1 - be nice
2 - don't suck
3 - be nice
Posted 05 August 2004 - 12:43 AM
What experience do you have now?
Ie: are you an A.C. or do you work in the biz already?
If you do, it's no different than any other position. It's networking with the people you've already worked with. And like Ron said, don't suck.
I'm guessing you don't have much experience in the film biz yet? That's going to be your greatest hurdle. Without set experience in a different capacity, it's going to be a tough sell to try to convince a director or DP or producer you are the man for the job as the Steadicam operator.
If you have experience on the set in some other capacity, you need to learn about framing, composition, and shot selection. Then you need to learn to "not suck" at doing Steadicam. Then you need to learn about the politics of the set. Then you need to learn to....etc etc etc
Again, like Ron said, if there was a way for someone to just buy a rig, then come on this forum and ask how to get jobs (and there was that easy of an answer to that question), instead of there being 200-300 Steadicam operators in LA, there'd be 2000-3000.
If you have zero set experience, find a way to get on a set as a PA or intern first, then move up from there. If you are coming from a video or TV station background, find out if there's somewhere there that can help you out and get experience first.
Posted 06 August 2004 - 12:43 AM
I suppose you already know. Derrick sells modulus www.whitehouseav.com also has about the biggest inventory of used Steadi stuff.
There is an outfit on the web Superciruits that sells a pretty good microwave frequency trans 1.2 and 2.4 Gh microwave band that is actually legal, cheap, not often interfered, very small but gets hot. doesn't go around corners as well as modulus.
If spending the bucks and getting a modulus Look into diversity receivers, big difference., in reception. Also Yagi antennaes or equiv.
Posted 06 August 2004 - 05:42 AM
Thanks for your responses. In asking the question about finding the jobs I kind of knew I would probably get that type of response. Can you really blame me for trying though? I?ve decided to give a little history of myself just so you know where I'm coming from. My first experience in the Biz was back in the early ninety?s, I lived in Italy where I worked part time as a camera operator for live concerts and had a great mentor that trained me in the art of framing and composition at a young age. In the mid ninety?s I moved back to the States where I enrolled in a film school in Hollywood CA where they actually had a steadicam and the teachers actual said that out of all the students that ever tried flying the rig, I was one of the only students capable of creating stable and good looking images. At that time I started working on a lot of Indy projects as well as a few commercials. I was always in the camera department as an AC and sometimes 2nd unit camera operator and I was always asking the steadicam operators I worked with questions on the different aspects of the steadicam like balancing, operating, exc. I?ve worked with all kinds of 35mm and 16mm cameras as well as digital and ENG video. A few years ago I was offered a job as a live sound engineer for concerts even though I loved being in the film industry, I thought I?d try the sound thing for a while but as time went by I became quite involved with sound and slowly started losing the contacts I?d made. The film bug never left me though and I still managed to work on different projects part time. So, when the opportunity came to buy my steadicam I jumped at it. All this to say that I?m not someone with absolutely no experience whatsoever in the film industry trying to operate in one of the most respected positions of any film set. Thanks again for all your responses and I?m so sorry if you actually got to this point in my little story. I respect all of you as operators and thank you for taking the time to help new comers like myself. Keep the info coming!!