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EasyRig tips?

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#1 Katherine Dudley

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 12:41 AM

I'm shooting a short action film in a few weeks, and we're looking to rent an EasyRig of some sort for smooth, handheld shots for the big fight scene. We're shooting this day on the Arri Alexa XT with Cooke mini S4 lenses. We have a choice of renting either an EasyRig Cinema 3500 N kit, or an EasyRig Vario 5 with Gimbal Rig Vest and 5" Extended Arm.

 

I've never worked with an EasyRig before, so I'm looking for any pointers, as well as advice on which to get, if either would be better for shooting with a. larger camera system like the Alexa or what. I know the Vario 5 is intended for use with gimbal systems, and we are not using a Gimbal. Both EasyRigs are the same price, so is there any benefit to one over the other, for heavier cameras? 

 

A little about the film-the scene we're looking to shoot with the EasyRig setup is a swordfight, the plan is for it to be shot handheld, so that we can get different takes with different movement quickly. We will have a mix of low, high, close-up, and wide shots. Any advice appreciated, especially if you have any guidance for how to best work with EasyRigs!

Thanks!

 

 

 


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#2 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 12:59 AM

Cooke Minis are light, but the XT is beefy. What's the total weight of your rigged camera? You need to be within the EasyRig Cinema 3's specific weight rating for the unit to function properly.

The Vario5 should comfortably handle the kit regardless (that's the benefit of the variable system). So unless there's some significant cost saving to using the Cinema 3 rig, I'd suggest just going with the Vario.

 

So far as shooting with the Easyrig, it's great for holding the camera loosely in place. But it's terrible for actually walking around with mid-take, the arm functions as a pendulum and the camera swings and bobs quite unnaturally. 

If you have any handheld, following action to shoot. I'd highly recommend pulling the camera off the rig, and just putting it on your shoulder for that.


Edited by Mark Kenfield, 24 January 2018 - 01:01 AM.

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#3 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 04:16 AM

Agree with Mark..I have my own easy rig cine 3..that Ive used alot for the past few years .. used it today actually !..Sony F5/CN7 Cine zoom.. which is a 3 Kg zoom !.. the Vario is the newer system.. where you can adjust the strain with an Alan key at the back.. if not price difference go with that..

 

They take some getting used to.. if you can practice for a day before hand..I would.. I hated it at first but otherwise I was going to have real back problems with my set up using it alot, on long days..

 

For long walking shots totally useless.. the vest brings the weight to the hips but everything sways from side to side when you walk.. but for a sword fight that shouldn't be a problem.. you can lean ok and talking a few steps is ok..plus you will be having a ton of movement in your shots anyway.. you can also go low with them.. the thing I like is you can hold a much long lens shot, hand held alot steadier than without ..   that would be goods for your over shoulder shots.. and it really does save you from fatigue .. all day long it still can get painful in your legs.. but its alot better than just on your shoulder.. I think it depends how long you will be lumping the camera around on your shoulder on the day.. if its very short takes and you can just palm it off to an assistant straight away then yes you could do without it.. if your going to be shooting alot or long takes ..I,d go the with easy rig.for sure.   its not a cheap Steadicam though .. totally different look.. have a look at Wolf Hall... they used any easy rig alot to good effect.. but I would try it out before hand.. it does take a bit of getting used to at first.. 


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#4 AJ Young

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 09:52 PM

I recommend the Vario 5 because you can control the range of weight the rig takes by tuning the easyrig itself.

 

I also recommend renting an easy rig that has this attachment: http://www.flowcine..../18-serene.html

 

The easy rig will definitely transfer the weight of the camera to your hips, which unfortunately transfers the movement of your body to the camera. A serene attachment can dampen the bouncing of the camera, but only by so much. You'll have to walk like a steadicam operator as well by controlling your bounce while you walk.


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#5 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 10:16 PM

I recommend the Vario 5 because you can control the range of weight the rig takes by tuning the easyrig itself.

 

I also recommend renting an easy rig that has this attachment: http://www.flowcine..../18-serene.html

 

The easy rig will definitely transfer the weight of the camera to your hips, which unfortunately transfers the movement of your body to the camera. A serene attachment can dampen the bouncing of the camera, but only by so much. You'll have to walk like a steadicam operator as well by controlling your bounce while you walk.

 

 

Trouble is the Serene is only for ups and down movement .. which isn't really the problem with the easy rig with normal use..no gimbal.. the problem is the side to side "sway" you get from the hips.. the same company that makes the Serena does have an answer for this .. but its a big bit of gear.. and its not a quick change around.. 


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#6 Chris Steel

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:24 AM

Whichever you go with, first thing you do when you get it is to refit the vest. I've seen too many operators just throw the thing on and have problems because it doesn't fit.

 

Loosen everything off. Put the vest on, an assistant is very useful here, and set the waist strap nice and snug against your hip bones. Tighten it down so it doesn't slip around but not so much it's uncomfortable.

 

The shoulder straps should tighten just enough to keep the top of the rig against your back but not taking much (if any) weight.

Armpit straps help keep the shoulder straps off of the collar bone.

The chest strap should just be taken to tension at this point. Don't crank it down.

 

Every time you put the camera down, undo the chest clip and the waist clip and breathe deeply. Even if it's only for a second before rigging up again, this will help maintain good blood flow to your legs.

 

When rigging up, avoid pulling the line to the camera. Have an assistant bring the camera to the clip or squat to the tripod. If that line slips while your grappling to get it onto the camera, it could easily hit you in the face quite hard. I've seen it happen, you don't want a black eye while operating.


Edited by Chris Steel, 31 January 2018 - 07:26 AM.

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#7 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:30 AM

Good point.. mine also has two metal arms that can be adjustmented either side, for how high you want it on your hips.. the hook swinging around, without camera attached is a real danger.. I have a long elastic hair band that I hook into the top of the arm.. and is secured to the vest.. stops its swinging about.. its just the level where it will hit someone in the face.. 


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#8 Chris Steel

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 11:15 AM

oh yes, forgot about those little things.

I like the hairband idea. Sometimes they come with a extra security cable (to loop around the camera encase the cable snaps) which can be used in a similar fashion. I generally try and get the operator to just take the rig off. Much safer ha


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#9 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:01 PM

Yes from new they all come with that safety rope thingy and a little utility pouch .. can fit a spare battery and a KitKat in there..  I stole the hair band idea.. (its lighter and just easier to hook on the hook of the arm, from the chest strap.. than the safety cord..) .. from another DP who had whacked the directer in the face quite badly, swinging around to talk to someone else..  not a great start to the day..!


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#10 Martin Facci

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:42 AM

One thing i can add that might be obvious but be aware of having the RIG well balanced. From front to back and from side to side.

 

You have to balance the center of gravity of the rig to where you would hang the camera. If not it would slightly fall front or back and you have to "fight it" constantly to stay straight.

 

Also from left to right... A normal problem with Easyrig operating (hunts me every time) is tilted horizons, in most cases is tilted to the left because of the monitor hanging too far from the rig to make easy to see operating with the Easyrig and the follow focus unit beeing on the same side.

 

Just keep this in mind and if you can, try to counterbalance the weight of the monitor and FF with something on the other side.

 

And good luck, you'll love using it.


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