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Steadicam without steadicam?


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#1 Milenko Jovanovich

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 07:49 PM

I have a music video shoot coming next month, and in one sequence we are following an actor as he climbs up the stairs. The camera is in front of him as he goes up.
I think the best way to pull this off is by using steadicam, but our budget doesn't stretch that far.
Any suggestions how to do this shot without it? Is there a way to run a dolly on stairs (or something like that)?
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 04:20 AM

What camera are you using?
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#3 Warwick Hempleman

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 05:02 AM

Also, is this a set or a location, is the stairway enclosed or open on one side (or both), how wide is it, if open do you want to see into the room below / above the stairs, would the move start before the actor enters the stairway or end after it, how close do you want to be to the actor?
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#4 Milenko Jovanovich

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 05:17 AM

We are using sony FX1. The stair case has railing on one side and the wall on the other. We are following the actor as he walks down the corridor and into the staircase (and up) in an apartment building.
And the staircase is abot 1.2-1.5m wide

Edited by Milenko Jovanovich, 06 October 2008 - 05:19 AM.

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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 07:40 AM

You could try mounting a light tripod onto the camera, trying to hold the tripod gently close to the counterbalance point, so that the camera mass is just balanced by the lower part of the tripod - you could even put some weight at the bottom of the tripod legs if they're getting too long. Putting on the camera's optical stabilizer should help remove bumps.

It's a bit poor man's Doggycam, but it might be worth trying, although it may require some practise.
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#6 Michael K Bergstrom

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 01:15 PM

Manfrotto makes something called a FigRig Stabilizer, and for small cameras works like a charm. If you google it, there are people who have made homemade ones that work just as well for under $50. Good luck!
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#7 Milenko Jovanovich

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:26 PM

Yeah, I've used something like that (FigRig), and it does help, with lots of practice of course. I bought a cheap tripod (for cameras up to 4kg) that I'm going to modify into a makeshift steadicam, let you know how it turns out. Thank you all for feedback.
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