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#1 Nils Valkenborgh

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:01 PM

Currently I'm flying for my very first feature movie :-). Most of the shots went pretty well, but the picture I included shows me, the two camera assistents and the director walking across a frozen piece of land (horrible because I had to walk really slowly).

I know I'm holding the sled a little bit high, but the DOP ensisted I kept the camera at that height and there was no time left to restabilize the rig.

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#2 Charles Papert

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:47 PM

Congrats on your first feature Nils.

I can't tell from the picture what kind of rig you have--I'm suspecting a hybrid of some sort--but if you are able to swap armposts, a longer armpost would have been a very quick fix for having to hold the arm up so high (your assistant could have run to get it), wouldn't have required any rebalance. I am a bit of an armpost freak, I have 4 different ones that live on my dock along with two lengths of J (F) bracket but I like working with a level arm.

Again, not sure what hardware you are using but if it does allow for adjustment at the socket block, it looks like you could really use some side-to-side tweaking as the arm is leaning considerably to the left, which I'm sure you can feel as the rig must be trying to fly away from you.

Looks cold out there!
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:49 PM

BTW, it hadn't escaped me that you have the camera mounted backwards for "easier" Don Juan operation...unusual for a straight walking shot (or was it more diabolical)?
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#4 Andre Trudel

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:31 PM

Hey Charles,

Where could I pick up different length size arm posts in LA?
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#5 Nils Valkenborgh

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:40 PM

Hi Charles

Thanks for your reply, my rig is an india rig (flycam) which i've modified so it operates a little easier, but the first thing i'm considering replacing is the centerpost or the sled as a whole, which is non-telescopic at the moment and pretty annoying to adjust. I prefer working with a level arm as well, this particular shot just required the camera higher up. I really need a telescopic centerpost in the future (which one do you have btw?).

The socket-block is a standard socketblock which will fit about any arm. I also noticed on the picture that the arm was leaning to the left, but i can assure you, every thing was hanging right when I was wearing it, it may be the angle of the picture. I don't really have trouble with the rig flying away.

The reason I mounted the camera backwards for don juan was because the frozen acre was incredibly uncomfortable to walk on and I really had to be able to have a good look at the monitor and the ground. at the same time.

It was indeed very cold, about -8°C (17,6°F)

Thanks again for the tips

Nils
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#6 JobScholtze

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:55 PM

Nils,

Just curius, was this a no budget thing or do you charge them your 60 euro fee. Just curius :P
Btw, good on you to try the don juan, it dasnt look save to walk backwards on that ice land. But the way you do it now, i never tryd. looks difficult, but i am sure it works out for you?
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#7 Nils Valkenborgh

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:06 PM

Hi Job

I indeed charged the 60 euro fee, because it's a student film (In Belgium it's very rare that a student makes a feature so anyway it's fun being a part of that.) I had to practice the reverse mounted don juan before we started filming and it was a little weird like that (but because the montiro has a flip lieft/right function it was a little easier), but at the other scene's with better ground I preffered walking backwards.

Thanks for the comment

Nils
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#8 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:14 PM

Next time you have to walk on ice try to get some cleats of some sort. I got some stabilicers for a shoot on an ice skating rink a while back and I was even able to do some limited running without any problems.

~Jess
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#9 Charles Papert

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:33 PM

Nils, what I was suggesting was an extension armpost between the end of the arm and the gimbal handle but I don't think the Flycam unit accomodates that. Maybe that's something you will want to add to your list of mods. It's a MUCH easier way to raise the height of the camera without having to extend the center post and/or rebalance.

Regarding the angle of the arm--don't know what to tell you, your posture looks fine, the rig is level but the arm is definitely leaning to (your) left. Had I been there, I would have bet you those 60 euros that if you were to let go with both hands, the rig would take off towards your pal in the rubber boots. Unless the laws of physics are different in Belgium!

Andre, GPI sells 5/8" arm posts in various sizes with collars.
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#10 Andre Trudel

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:34 PM

Thanks Charles!

Edited by Andre Trudel, 17 February 2009 - 07:40 PM.

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#11 Nils Valkenborgh

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 05:58 AM

Charles,

I knew what you were talking about, but I just figured a telescopic centerpost would be a nice addition as well for similar problems, come to think of it, a longer armpost would be a faster way to raise the camera height. The flycam system doesn't allow regular armposts but i've been planning to mod that so in the future I can buy another sled that'll fit. I found arm posts up to 12" made by Sachtler but I think I'll try to make one myself.

I honestly haven't had any problems with my rig trying to fly away from me, when I'm at rest I can hold the rig in balance without touching it. It seems on the picture indeed that the arm is leaning a lot, i'll be sure to check that out when I go home to my rig.

Thanks

Nils
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#12 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:47 PM

Nils,

Put on the rig in front of a mirror to make sure that you are not unconsciously leaning to one side so that the rig behaves while standing still.

The interchangeable arm post feature is great and far quicker than messing with the center post. It also keeps the "feel" of the sled the same. I too swear by it (of course I was a student of Charles). Granted, since switching to the PRO arm a few years ago, I don't feel as much a need to operate with the arm neutral, but I still select an arm post length (I keep a bunch on my dock too) for the bulk of the shot and boom accordingly.
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#13 Michael Reese

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:54 PM

Currently I'm flying for my very first feature movie :-). Most of the shots went pretty well, but the picture I included shows me, the two camera assistents and the director walking across a frozen piece of land (horrible because I had to walk really slowly).

I know I'm holding the sled a little bit high, but the DOP ensisted I kept the camera at that height and there was no time left to restabilize the rig.


That looks a little dangerous! I'd be afraid to sink in or step in a hole. You must have one heck of a spotter.
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#14 Nils Valkenborgh

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:02 AM

The spotter wasn't really needed, I tried picking a route as safe as possible. Yesterday I finished my last day working on this film, it was pretty tough ==> cold, rain, long shots,... but in the end it was al worth it. I hope the film makes it to a couple of festivals or even the theatre. Keep in mind, this was an extremely low budget feature made by a graduating student and the cast was made up entirely of people with mental disabilities.

As soon as the poster has been made, I'll post it on the forum.

Thanks for all the wonderfull advice from everybody, it's greatly appreciated.

Nils
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