Topics

Filming ice skating #grip

Justin Lovell
 

Hey guys, 
 
I've used original movi with my operator on skates. He was able to skate super fast and just try and keep up with the actor. 
 
I stayed on the benches with a mimic and monitor in my hands to frame the shot.  Had a walkie and headsets to communicate with the operator for framing and distance from the subject. 
 
Good simple solution.

Justin Lovell 
Associate Member of Canadian Society of Cinematographers 
Toronto 

Matt Brown
 

The body mounted Antigravity Cam from Cinema Devices can crane from 3'
above operator's head down to floor level with less weight than a
Steadicam.

The second video spot on their website shows L.A. operator Connor
O'Brien using it on roller blades...

http://www.cinemadevices.com/


Matt Brown
HydroFlex, Inc
El Segundo, CA

Ethan Sigman
 

Hello CML,
My name is Ethan Sigman and I shoot mostly television and commercials in NYC. Usually a lurker but I thought Id chime in here as I have done ice work and have many thousands of hours on skates, own a skate sharpener, etc. I was was recruited to Williams College to play hockey after a misspent youth as a rink rat. Ive shot handheld and gimbals on ice skates and rollerblades.
A gimbal makes sense if you have an op up to the task. Its easier than burying your eye in the viewfinder when you go into the corners or near the net in hockey but it creates the need for communication between the skater and op and the faster you are going the better the communication needs to be. I suggest a clear com full duplex system or similar.  It can be done in "majestic mode" as well. And lets the skater anticipate positions based on his/her path.  
Handheld is easy in the open ice. I shot a Phillips Rink lighting commercial in canada that I could show you that was all handheld. It can be very smooth and it also allows glass you might not choose for movi work due to weight and size. My favorite shots come from skating backwards around corners in front of the talent and the up shot while I circle them. It marks the ice in the shot so if you want pristine ice you can save it for later. Here is a link: 


Ive been thinking about building a dolly for the ice with blades but mostly to be able to engineer a consistent crab angle to allow easier focus pulling for the circular shot. The dolly is helpful for some specific creative ideas. 
I have drones and cable cams in my pile of dirt but they wouldnt be the first thing I reach for unless there was budget and a creative directive. The cable cam offers repeatability, which can help with timing. I wore rollerblades skating on flagstones to shoot Mike Chandler from the MMA running on the Brooklyn promenade for SpikeTV. Flagstones are not at all smooth. The project was Amira/S4i but I used a dslr on a mini gimbal on the flagstones and that has made everything else on skates since then seem easy.  Happy to help or talk offline.

Ethan Sigman
Director | DP | Producer
New York City

Thumbing at you live from everywhere!©

On Apr 16, 2018, at 5:33 AM, generalstuff69@... wrote:

Hi
im curious to know how people would approach shooting figure skating on ice in terms of following the skaters at speed as well as getting dynamic low angle shots. I’ve heard of dolly’s with skates but I’m not sure how plausible this would be at high speed. Another possible option could be  a Steadicam operator sat on a rickshaw this would also be  a little more  manoeuvreable..
Any thoughts welcome 
many thanks
Dirk Nel

www. dirk Nel.com

mkbergstrom@...
 

Came up with this rig about 7 years ago to film speed skaters and it worked great. I've use something very similar to the rig listed above, a steel and wood platform, domes underneath the platform to have it able to move in all directions and a speedrail cage for control, don't have a photo of that rig. Recently to film the speed skaters we have been using an Inspire 2 x7 and a cablecam system (if indoors)

Michael Bergstrom
Producer/DoP 
Anchorage, Alaska 

George Hupka
 

Things I've done that have worked (Not sure what your budget range is):

- Experienced skating camera operator with a gimbal - Another operator operates pan/tilt remotely and AC pulls focus remotely.  Works well, but you need the right person skating.  Somewhat easier to find camera operators with skating skills in Canada (I'm not one of them!  My skating skills are an embarrassment to my nation....)

- Shotover on a cable can accelerate and decelerate quickly, and as it's not on the ice surface no problem with slippage... but each shot needs to be set up, and camera movement is somewhat restricted if you use a 2-point cable (we used the Dactylcam Pro)...

- Technocrane can do surprisingly well with good operators

- Earlier comments are spot on regarding skates on a dolly - fast start/stops are pretty tough with that setup

- Depending on the quality level needed, I suspect you could take a hockey stick and mount a small DSLR gimbal or something like an Osmo just above the blade... so the skater can keep the blade on the ice for stability.  Could be a good low-budget solution.


--

----------
George Hupka
Director/DP
Saskatoon, Canada

Currently in New York, NY
Listmum, Cinematography Mailing List

Sean P. Malone
 

Dirk Nel: "I’ve heard of dolly’s with skates but I’m not sure how plausible this would be at high speed."

There's some great behind the scenes footage on the DVD/Blu-Ray for Miracle (2004) that could be instructive. They don't discuss gear, but there are plenty of BTS shots of the cameramen on the ice, sometimes skating at high speeds.  

