How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director?
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Topic: How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director?

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    Default How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director?

    Basically I got a DP to shoot a short film project with and I wanted certain types of camera movement which he said would require a steadicam operator. So he got an operator who wanted to do it. However, this operator is constantly busy to make a shooting schedule with. He gets jobs where they pay for him to fly all around the country, to work on other movies, and he's just so busy all the time, that I figure we have to move on without him and just shoot the movie.

    But the DP I met for the first time on this project and him and this steadicam operator have worked a lot longer in the past and are much closer, so I want to be able to ask him if he is willing to just do the movie without him, even though he promised him the gig before.

    But how can I ask him to do that, without feeling like his friend is being rejected or turned down?

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    Super Moderator   How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? mara's Avatar
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    Ask the dp if there's a time soon when both he and the steadicam operator will be available. If yes, lock in the date and work everything else around that. If not, explain to the dp that you need to move forward without the steadicam guy. Is he (dp) still in? If yes, pick a date and lock it in, knowing that you'll probably have to go without a steadicam. If not, thank him and tell him that you hope to have an opportunity to work with him in the future, but for now you need to move on.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    Okay thanks, it's just there is one shoot date I where everything is lining up perfect, aside from the steadicam operator and I don't want to loose it so I may just bust out my old DIY steadicam and do it myself if I have to. The steadicam operator cannot make that date, so I might want to do that one without him even though that scene requires the most steadicam movement, of all the scenes possibly.

    I just don't want to loos the DP too since he knows more about lighting and what not, than I do. Plus the more I wait for confirmation on the steadicam operator's schedule, the most the actors have to wait as well. The steadicam guy is busy with gigs all around the country, so it usually takes him longer to get back to me.

    I was told by the audio person that I just need to pick the dates and I need to be the deciding factor on it, otherwise nothing will get done. But in the past if I were to say to everyone, these are the dates we are shooting on, there is always at least one person who cannot do that date, in which case, I am told I should say, then we will just have to get someone else.

    The problem with that is, I can never find someone else in time, before the date, and it always takes too long to find replacements. How do other filmmakers find replacements a lot more quickly?

    Last edited by ironpony; 08-06-2018 at 03:29 PM.

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    Tech Specialist   Michael Sorenson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    How do other filmmakers find replacements a lot more quickly?
    Networking! Hang out at film school campuses, FIND/IFP chapters and events from all sides of the production industry. Perfect an elevator pitch and "woo your crew!"


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    Okay thanks, but the shoot is in a week and I don't think I have time to wait for chapters and events to come around, to replace the steadicam operator.


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    Super Moderator   How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? mara's Avatar
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    Then do the best you can without the steadicam operator. And focus on networking for next time.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    Sure. I don't have a lot of time to redo the storyboards cause of all the other pre-production duties going on so far, and don't want to have to communicate all new storyboards to everyone on such short notice. So should I just bust out a DIY steadicam and hope it does as good of a job?

    I don't want to go static cause then if the camera is not moving with the actor, he will go out of frame and I will have to cut and continue off with more shot set ups, that would take longer, instead of just following him on a continuous take. So I guess a DIY steadicam or I could just hold the tripod and walk with him, but do you think that would look bad?


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    Junior Member   RobotSpark's Avatar
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    If you're left with no other choice you might have to do the steadycam...


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    Yeah maybe, I just don't know where to get one. People keep suggesting to me to rent one, but I cannot find a rental store that has one.


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    Tech Specialist   Michael Sorenson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Yeah maybe, I just don't know where to get one. People keep suggesting to me to rent one, but I cannot find a rental store that has one.
    http://geni.us/Ge2PcFo

    Hope this helps, IP!


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    Okay thanks, but I don't live anywhere near those locations. I am Canadian as well.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay thanks, but I don't live anywhere near those locations. I am Canadian as well.
    Greetings, IP!

    BorrowLenses.com ships to your location and the transit time doesn't count against your rental days. Try vistek.ca is you need to use a Canadian supplier. Hope this helps!


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    Okay thanks, I also found a rental store in my city that I didn't even know about until now. However, the rental prices will add up to the price of actually buying the item. Like if I rent a steadicam for three days, it adds up to the cost of an actual glidecam. So why do filmmakers rent then, if you're not really saving any money?


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    Tech Specialist   Michael Sorenson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay thanks, I also found a rental store in my city that I didn't even know about until now. However, the rental prices will add up to the price of actually buying the item. Like if I rent a steadicam for three days, it adds up to the cost of an actual glidecam. So why do filmmakers rent then, if you're not really saving any money?
    Greetings, IP!

    Most rent for savings and the dependability of gear that is well-maintained. Generally, a three-day week will still be only a fraction of a high-end camera head base cost without lenses (e.g., RED, Alexa). For camera support, if the rental comes to more than $200.00 for a single day, find an alternative supplier. Hope this helps!


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    Yeah like for example, the glidecam is 180 dollars a day to rent but I could buy a whole glidecam after three day rentals. I don't think there is another store with steadicams but I can check around more.


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    Super Moderator   How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? How should I proceed with this pre-production problem as director? mara's Avatar
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    Seems like you're comparing apples to oranges. I looked at Vistek.ca - the site that Michael mentioned - and steadicam sales prices are many multiples of the steadicam rental fees.

    So don't compare a glidecam purchase to a steadicam rental.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    Oh sorry I got mixed up. what I meant was, the price it costs to rent a steadicam, is a third of a glidecam price to own a glidecam. So I figured I might as well just buy a glidecam, at the price to rent a steadicam for three days.

    Last edited by ironpony; 08-08-2018 at 06:11 PM.

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