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The Legway


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#1 Janice Arthur

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 12:21 PM

Hi all;

I've been working on this a very long time.

The picture shows the final design minus the annodizing. When it is done it will be all black.

All that is missing is the simple belt that holds it to your waist. The rig attaches to a socketblock on the horizontal pipe.

The reward is that when the rig is over the wheels, it weighs nothing. The Legway is great for walking backwards, over curbs, rough surfaces or smooth.

The other benefit is that because you are isolated from the rig slow moves are a dream and thus even longer lens shooting too.

It can be steered forward but it does take a bit of learning to get used to guiding the wheels forward with your hips. Everyone who has used it figures that out in about 15 minutes.

The wheels can be set at two limits one at 12 noon in front of your left leg to about 2 o'clock inward and the 2 o'clock to about 8 o'clock over your left shoulder.

The Legway fits on your vest or on the belt.

I used it on the belt the other day for 3 hours and never took off the rig. Assistants love it because they don't have to take the rig from you. It is fun to do walk down hallways without carrying the weight.

Unlike all the vehicles we've used this one is useful on every job 10-70% of every day. Because it has a small footprint you can use it in many instances that every other vehicle stops you.

I will of course keep making improvements to it and I'll have the web site videos finished and start to post them.

I am anxious to hear what you all think.

To me this was kind of the holy grail of Steadicam gadgets because I was getting tired of carrying it when I knew there was nothing in my way or to just line up a shot. Maybe I was just getting old and cranky.

Thanks.

JA

(yes, its patented.)

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#2 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 05:58 PM

You look different in that picture than I remember :rolleyes: Will you be bringing it to NAB? Looks like an interesting idea. How does the rig balance front to back and left to right? Are there adjustments on the socket block?
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#3 Janice Arthur

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 07:58 PM

Lawerance;

Glad that you remember me differently.

As for balancing, the rig balances over the wheels just like it was on you or a vehicle.

Front to back with the socket block or the 1/4" on the arm socket.

You get the rig to where you feel comfortable.

As for NAB, still figuring that out, maybe too late to have a showing but probably later in LA or elsewhere.

It is not good for running forward, you don't want to hit some tiny object and be stopped cold.

The wheels can be changed out for smaller wheels, depending on the terrain. 20" BMX tires are what is shown. The bigger the tires the more you can drag them over things like curbs.

If you have a simple walk down a sidewalk or around a smooth hallway and like to have your rig longer then change out the wheels. It is no accident that I am using a bike fork and bike tires.

Lots of choices can be made as we discover the individual preferences of this thing.

Bike tires are quiet and provide little friction for the heavy weights of some rigs that we use.

JA
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#4 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 06:08 PM

Love it...! when can I get one to play with? Anyway to get the weight off is good! These digi cameras are not getting lighter anytime soon.

Old and cranky and sick of the lock off Steadicam coverage too,

Jeff
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#5 Iain Baird

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 07:53 PM

Janice,

I'm not sure what stage you are in the unveiling of this prototype but I would really like to see it with a RIG on board!! I don't doubt for a moment that it works but it's keeping me up at night wondering what prevents the wheels from sliding away and leaving you carrying the load. I keep picturing what would happen if I rested the rig on a unicycle, it would carry the weight as long as I was able to keep the balance perfectly with constant tweaking but the moment I wasn't fast enough the wheel would fly out from under me, leaving me holding all of the weight, how is this different?

Again, I'm not trying to knock the device as I'm sure it has been field tested, I'm only trying to wrap my head around the mechanics.

Thanks,

IAIN
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#6 Janice Arthur

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 08:45 PM

Jeff and Ian;

Here is a picture of Walter Klassen and an earlier design that was impossible to steer forward but shows the rig nicely balanced over the wheels.

This one was great to walk backwards but frustrating because you couldn't position yourself well.

There will be one more picture to follow this one of the final version that is being manufactured.

It is made from parts from Walter version.

Walter and his guys made the prototype you see and were dynamite at helping run through a lot more options I had on this thing last fall.

As far as trying it, I'll have units this week and some are already spoken for but I'll be able to start answering some of the requests.

The reason this thing works and isn't a unicycle that runs away from you is that the fork holds the wheels directly under the one spot that the rig sits over. Believe me I tried lots that turned out to be unicycles and the wheels did that.

The other reason it works is that your legs and the wheel/wheels we make a nice stable little tripod. Even standing still is unusually stable compared to what you might think.

You'll see in one video I'm making if you put the wheels on a bathroom scale the weight of the rig is on the wheels. Also in testing this with lots of people I've often walked up and thought I'd move the wheels over really quickly and I've been surprised by how much weight is on them.

I couldn't post pictures before because they were huge and a friend helped make them smaller.

Thanks.

JA

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#7 Janice Arthur

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 08:49 PM

This is Felix Mendez, a local operator who was trying it out.

Also thanks to all the people who helped keep this a secret for the time it need to be kept quiet.

It seems tremendously simple when you see it but it took quite a bit to get here.
(Simple is what you want though.)

