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Im 18 yrs Old, Go to Film School, and thinking about buying a Stedicam


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#1 Vincenzo

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:37 PM

Hi Guys im 18 years old and im currently going to film school im a freshmen and i have 3 years to go before i get my degree. I would like to D.P but im very interested in setting my self apart buy buying a stedicam and start learning this specialty of the field. by doing this im still going to be a part of the film/video industry, which i have a big passion for but

i am open to any suggestions like am i too young? or when is the right time to start? etc.
P.S i most likely will buy the glidecam v-20 for a start because it fit's my budget($5000-6000) and supports most 16 mm cameras which they use in my school.

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#2 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 11:31 PM

Good for you! I'd suggest you take a steadicam course either before or after you buy the rig. I think buying the rig is a great idea and I don't think your ever too young! Do as much free work as you can and practice as much as possible.

Good luck!
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#3 David Williams

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 11:39 PM

Get Jerry and Laurie's book, http://www.jerryholway.com/, borrow someones rig if you can, do one of the 6 day courses, then buy one if your still keen.

Never too young, but remember you need to learn to be a camera op as well. You have to frame and move.
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#4 Philip J. Martinez SOC

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 08:42 AM

HI Vincenzo,

What school are you going to?

I would save $2,000.00 more and buy a Flyer LE. Or look at a used or demo Flyer. Get a hold of Peter Abraham.

Take the Pilot/Flyer workshop and take a Glidecam workshop and see what you like better.

Peter Abraham
Director of Technical Services
The Tiffen Company
Email: pabraham@tiffen.com
Phone: (917) 453-1219

Good Luck,

Philip
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#5 Charles Papert

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:17 AM

I started at your age too, Vincenzo. The lads have given you some great advice already, particular about taking a workshop (it made a big difference and set me on a good course).

I'm going to go out on a limb here also and suggest that while it is increasingly popular to desecrate the English language in today's popular forms of communication, it can't hurt to put a little more effort in on the literacy level (especially when communicating with professionals in your desired field). Many of us are also guilty of being cavalier about punctuation, spelling and capitalization when posting on the Forum, but if you are concerned about making an impression, it's a good idea to put your best foot forward, I think. Particularly when it comes to the name of the Device...(it's right there at the top of the page)!
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#6 Dave Gish

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 02:01 PM

What school are you going to?

NYC = NYU, Columbia, or SVA
NYC + 16mm film camera = NYU

I would save $2,000.00 more and buy a Flyer LE.

They generally use the ARRI SR2 or SR3. With rails, follow focus, french flag and eyebrows, you may go beyond the Flyer.

i am open to any suggestions like am i too young? or when is the right time to start? etc.
P.S i most likely will buy the glidecam v-20 for a start because it fit's my budget($5000-6000) and supports most 16 mm cameras which they use in my school.

Hi Vincenzo,

I've done NYU shoots before. Here's a picture. Email me: davegish AT verizon DOT net
Posted Image
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#7 Tom Wills

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 02:09 PM

As someone who's not too far off from where you are, also being in my first year of college, 19, and owning a small Steadicam rig, my first advice is to really go for what the rest of the guys here are saying - take a workshop. I took one of the 2-Day workshops with Peter Abraham, and I really can't recommend it enough. It's $500, but that is money well spent in this industry. It came down to the fact that I didn't even know what I didn't know yet, so I needed the professional instruction. I'd recommend it before you even think of buying a rig, since this really isn't something you can just pick up and go with, and it's something that's going to require a real commitment financially. Go, figure out if you can do it, if you want to do it, and all of that, and then go pick yourself up a rig.

As to getting a rig, my first instinct was to stay in the Steadicam family, and I'm glad I did. My rig is low-end, and pretty cobbled together, and requires a lot of careful work to keep it from breaking, but I really love it. And, in coming to a school where they had an off-brand Steadicam knockoff, I've been able to compare it to my rig, and I've found that the Steadicam parts I have are hands-down winners compared to their knockoff equivalents. You do mention flying a 16mm camera - while I think that it'd be great to be able to do that, I think that sacrificing quality to be able to fly a heavier rig which will have a lot of its own problems (worrying about film moving in the magazine and changing your balance, remote focusing, and all that) might not be the best choice. That's all up to you though, but be educated before you make a choice!

Good luck with it all, and if I can be of any help, let me know. There are also plenty of resources in the New York area, and plenty of people who would probably be willing to help you make this happen.

