Glidecam Videography & HDSLR Combo

WolFangCamera Stabilization, Glidecam

Glidecam Workshop in Malaysia
The most challenging stabilizing moves come from action films. So we create action scenes for Glidecam Operators to practice.

The most challenging stabilizing moves come from action films. So we create action scenes for Glidecam Operators to practice.

In our recent Glidecam Videography course, we used two of the most prominent HDSLR brands (Canon and Nikon) with the Glidecam Smooth Shooter, itself a brand renowned in the camera stabilization industry.

Stability Work Outs- each day, before the Glidecam is balanced, participants have to warm up with specific exercises that emphasizes the body's stability, orientation and strengthens specific muscles.

Stability Work Outs- each day, before the Glidecam is balanced, participants have to warm up with specific exercises that emphasizes the body's stability, orientation and strengthens specific muscles.

We were to have with us Baba Sandiko who flew all the way from Jakarta, Indonesia. From Malaysia, we had Mike Ong who drove over from the Perak, in the North.

Handheld dolly movements- participants must know the techniques to pull off short dolly movements. This is part of the Stability Work Outs.

Handheld dolly movements- participants must know the techniques to pull off short dolly movements. This is part of the Stability Work Outs.

Two of my Videography students from Saito College also joined us. They provided us with action scenes so our participants can practice.

Participants begin by balancing the Glidecam Sled. Baron holds up a steel plate that is added to the sled. This compensates for a HDSLR's lightweight body.

Participants begin by balancing the Glidecam Sled. Baron holds up a steel plate that is added to the sled. This compensates for a HDSLR's lightweight body.

Lessons were held indoors but practice took place outdoors, including a scenic park that featured uneven terrain with trees and bushes spotting the landscape.

Baba Sandiko from Indonesia executes a Sled Arc Test which swings the sled from horizontal back to neutral. Scary!

Baba Sandiko from Indonesia executes a Sled Arc Test which swings the sled from horizontal back to neutral. Scary!

This increased the challenge for our participants but it helped them become more aware of their surrounding and each move they made.

From left: Baba Sandiko (Jakarta Indonesia), Adrian Yap & Kumuthan (Saito College), Baron and Mike (Perak, Malaysia)

From left: Baba Sandiko (Jakarta Indonesia), Adrian Yap & Kumuthan (Saito College), Baron and Mike (Perak, Malaysia)

Without doubt, this is our most physically demanding course. Day 1 itself featured a lesson on ‘Exercises Designed for the Videographer’ followed by warm-up sessions that highlighted the knees and arms.

Baron helps Baba Sandiko wear the Support Vest. The SmoothShooter arm is attached to the vest, then the sled is attached to the arm last.

Baron helps Baba Sandiko wear the Support Vest. The SmoothShooter arm is attached to the vest, then the sled is attached to the arm last.

I’ll let the photos do the talking. This post will be more of a Photo Essay. Most of the photos are courtesy of Adrian Yap and Kumuthan Govindasamy. Thanks for taking them :)

One the first day, participants are introduced to all the components of the Glidecam Smooth Shooter system.

One the first day, participants are introduced to all the components of the Glidecam Smooth Shooter system.

Mike and Baba prepare the Glidecam for a practice glide on uneven terrain.

Mike and Baba prepare the Glidecam for a practice glide on uneven terrain.

Face Off! Adrian and Kumuthan practice their action scenes. Their acting plays a crucial role in helping the Glidecam Operator learn how to move in an actual film set.

Face Off! Adrian and Kumuthan practice their action scenes. Their acting plays a crucial role in helping the Glidecam Operator learn how to move in an actual film set.

On the 2nd day, Glidecam Operators practice gliding on uneven terrain which increases the difficulty level.

On the 2nd day, Glidecam Operators practice gliding on uneven terrain which increases the difficulty level.

Baba Sandiko from Indonesia practicing gliding on uneven ground while our actors play out their scene.

Baba Sandiko from Indonesia practicing gliding on uneven ground while our actors play out their scene.

Baron demonstrates a handheld low angle tracking move with the Glidecam 4000 Pro.

Baron demonstrates a handheld low angle tracking move with the Glidecam 4000 Pro.

1st day focuses on handheld sessions. This builds a strong foundation for the operator to rely on so no matter which system he uses, he can easily adapt.

1st day focuses on handheld sessions. This builds a strong foundation for the operator to rely on so no matter which system he uses, he can easily adapt.

Mike and Adrian practice the Missionary move with the Glidecam 4000 Pro.

Mike and Adrian practice the Missionary move with the Glidecam 4000 Pro.

Baba Sandiko (Indonesia), Mike Ong (Perak, Malaysia), Baron and Adrian Yap (Saito College).

Baba Sandiko (Indonesia), Mike Ong (Perak, Malaysia), Baron and Adrian Yap (Saito College).

After each glide, footage from the HDSLRs are reviewed and Baron highlights mistakes for improvement.

After each glide, footage from the HDSLRs are reviewed and Baron highlights mistakes for improvement.

More advanced moves are practiced at the end of the 1st day. Here, Baba tries a long dolly move which leads to a difficult arc and ends in a tracking maneuver.

More advanced moves are practiced at the end of the 1st day. Here, Baba tries a long dolly move which leads to a difficult arc and ends in a tracking maneuver.

The Glidecam SmoothShooter rig in action, in contrast to the Glidecam 4000 Pro on the left.

The Glidecam SmoothShooter rig in action, in contrast to the Glidecam 4000 Pro on the left.

The Glidecam Smooth Shooter worn by Baba further absorbs and isolates vibrations caused by walking and running.

The Glidecam Smooth Shooter worn by Baba further absorbs and isolates vibrations caused by walking and running.

Mike Ong's turn to try on the Glidecam Smooth Shooter. Remember that the Guiding Hand must be relexed. In this case, the Holding Hand is also less tensed as the Support Arm does its job.

Mike Ong's turn to try on the Glidecam Smooth Shooter. Remember that the Guiding Hand must be relexed. In this case, the Holding Hand is also less tensed as the Support Arm does its job.

Further instructions are given and comparisons are made between using the SmoothShooter and handheld.

Further instructions are given and comparisons are made between using the SmoothShooter and handheld.

Another review session after a successful glide. Here we see Baba's Nikon D5100 equipped with a Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 lens. It is highly recommended to use a wide angle lens unless you can hire a Focus Puller and additional gear.

Another review session after a successful glide. Here we see Baba's Nikon D5100 equipped with a Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 lens. It is highly recommended to use a wide angle lens unless you can hire a Focus Puller and additional gear.

On the 2nd day, more difficult glides must be made. More detailed review are made after each glide.

On the 2nd day, more difficult glides must be made. More detailed review are made after each glide.

The most challenging stabilizing moves come from action films. So we create action scenes for Glidecam Operators to practice.

The most challenging stabilizing moves come from action films. So we create action scenes for Glidecam Operators to practice.

Attaching the Glidecam 4000 Pro onto the Smooth Shooter.

Attaching the Glidecam 4000 Pro onto the Smooth Shooter.

Baron demonstrates how to follow the actor who is moving at an inconsistent speed. Anticipating the actor's next move is crucial in a successful glide.

Baron demonstrates how to follow the actor who is moving at an inconsistent speed. Anticipating the actor's next move is crucial in a successful glide.

Adrian looks on as Baron offers suggestions in another post-glide review.

Adrian looks on as Baron offers suggestions in another post-glide review.

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