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Critique my form


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#1 Michael Wilson

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 11:03 AM

Hi,

Here is a video of myself walking forward and backward. Please give me any feedback on my form if you can. I won't be able to take a workshop until july so any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

I have been practicing with the actioncam red edition for about a month now. I am constantly reviewing the sections of jerry's book on form and balance and will continue to do so until I feel very confident about my form.

The last shot is of me with my hands off the post and arm. I have been practicing like that to get my balance in check.

thanks
click here
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#2 Erwin Landau

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 12:34 PM

Hey Michael,

Walking the line is a good way to start getting control of the machine. Remember that the rig is initiating the move. The rig moves first and then the body, same thing the rig stops and you move into the rig. It will give you smoother starts and stops... and for god sakes relax. :)

Also on the switch move the leg that is closer to the rig first, to get your body out of the way of the rig... after a while you will do it instinctively. Also always do a proper switch, even operate while walking back to the stand. And frequently dock the rig.. there is no point at exhausting yourself to quickly... stamina will come as you do it more and more... make every move count... less movement is more... less foot steps is more... think about it, you'll understand.

Also check your arm tension, that doesn't look right. Your upper arm (closer to the Vest) seams to be under tightened and your fore arm (closer to the rig is shooting up as it it's over tightened... old school is that you would have a 5 degree downward adjustment (and you are basically holding 5% of the weight) as newer style is both arm sections are horizontal to the ground...

It's good to practice, just keep in mind that you are teaching yourself habits (some would say, bad habits) do to the fact that you haven't taken the workshop as of yet... At the beginning it's easy to learn the "wrong" things without experienced guidance and very hard to unlearn once you have it in your muscle memory.

Try and get a more seasoned op to watch you while you practice (until you take the workshop) and point out some things and point you in the proper direction. You are building a foundation in the first couple of years on which you will build with experience... make sure to build a solid foundation and the operating will be easier and the results will be more satisfying...


Practice, practice, practice,

Good Luck!
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#3 Dave Gish

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 02:03 PM

Remember that the rig is initiating the move. The rig moves first and then the body, same thing the rig stops and you move into the rig.

Building on what Erwin says, think about how you start to walk normally, without a steadicam. What's the first thing you do? Do you put your foot out? Try standing up straight with your foot out. Nothing happens. In order to actually move, you have to start by leaning forward. That's the first thing you do. Your foot goes out to keep you from falling over. The more you lean forward, the faster you go.

It's similar with steadicam, except you control the sled with your hips, not by leaning. When your hips go forward, the sled goes back. When your hips go back, the sled goes forward. So when you want to start moving forward, the first thing you should do is move your hips back very slightly. When the sled starts moving forward, then you walk to keep up. When you want to stop, the first thing is to move your hips slightly forward, and then stop walking after the sled stops.


Also, do all the exercises in the Flyer manual:
http://www.steadicam...r_Manual_Lo.pdf
including the switch and reverse switch on pages 30 & 31. Switch the camera off. After you learn these, try practicing the switch and reverse switch hands-free. As you get more comfortable, keep your hands a little further away from the rig (maybe 2-3" away) to be sure you don't touch it accidentally. In the end, it's kind of like like you're dancing with a stick figure that you control with your hips. You can dance with it, you can dance around it, you can dance along side it, all hands free.

The idea is to get all this to become second nature, so you do it without even thinking about it. At that point, you're ready to begin framing moving subjects, which is not as easy as it sounds. The workshop helps a lot with this, but the intricacies of framing and stability are a lot easier to control once you've really learned to balance the sled with your hips.

Edited by Dave Gish, 09 March 2009 - 02:10 PM.

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#4 Matteo Quagliano

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 05:29 PM

In each of my post of the last month I keep quoting The book but here a technical issue come out.
I read from Erwin and also been told when walking to stop the sled then stop myself, in the book says the contrary (at the chapter start and stop, first stop the body then the sled) and I feel more comfortable in this way too.
Which is the best or the appropriate way?
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#5 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 06:29 PM

In each of my post of the last month I keep quoting The book but here a technical issue come out.
I read from Erwin and also been told when walking to stop the sled then stop myself, in the book says the contrary (at the chapter start and stop, first stop the body then the sled) and I feel more comfortable in this way too.
Which is the best or the appropriate way?



Sled moves first to start then body, body stops first then sled. That's how you should be doing it.
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#6 Matteo Quagliano

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 06:41 PM

In each of my post of the last month I keep quoting The book but here a technical issue come out.
I read from Erwin and also been told when walking to stop the sled then stop myself, in the book says the contrary (at the chapter start and stop, first stop the body then the sled) and I feel more comfortable in this way too.
Which is the best or the appropriate way?



Sled moves first to start then body, body stops first then sled. That's how you should be doing it.



Understood. Thanks
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#7 Michael Wilson

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 07:17 PM

Thanks so much for the responses. I can visualize it a bit better now. I will get back to practicing and maybe post another video in the future.
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#8 Erwin Landau

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:11 PM

See that's why I usually leave the teaching up to the masters...

I'm an operator and just do it... I have to sit down and dissect everything and reverse engineer all my moves...


So see above what he said.... hehe.


I'll stay with the tech stuff.
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