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#1 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:58 PM

Any thoughts about the EasyRig? I am starting a show with a fair amount of handheld with a big heavy camera, This seems like a good additional tool for some in between raw handheld and steadi work. Thoughts? They are only about 3 grand.

thanks,
Jeff
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#2 G. Grammatikos

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 06:17 PM

i have worked with easy rig for two months in Malaisia in the Beach under the hot sun for two months (the first and i hope the last tv show-reality i worked,i hate realitys )i can say that the easy rig save my life ,beautifull tool make the handheld camera easy and liquid move .for sure its the way to go
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#3 Sean Jensen

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 07:29 PM

Hey Jeff,

I've just done two seasons on a hand held show and honestly don't think I would have survived without my EasyRig. It in no way stabilizes a shot like a Steadicam, but is perfect for those awkward in between shots, shooting from the hip, long masters, shots from low to high angles etc. I didn't use it every day, but I was able to do shots that aren't possible to do in the traditional hand held sense. I know guys who use it for all their hand held work. I don't but always have it ready. There is a small learning curve to it. With the camera hanging from it's handle or bracket, it moves differently when panning or tilting than if it were on your shoulder. It can really save your back. Worth every penny.

Sean
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#4 Kris Torch Wilson

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 11:12 PM

Jeff,

I demoed one a couple of years ago and it might be worth having in your kit. It is great for long takes, man on the street type of things. No good for music, at least not the kind of stuff we usually do. To gangly, hard to tilt in tight spaces, a shadow maker. Not what one would call stealthy. Perhaps single camera shooting could get away with it. Maybe a little better than hand held for some walking shots but certainly not to be confused with a rig. Also not sure you would ever want Charlie or the boys to see you in it! :P
Demaio says hi.

Kris
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#5 Rogerhaugen

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 11:51 AM

Yes and yes!
CanĀ“t live without it! Its an investment in your back, neck, shoulders, you name it.
I use it for everything.
There is a new version easyrig 3 (?) out now.

Roger
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#6 Charles Papert

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 01:06 PM

I did a pilot with the Easyrig and the F35 a few months back and my feelings were this:

Pros:
Definite redistribution of weight (not as comprehensively as Steadicam, but improvement over just the shoulder)
Ability to redefine the center of gravity of the camera if it is notably front-heavy, depending on where it grabs the handle
Comfortable enough

Cons:
Awkward, especially when the camera isn't onboard (like Antlers, you have to "learn" your combined footprint to avoid wacking people--bending over is positively hilarious!
Hanging a camera from the top is even more diabolical in terms of physical forces than balancing it from the bottom; walking can induce a pendulum effect
Any little motion from your hips is exaggerated into the camera; you lose a certain amount of dampening that occurs between hips and shoulders
It's not that quick or easy to remove or mount the camera (and it requires help), so there is a tendency to "stay in it" longer

It did save me on this particular pilot, which was an endless amount of long, locked in place takes. However I wasn't able to produce good walking shots with it, others may have better results (probably with lighter cameras), so for me it has a very specific usage.
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#7 Brett Manyluk

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 02:20 PM

Doesn't the Klassen harness have an add-on for handheld support? And if so, does anyone have an opinion of that?

Brett
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#8 Charles Papert

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 02:37 PM

The Suspender--I used that for a feature a few years ago. For me, the same pros and cons applied. The Easyrig is definitely lighter weight, however.
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#9 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 05:43 PM

Jeff;
I did many seasons of Rescue Me, and then another hand held show for two seasons. I have several sports related injuries that create problems with my hips when I do hand held. Without the Easy Rig, I would have never survived the 5 plus seasons of hand held episodic. The only down side from my perspective is that you get teased from all sides for using a hand held aid. It goes against that macho hand held image that we are supposed to uphold.
All the razzing couldn't get me to take it off though.
Jamie
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#10 Charles Papert

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 06:11 PM

Jamie's comment about the macho side of handheld leads me to a question I have for us as rigflyers: for me, I personally strive to find ways to build a camera for a given show into the most balanced object on the shoulder possible as I find it counter-productive to have to muscle a severely front-heavy camera into a lockoff, just as it is with a Steadicam. With HD, the freedom of viewfinder adjustment (and lack of mag) often means that I end up with the finder jacked forward, out by the lens in an effort to get my shoulder under the center of gravity. More often than not, the other operator on the show will seem to content simply to bear the burden on their arms. Regardless of which is more "macho" or "easier", I remain convinced that the more balanced a camera is on the shoulder, the better the shot will be.

How say you?
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#11 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 06:46 PM

I'm with you Charles. An unbalanced camera is a nightmare. On HD jobs, I'm always amazed at the size of onbaord monitors - I think the TV I had growing up may have been smaller. Then the focus puller arms the thing out over the lens so they have a better angle while pulling. Trust me; I'm very assistant friendly but that is one we work out.

Jeff, I've never used an Easy Rig, but I do use a modified Peter Lisand LCS (http://peterlisand.com/LCS.htm). This steady stick is a lot better made than many of the cheaper versions, has a great quick release so you're not living with the camera on your shoulder between takes, looks much more discreet than an over the shoulder rig (and it gets in the way less), and makes a front heavy camera much less of an issue. Peter designed it for video cameras where you replace the front shoe on the camera with one of his pieces, but I had it adapted so it mates to any normal iris rod (native 19mm with reducers for everything else). I don't think its good for all hand held shooting, but its great for long lock-offs and long lens work.
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#12 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 06:59 PM

A balanced camera is a must for any serious hand held work. The number of operators who don't even make an attempt to keep things balanced astonishes me. So does the fact that so many cameras make it so difficult to do.

I am even for adding extra weight in the back when necessary in order to keep things reasonably balanced. I worked on one show shooting with the panavision GII where the DP would use 1000ft mags for handheld for this very reason. Although he only tried doing it with the long zoom once....

Another great little handheld aid is the hipshot (http://www.hipshot.tv/). I worked as an additional camera op on a reality tv show where all of the regular camera ops had them. I became jealous very quickly.

~Jess
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#13 Imran Naqvi

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 10:29 AM

Jamie's comment about the macho side of handheld leads me to a question I have for us as rigflyers: for me, I personally strive to find ways to build a camera for a given show into the most balanced object on the shoulder possible as I find it counter-productive to have to muscle a severely front-heavy camera into a lockoff, just as it is with a Steadicam. With HD, the freedom of viewfinder adjustment (and lack of mag) often means that I end up with the finder jacked forward, out by the lens in an effort to get my shoulder under the center of gravity. More often than not, the other operator on the show will seem to content simply to bear the burden on their arms. Regardless of which is more "macho" or "easier", I remain convinced that the more balanced a camera is on the shoulder, the better the shot will be.

How say you?


I agree Charles, the closer you can get the CG of the camera to where it sits on your shoulder the easier everything becomes. With HDCAMs like the 900 I will often use the dockable IDX v-loks double stacked on the back to get to my personal sweet spot, also if practical a Bartech is great as you can mount it further back and then also move the monitor further back as a result. I really don't like having the A.C's hands on the camera during a shot unless I ask for them.
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#14 Janice Arthur

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 11:59 AM

Hi all;

Walter Klassen has a very good "suspender" system that should be looked at too.

In at least some ways superior to the "Easy Rig".

Just a reminder.

JA

Don't know how I missed those posts, sorry for redundancy.
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#15 Charles Papert

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 12:39 PM

see above??!
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