JA

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#8 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 08:11 PM

Janice,

Is this attached at the waist to the operator? Because my same thoughts were that of Iain, what keeps the unicycle effect from happening? It all makes since now. It seems that the only precautions you would need are chin guards and small strides.

This would be killer for a slow walk n talk, but I'm afraid it would restrict one in a lot of other ways. Very nice.
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#9 Janice Arthur

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 08:46 PM

Janice,

Is this attached at the waist to the operator? Because my same thoughts were that of Iain, what keeps the unicycle effect from happening? It all makes since now. It seems that the only precautions you would need are chin guards and small strides.

This would be killer for a slow walk n talk, but I'm afraid it would restrict one in a lot of other ways. Very nice.



Alfeo;

Yes it is on a cloth nylon belt that tightens with velcro, flat metal pieces on the belt make it stiff but it does conform to your waist. You can also mount the thing to your vest.

I've never thought I needed shin guards, nor has anyone who's tried it on mentioned the need for them.

It doesn't do the unicycle thing, it stays right where you see it. If you move the rig off the wheels you can force is outward if that's what you mean, that's why there are stops at the 12 o'clock position to keep that from happening. You can also feel the weight of the rig growing on you and you can simply move the rig back over the wheels.

(Walking forward is trickier, and clearly walking backward is better but because we all love the idea of not carrying the weight we're going to push the limits with it, that's going to be something we're all going to have to figure out.) We don't have hands available to steer with so we're going to have to make adjustments with our hips.

You can also slide the horizontal pipe over a bit if it gets in the way of your feet or just for preference.
The way you see it is designed so that you can still go through doorways like we always do.

I've done some fast walking backwards with it and it does work. Everyone is going to have to figure out that treshold for themselves. Some of the guys who have tried it have mentioned they might hit the fork but they didn't and because you are staring at your feet you can "observe" all that and it works ok so far, we'll see as more people get to try it.

It is great for the walk and talks, slow and otherwise. If you think the vertical is going to interfere with the rig then you adjust the shot a few degrees right or left to clear the vertical or you extend the rig farther from the post. Since there is no weight on you can put the rig anywhere your arms can reach.

Maybe a future version would have a vertical with a curve in it to open up the area for the rig??

Lastly, you're right is useful only some of the time but now we've got something in our kits to help for lots of situations.

Thanks for the input.

JA
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#10 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 01:19 AM

Janice, did you try a 360 degree swiveling smaller wheel set? That would make going forward or left to right easier, no?
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#11 Janice Arthur

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 07:24 AM

Janice, did you try a 360 degree swiveling smaller wheel set? That would make going forward or left to right easier, no?



Lawerance;

Boy did I try caster wheels, of lots of different types.

Larry McConkey taught me lots about casters and wheels. Larry also named the Legway which was LOL
funny when he came up with it.

Casters depend on the weight being even over them and even subtle changes in the position of the Steadicam over the wheels made them not correct back to their right position and that 'grocery cart' effect was sometimes an issue for various weight reasons. Even a grocery cart has the weight fixed over its wheels.

Also you don't want a caster turning flat and 'sticking' if you hit an obstacle.

Small wheels can go over small bumps. The bigger the diameter the more you'll go over bigger obstacles. Its a compromise, like everything.

As Larry said you can make any wheel a caster and I'm still pondering it but when I tried it many different ways I couldn't get it to work well.

Notice those kids jogging strollers, the front wheel is fixed because you don't want to be 'stuck' in a jog if it turned on you.

The 12" inches between the Legway wheels gives you a wide place to balance the rig so that it is pleasant to operate. Also the bike tires give little friction under a heavy weight. I tried wider wheels and they give you lots of friction. (Larry again.) Wider wheels, and walking backwards on the beach would be great!

Keep thinking because like the Steadicam it didn't come of the shelf perfectly and we're still working on it.

JA
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#12 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 07:36 AM

Hey Janice,

Are you coming to NAB? I'll be in the Steadicam booth again and would love to see it first hand.
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#13 Brad Hruboska

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 09:35 AM

Oh my god thats my old model 2/3 arm in the picture LOL! Hey thats a Bob Crone original, steeped in Steadicam history. I wondered what you did with that arm.

:lol:
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#14 Janice Arthur

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 06:32 PM

Hi all;

First Brad, yes that's your old arm, works great use it for my rental rig and its had a nice home.

Second, I have finished units now in. I've begun sprinkling them around as I get to the requests.

(I can't just bring it into NAB without an exihibitor pass so NAB is a little hard at this last minute.)

The web site pictures and videos are being done this week so the web site is done except for those key elements.

Three local operators have tried it and it works as advertised.

More as I get it.

Price? Roughly 1800. plus a heavy duty fiber case.
I'm still refining that to make it as affordable as I can.

Yes there will be an identical version for the Flyer sized units that is just downsized for them.



On a separate note Mike O'Shea has given me permission to make his practice cages. I'll have some in a couple of weeks. (I finally got a really good machine shop.)

Thanks.

Janice
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