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    #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    The two most popular Steadicam arms, the GPI Pro and Tiffen G70 can both support around 70 lbs, which is plenty to handle an Alexa 65 with 23.2 lb body, Alexa LF with 17.2 lb body, or Alexa SXT with 15.2 lb body. I get it means more tiring work for the Steadicam operator, but considering many have and can do it, are they just hiring panzy Steadicam ops?

    You gotta love the breaths of relief the tired Steadicam operator Larry McConkey, age 62 at the time, takes at the end of this long take of Hugo with a dual 3D Arri Alexa camera setup on a Steadicam. Can't handle a single Alexa 65 when you're a strapping young lad? Sheesh.
    There is a difference between simply handling the work and performing in the most efficient manner that delivers the best results. I try to spec lighter cameras for shows that involve a lot of Steadicam and handheld because I know that any given operator will ultimately do better if they aren't getting pushed as hard physically for all of those hours. That's based on my own experiences from a time when cameras weighed up to 10 lbs more than they do now.

    Using bare body weight specs is not even valuable from a comparison standpoint, because often the lightest cameras like the LF require cages or brackets that a larger camera may not need. The Varicam LT is notably lighter than the V35, but once fully loaded it is no longer especially light. Lens controls with two or three motors, cinetape or Light Ranger, transmitter, audio hop or Comtek...there's actually a lot more gak on cameras now than in the film days, where the cameras themselves weighed more on paper (35-45 lbs all in for typical 35mm film cameras). And let's not forget the weight of the sled, which hovers around 20-25 lbs. So: heavy setups would be 65-70 lbs, lighter ones which are more typical now at 50-60 lbs. Shlep that around for hours a day and even the "strapping young lads" will be experiencing diminishing returns after months of pounding.
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


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    #22
    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    Yeah that's why Garrett Brown didn't come back to work with Kubrick on Full Metal Jacket after operating steadicam on The Shining - too much punishment. (Of course, Kubrick pushed him relentlessly for dozens of takes per shot.)


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    #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahalpert View Post
    Yeah that's why Garrett Brown didn't come back to work with Kubrick on Full Metal Jacket after operating steadicam on The Shining - too much punishment. (Of course, Kubrick pushed him relentlessly for dozens of takes per shot.)
    On the contrary, Garrett has always said he enjoyed working Kubrick because the sheer repetition and Kubricks' fastidious nature gave him the opportunity to really learn how to finesse and nuance the moves in a way that he hadn't been able to on other movies. We consider that to be the birth of the real operating skill of Steadicam (if you look at films prior to that, the work was not nearly as precise).

    What I have heard GB talk about is the amount of time it took out of his life to work on the Shining--that was a year and a half long production and in the latter part of it, he was flying back and forth to the US on weekends via the Concorde to spend time with his family (on production's dime)! So I believe that was the main reason for not working on FMJ, which again shot in the UK.
    Charles Papert
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    #24
    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    Aha - if I can dig up the passage I read about him turning Kubrick down on FMJ I'll recheck it. You're probably right but my memory was that it was too physically demanding, and also that Brown had conversations with Kubrick on set about the elusive nature of perfection (as if to say enough already)


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    #25
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    Certainly the hedge maze work was incredibly demanding, running through mounds of foam and salt in air thick with oil smoke! That work was truly stunning, including the focus pulling--preceding running shots of Jack Nicholson on a 50mm where he is lurching into the lens, tack sharp throughout, incredible considering the rudimentary state of wireless lens controls at that time. Doug Milsome on the knob, who subsequently moved up to shoot Full Metal Jacket.

    It's possible that GB did in fact not return partially for the reasons you mentioned, but I would be surprised if he said so in an interview, he's quite diplomatic.
    Charles Papert
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    #26
    Senior Member James0b57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliverM View Post
    The greenish cool look they pulled off in the first two seasons took about 10 minutes of adjusting for me, never 'noticed' it afterwards. And while being distracted by the shallow DoF in this season, I do appreciate people trying to put out something that has its own look. Even if it needs adjusting at first. I still think of Steven Soderbergh's Traffic as one of the best big-budget movies I've seen. The 3 moods in that one movie were fantastic.
    Well said.

    And agreed about ‘Traffic’. There was a sense if excitement around film stocks and processing at that time. Really free to find ways to tell the story. Not that people are any less creative now, but feels like the mainstream films have gone more towards refining. Idk, i am talking off the cuff here.


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