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Stabilized Head?


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#1 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 09:50 PM

Hi everyone,
I was hoping to get some good opinions on a gyrostabilized head. I am going to be keying a music video where we will be leading (in front of) two bicycle riders down the often pothole-filled streets of New York.

Honestly, the details of the shots have not been worked out between the director and the DP as of right now (should be done by tomorrow) so I don't know how tight or how much control is needed, but I wanted to give them the smoothest option available. I was thinking of something like Libra head on a camera car, followed by the two talent on bikes. Is there something better, more versatile, or smoother than the Libra? There was the idea of a steadicam op just operating (standing) on the lead camera car, but i think the DP wants a little more control himself (he's not a steady op). Ideally, the shot would use a smallish crane, perhaps a super Techno15, on the back of a process trailer, with a stabilized head, for the shots where they are riding, and then use the head on sticks/dolly for the closeups, and the talent would just be on the flatbed. I don't think the crane will happen because of the budget, so perhaps some others have some ideas on how to get a nice, steady shot with a fair amount of range.

Thanks :)
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#2 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 10:34 PM

Daniel,

I just did a shoot for American Honda with my DP, Kevin Ward, using this rig. We used the Filmotechnics Mini Flight Head along with the Chapman Vertical Vibration Isolator damping mount (at the end of the arm), all riding aboard an ATV built by Ron Nix in Salt Lake City.

Works great, and the cost is a little more reasonable than some of the rigs you mentioned. And it should certainly be able to handle a few potholes.

-Fran

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#3 Onno Perdijk

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 03:58 PM

Hello Daniel,

(does this really belong in AC's?)

It is all about the look it depends on, in this way: I find that sometimes a stabilized head makes it too smooth. Sometimes you actually want to be more than just an observer with the action.
a stabilized head takes out the small vibrations on all axes, not the big bumps: this is where the shock absorber or a jib arm comes as being usefull.

I have done some very spectacular shootings with just a jib arm and an underslung head (Ronford F7 or Libra) and the operator sitting on the back of a pick-up.


As soon as you are using longer lenses I would recommend a stabilized head on a jibarm or small crane.

I'd also could recommend my TrussDolly on an BarTruss rigged on the back of a pickup with a stabilized head but my gear is not available for rent in NY....

Good Luck


Onno Perdijk
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#4 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 09:15 PM

Hey all,
Thanks very much for the replies.

Fran-
great suggestions. The super vibration isolator by Chapman might be just the thing, had not even realized it. Of course, I STILL (grrr...) have not been told what the shots are to look like. Very frustrating. As for the flight head (can't use the Mini, we will be using some kind of Arri cam) does this have any advantages over the Libra? I suppose it may just come down to what is most available here in NYC next week. But if I can give some compelling reason to go with one over the other, I will convince production to do what's necessary.
Otherwise, the rig in your pics looks great. It unfortunately leaves the actors having to ride their bikes for real, and thus no real/exact lighting, but I suppose the only way to do that is with a process trailer.

Onno-
Thanks for the info re amount of stabilization. Unfortunately, as mentioned, I still don't know what the look wants to be. I'd like to have a gyrostabilized head on set just in case. Do you know of a good one that is available in NYC? Libra III vs. Flight Head? Anything else?
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

CineLab

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

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Technodolly

Willys Widgets