Oh, looks like Dave caught me before I was able to hit post! He's a great resource on all of this, and he and I took a workshop together - he's a great guy.

Edited by Tom Wills, 27 March 2009 - 02:11 PM.

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#8 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 03:03 PM

They generally use the ARRI SR2 or SR3. With rails, follow focus, french flag and eyebrows, you may go beyond the Flyer.

Ditch all that junk and either use the arri lightweight rod bracket that clips on the front or get a jerry hill 2n1 motor mount (http://www.steadimoves.com/parts.html) and I would think you could get it on a flyer even with a bartech on there. Use blackwrap instead of a mattebox. Doesn't leave you a lot of room but if it works I would personally prefer it to the glidecam.

Of course you are still going to need a wireless follow focus so until you can afford it you should become friends with someone that owns one. You can get by without one on 1/3" digital shoots and even on 16mm and 2/3" digital shoots if you are doing day exteriors stopped down but it can become very limiting.

As everyone else has already said, take a workshop. Even if it is just one of the $500 2 day Flyer workshops. Peter will get you started on the right track.

~Jess
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#9 Philip J. Martinez SOC

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 03:42 PM

NYC = NYU, Columbia, or SVA
NYC + 16mm film camera = NYU

Hi Dave,

I think there are more then 3 universities in the New York City area that shoot with 16mm cameras but I could be wrong.

I looked at the Glidecam V-20 and it only lifts 1lbs. more then the Flyer LE so.....
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#10 Dave Gish

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 04:24 PM

I looked at the Glidecam V-20 and it only lifts 1lbs. more then the Flyer LE so.....

From the V-20 manual:
"The Glidecam V- 20 is designed primarily for use with professional video and 16mm motion picture camera packages weighing from 15 to 26 pounds. "

I believe the Flyer LE maxes out at 19 pounds.

I haven't used the Flyer LE, but I have used the regular Flyer. The V-20 is a bigger rig. It's not nearly as nice as the Steadicam stuff, but it works, and it's hard to break, so it works for rentals. I wish Steadicam didn't have such a huge price jump between the Flyer and the Archer.

Edited by Dave Gish, 27 March 2009 - 04:27 PM.

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#11 Philip J. Martinez SOC

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 05:07 PM

I stand corrected.

I guess I stopped reading at the V-16 line. That is incredibly inexpensive for the amount of camera it can fly.

Dave is that what you have? If so have you tried the Steadicam Archer? How different are the 2?
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#12 Dave Gish

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 05:22 PM

Dave is that what you have? If so have you tried the Steadicam Archer? How different are the 2?

I have the Pilot. I've used that with the EX1, EX3, V1U and my HVX.

The V-20 was a rental that I used for a couple of NYU 16mm student films.

I used the Flyer at the workshop.

For my next step up, I'm considering separates: a G-50 arm, Klassen vest, and maybe a lower end MK-V sled. But the way things look now, that could be a ways off.
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#13 Dave Gish

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 05:44 PM

(regarding the V-20) That is incredibly inexpensive for the amount of camera it can fly.

Compared to the Steadicam stuff, the V-20 is pretty crude. There's only 1 spring arm section, so isolation isn't the greatest. Adjusting the arm spring tension requires you to take off the rig and use a socket wrench. Adjusting the stage requires you to loosen 8 brass thumbscrews and then use an Allen wrench, and then tighten 8 thumbscrews again. There's no monitor or battery included, so I used my Pilot monitor and battery. The cables all come down the front, from the rails to the top of the monitor (see picture), and these have to be taped up tight so they don't flop around, so lengthening the post becomes an ordeal. It takes a long time to set up and balance. But in the end, it worked.

Edited by Dave Gish, 27 March 2009 - 05:49 PM.

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#14 Vincenzo

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:24 PM

I go to Five Towns College in Dix Hills NY

HI Vincenzo,

What school are you going to?

I would save $2,000.00 more and buy a Flyer LE. Or look at a used or demo Flyer. Get a hold of Peter Abraham.

Take the Pilot/Flyer workshop and take a Glidecam workshop and see what you like better.

Peter Abraham
Director of Technical Services
The Tiffen Company
Email: pabraham@tiffen.com
Phone: (917) 453-1219

Good Luck,

Philip


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#15 Philip J. Martinez SOC

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:13 PM

Try to get your school to host a Tiffen or Glidecam workshop.
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