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    #81
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    The Steadicam community surely thanks for you that sentiment!

    In the first year or two after the gimbals emerged there was a bit of a dark cloud in the Steadicam community that their livelihood was under siege. Why hire an expensive skilled operator when you can dry-hire an inexpensive gimbal? It quickly became clear that the latter model wasn't a good one, gimbals needed a tech who knew how to tune them and most importantly troubleshoot them. I avoided them myself until I started working with an operator who knew his gear backwards and forwards (like a good Steadicam operator does)!

    Now that tech has found its way into the Steadicam infrastructure via the Wave and the Volt, and especially in the case of the latter, it is allowing operators to push the limits of Steadicam even further and achieve more consistent and precise results. There's life in the old girl yet!

    Last night I thought a little about Carlito's Way, with Steadicam by the great Larry McConkey. For those who haven't seen, this clip sets the scene with some phenomenal visual storytelling in the subway car, then watch the part 2 clip for one of the greatest one'rs of all time, around the concourse at Grand Central. It's a masterclass in composing a widescreen moving frame.

    Yes, the Grand Central shot is incredible. You just have to be mentally exhausted after a shot like that.


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    #82
    Director of Photography
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    Yes, the Grand Central shot is incredible. You just have to be mentally exhausted after a shot like that.
    Not just mentally!! That's a lot of hoofing with a 70 lb rig! Another thing to think about is that the Steadicams of that era had a 4" monochrome screen. The image would be flickering from the shutter and wasn't great to begin shooting at low light level interiors. All things considered, about 1/8" of the information you get from a modern 7" monitor.

    I have a copy of Larry's "tap tape" from that scene, with the actual audio from shooting. The AD is calling out all the cues for the actors. On one take they get almost to the end but Larry jumps the gun on the whip pan to Pacino and the frame lands on the empty escalator. Then you hear him curse up a storm!
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


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    #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post

    I have a copy of Larry's "tap tape" from that scene, with the actual audio from shooting. The AD is calling out all the cues for the actors. On one take they get almost to the end but Larry jumps the gun on the whip pan to Pacino and the frame lands on the empty escalator. Then you hear him curse up a storm!
    What's great about the operating though is that the camera moves with the character's internal interest. A pan to the train door closing. A pan to the noises that show you what's stopping the door from closing.

    That's what Steadicam is really great for, seamlessly (in camera) switching of perspectives. You can go objective, subjective and to true POV and back again....Normally what an editor would do, but it feels very different to do it though camera staging and choreography. Those moves are also hard to do "nicely" on a Steadicam.

    I personally can't stand gimbal shots most of the time. They're so obvious and feel like the wrong choice a lot of the time. Give me the imperfections of a Steadicam or handheld on a rickshaw over the robotic feel of gimbal shots.... I think we mentioned this elsewhere but I could always tell when my Steadicam op left his wave on. It changes the ballistics of the camera movement entirely. I hate that thing most of the time too...

    (and no one is complaining about the "errors' in the first Carlito's way shot so....)

    JB


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    #84
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    When I got the opportunity to teach Steadicam alongside Larry in the 90's, it completely changed my approach to operating and shot design. Hearing his approach first-hand was like a master class. Every nuance of the framing and movement is deliberate and motivated whenever possible by working it through with the actors and background (Larry places each and every one and tunes their "business" as required--see the Goodfellas Copa sequence, all of the extras in the kitchen were integral to the shot design). Most actors are happy to collaborate and tailor their physicality to help improve the flow.

    Unsurprisingly, Larry jumped feet-first into the Movi when it emerged and pioneered techniques to marry it to a Steadicam in different ways. He's done some great stuff with it on Marvelous Miss Maisel.
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


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    #85
    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    Funny thing, that True Detective shot. Not to detract from the shot itself but the attention it got...it kind of felt like old wine in a new bottle. Late 90's, early 2000's, big Steadicam oner's were all over TV, until they weren't any more. Then that shot came along and it was like no-one had seen anything like it before. It may just be my personal taste but I think I'm just drawn to oner's that have more nuance than brawn.
    I'm not saying the True detective shot was theoretically one of the best oners of all time. It just seemed to work perfectly for the scene. Electrifying drama. But if the show sucked, would anyone have cared? How much great lighting and shooting have gone unnoticed on poor writing and directing that no one bothered to watch? (No need to answer that)

    To put it another way - maybe there's a better oner in TD season 2. I'll never know
    Last edited by ahalpert; 07-08-2020 at 12:19 PM.


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    #87
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    I thought I would throw this up before I pull the trigger on purchasing this item.
    As I asked in the original post on here - I do these long ass walk/talk scenes here in NYC. Long as in a city block long.
    I'm shooting with the BMPC4K and have a moza air 2 for it. But that's heavy for someone going a whole block.
    I've thought about buying something like the STEADIMATE-S - (I realize it doesn't work with the moza) but something that does.
    I've been thinking lately about a doorway dolly. Cant seem to find a used one anywhere. So the Proaim quad 4 cost 1800 without the bazooka - I would just use my tripod.
    Then I saw these wagon trucks for like 500 - delivered. https://www.zoro.com/zoro-select-wag...specifications
    This one even has 8 wheels. 16" pneumatic wheels! For 500 I get it delivered and figure out how to put a chair on it.
    I won't be using this monster indoors but only for outdoor work. And again only for walk/talk scenes. I've been looking at a lot of city streets of late for their evenness and they look pretty good.
    Anybody have any opinions on this set up? Thanks for taking a look.


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    #88
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    Well - live and learn. Footnote - I'm not a very handy guy. I'm pretty sure I'm related to this fella. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0idCh8AqhU
    I pulled the trigger on this wagon - https://www.zoro.com/zoro-select-wag...specifications - i kind of knew it might be overboard - but seeing the Proaim dolly - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...a_doorway.html - I didn't really have 3 grand for this guy.
    I thought - damn my wagon for 500 bucks is getting me in the neighborhood $2.500 cheaper.
    I thought a 2 inch steel pipe bolted in the middle - attach my gimbal to it - getting me even closer. But alas - not.
    At least I can have an operator sit on the wagon and be pulled as he holds the gimbal. Doing this the footage looked pretty good. https://youtu.be/675QcBb6Yuo
    I'm shooting 4k braw - so should be able to smooth it out a little more in post.
    Just thought I'd share.


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