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the fig rig versus glidecam 4000


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#1 Paul peabody

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 10:22 PM

After using a glidecam 4000 and being totally unimpressed with the weight and cumbersome nature of this equip,,I set out on an exhaustive traversal of the hundreds of ways inde filmmakers adapt invent and even sell plans for cranes etc,,,,and then I happened on Mike Figgis' fig rig,,,,go to the bogen manrotto site,,,and watch all the "fuss",,,I dont know what anyone else thinks,,,but I felt he is really on to something except? the design looked awfully like a large steering wheel with a bar on the lower third for camera,,,,places for clips (for wires) and microphones ,,etc it maneuvers very well ,however the price ,for essentially a car steering wheel,with some extraexpensive clips and clamps,,,I decided to make one myself,,,and I am very excited,,the maneuvarability,and the ability to do low shots and zoom and pan,,,and ,,,like this is really something,,,I think anyway,,,and I made mine for thirty five dollars,,,,!!!anyone out there have a view about this approach towards "steadiness"?
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#2 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 03:22 AM

Is that really all one sentence? It would be a lot easier to read your post if you used a period once in a while.
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#3 Paul peabody

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 06:35 PM

ok.brad.
Is that really all one sentence?  It would be a lot easier to read your post if you used a period once in a while.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


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#4 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 08:32 PM

My post wasn't meant as a personal insult, it's just very hard to read what you've written. You'll probably get fewer responses if your post is hard to read is the point I was trying to make.
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#5 drew_town

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 08:37 PM

A glidecam would probably outperform the fig thing although the steering wheel requires little set up time. Basically what I get is the wheel is an alternative to a shoulder mount able to get the low or high shots. The video of him shooting with the steering wheel looks ridiculous. I laughed out loud, but hey, whatever works. Try to shoot with an XL2 on that thing and it'll probably break your arms.
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#6 Ed Moore

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 08:58 PM

I'm really excited by that video - okay, it does look pretty ridiculous, but I've spent enough time trying to massage some life back into a wrist totally numbed by supporting a DV camera all day that I'd be happy to sacrifice my otherwise impeccable streetcred :)

As Drew says anything XL2 sized or bigger is going to be pointless but this seems the ideal counterpart to the Z1. It's not the sort of effect I'd want to use for drama so much but it would be fantastic for unpredictable documentaries - I spent three days shooting in London recently carrying a DSR390, a Vinten Vision 8 and a rycote around on the tube and my spine has yet to forgive me. The opportunity to leave the sticks on the truck seems too good not to pass up.

I like the idea of being able to use the bottom curve to steady the camera between your legs but the top half of the curve above the handgrips seems pretty useless other than for mounting a shotgun. Perhaps if they removed this bit you'd look a bit less like you were filming someone with a steering wheel...
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#7 Paul peabody

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 12:22 AM

yes mr figgis does look a bit bizarre ,,,however when I finished my mock up today I was ecstatic about the range of motion and how easy it was to keep very steady,,,your comment about the xl2 though has me wondering,,,?

I'm really excited by that video - okay, it does look pretty ridiculous, but I've spent enough time trying to massage some life back into a wrist totally numbed by supporting a DV camera all day that I'd be happy to sacrifice my otherwise impeccable streetcred :)

As Drew says anything XL2 sized or bigger is going to be pointless but this seems the ideal counterpart to the Z1.  It's not the sort of effect I'd want to use for drama so much but it would be fantastic for unpredictable documentaries - I spent three days shooting in London recently carrying a DSR390, a Vinten Vision 8 and a rycote around on the tube and my spine has yet to forgive me.  The opportunity to leave the sticks on the truck seems too good not to pass up.

I like the idea of being able to use the bottom curve to steady the camera between your legs but the top half of the curve above the handgrips seems pretty useless other than for mounting a shotgun.  Perhaps if they removed this bit you'd look a bit less like you were filming someone with a steering wheel...

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#8 Paul peabody

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 12:27 AM

Maybe with time the weight thing might be an issue however,,my mockup was easy to maneuver and I am starting a major body building campaign and it seems ,though I have never liked it,,,,tai chi seems to be constantly suggested to me.Also I have a manfrotto remote on the right and it all seemed a "freeing" experience,,hah!
A glidecam would probably outperform the fig thing although the steering wheel requires little set up time. Basically what I get is the wheel is an alternative to a shoulder mount able to get the low or high shots. The video of him shooting with the steering wheel looks ridiculous. I laughed out loud, but hey, whatever works. Try to shoot with an XL2 on that thing and it'll probably break your arms.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


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#9 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 04:41 AM

I don't understand the comparison between a Glidecam (or any Steadicam "like" device) to the "fig rig". The fig rig is handheld, a Glidecam absorbs your footsteps. They're two completely different things. As a matter of fact, I think the fig rig is a gimmick. It can't do anything that someone can't do with their hands. It's a ripoff at any price.
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#10 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 06:49 AM

As a matter of fact, I think the fig rig is a gimmick.  It can't do anything that someone can't do with their hands.  It's a ripoff at any price.

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Agreed!

I was just talking about this with a friend of mine yesterday. If you take the time to look around, you'll see all of the different camera support systems there are out there (one company alone had four different types). It ridiculous! The vast majority of them are gimmicks, in my opinion, and the fig rig is just one more.

Most of us DV camera owners need to seriously take a look at our addiction. There people who can help. Call 1-800-555-GEAR and become a member of GSA, Gear Sluts Anonymous.

;)

Jay
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#11 Paul peabody

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 12:23 PM

Brad,,,your comments are duly noted.However,in refining the handheld technique,do you agree that the weight of the camera is a stabilizing base,but ones hands are generally on either side,,.I would make an analogy to a tight rope walker that has a pole,,,(the bottom of the glidecam is sort of in that area,no?),.Whereas both hands being on the camera close together it is much harder to balance.. When you try holding with two hands,,APART,it is remarkable actually how this almost completely "absorbs" footstep shake.
In building a mockup,,I find that ,the subtle sensation of balance is more easily informed being apart to my particular sense of stability.It is remarkably simple,>I agree that there is a gimmick,,,However I could not find a suitable substitute in the circular hoop variety.It is a ripoff in the sense that charging 300 dollars for the basic rig ,is capitalizing on a very simple albeit odd looking thing..However at the moment Manfrotto has an edge because there is nothing else out there quite like it.Give it a whirl,,,then I would tend to gravitate towards your point of view.



I don't understand the comparison between a Glidecam (or any Steadicam "like" device) to the "fig rig".  The fig rig is handheld, a Glidecam absorbs your footsteps.  They're two completely different things.  As a matter of fact, I think the fig rig is a gimmick.  It can't do anything that someone can't do with their hands.  It's a ripoff at any price.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Edited by Paul peabody, 24 May 2005 - 12:25 PM.

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