Sean P. Malone
DP/Producer
Orange County, CA

On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 12:50 PM, Brian Heller <brianheller1@...> wrote:
Matthew Clark wrote:

I think in the hands of an experience skater, you’ll get great stuff (and get in close) but have the flex to swing a long lens on this thing and go to, say, a hi-hat and get great coverage quickly.
One very significant advantage of the ice dolly is that the camera operator is free to concentrate on the shot and the skater/grips can watch where they all are going, which can prevent serious collisions. BTW, pro ice skates are extremely sharp.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP

Brian Heller
 

Matthew Clark wrote:

I think in the hands of an experience skater, you’ll get great stuff (and get in close) but have the flex to swing a long lens on this thing and go to, say, a hi-hat and get great coverage quickly.
One very significant advantage of the ice dolly is that the camera operator is free to concentrate on the shot and the skater/grips can watch where they all are going, which can prevent serious collisions. BTW, pro ice skates are extremely sharp.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP

Matthew Clark
 

An alternate platform that I’ve been very keen on is the Artemis Maximus lately.  I love it and appreciate that it has real connectors, real mounting points, real batteries, moves from sticks to dolly to HH to slider and as a remote head fast.  Lens changes are quick and easy with no rebalancing.  I’d choose this over the Movi or Ronan anytime short of having to maybe move from HH to Drone if that were ever necessary.  The thing is just so great, predictable and robust.  

I’ve used it off a golf cart, moving vehicle, running, walking and supported with an EasyRig plus, as mentioned, on a dolly/slider with a 25/75 when you wanna go normal mode and no stabilizing.  This allows you to not have to jump off the rig to normal mode and back to the rig.  Just stay on it all day long.  

I think in the hands of an experience skater, you’ll get great stuff (and get in close) but have the flex to swing a long lens on this thing and go to, say, a hi-hat and get great coverage quickly.


Matthew J. Clark
Director/DP 
Seattle, WA
www.StraightEIGHTFilms.com

Brian Heller
 

Steve Oakley wrote:

ice skates are available for  fisher dollies as OTS hardware  http://www.jlfisher.com/dollies/optional_accessories/dolly_accessory.asp?Model=10&Accessory=SK

As I said earlier, the problem you will encounter on ice is stopping.  
Stopping a Fisher dolly traveling on ice at figure skating speeds is almost impossible.
Skaters stop by turning and angling their blades into the ice.


that said, this is a good case  to use a drone of ample capacity for the camera you want to fly. all the speed and maneuverability you need w/o most of the safety issues of trying to use a human(s) on ice to hold a camera in whatever rig you are thinking of.

The only danger with a drone is hitting the performers.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


Rick Gerard
 


On Apr 16, 2018, at 11:13 AM, Franz <franpagot@...> wrote:

On 16 Apr 2018, at 20:09, Steve Oakley <steveo@...> wrote:

 this is a good case  to use a drone of ample capacity for the camera you want to fly. all the speed and maneuverability you need w/o most of the safety issues of trying to use a human(s) on ice to hold a camera in whatever rig you are thinking of.

Quite the other way around I am afraid.
Franz

I would feel fairly comfortable with my Mavic Pro fairly close to someone, let’s say 10 feet if we blocked and rehearsed the move. My Phantom 4 Pro needs to be quite a bit farther away, but my Freefly Alta is getting no closer than 50’ to any person not fully protected, fully briefed and rehearsed. That monster could cut you in half and will go from 0 to 60 in a heartbeat. It’s just plain scary to fly no matter how good the pilot is.

Rick Gerard
DP/VFX Supervisor
MovI Pro / ALTA / Licensed Commercial Pilot Fixed Wing and UAV
Northern CA

Franz
 

On 16 Apr 2018, at 20:09, Steve Oakley <steveo@...> wrote:

 this is a good case  to use a drone of ample capacity for the camera you want to fly. all the speed and maneuverability you need w/o most of the safety issues of trying to use a human(s) on ice to hold a camera in whatever rig you are thinking of.

Quite the other way around I am afraid.
Franz

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Steve Oakley
 

ice skates are available for  fisher dollies as OTS hardware  http://www.jlfisher.com/dollies/optional_accessories/dolly_accessory.asp?Model=10&Accessory=SK

that said, this is a good case  to use a drone of ample capacity for the camera you want to fly. all the speed and maneuverability you need w/o most of the safety issues of trying to use a human(s) on ice to hold a camera in whatever rig you are thinking of.

Steve Oakley
DP / Editor / Colorist / VFX Artist
Madison & Milwaukee WI
920 544 2230


On Apr 16, 2018, at 11:46 AM, rich via Cml.News <renrel=aol.com@...> wrote:



I had good luck with a wide push broom and the camera on a small rug attached to it..just pushed it along worked well

rich lerner
dp usa
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rich
 



I had good luck with a wide push broom and the camera on a small rug attached to it..just pushed it along worked well

rich lerner
dp usa

Brian Heller
 

John Tipton wrote:

My key grip on a shoot in New Hampshire managed to find this ice skate dolly. I loved it. Sooo fast. Had a professional skater drive it. No worries.
We tried a platform with pucks on bottom but it was too slow for our needs.
I recognize that dolly ;-)

I built it for a film about Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr some years ago.

I believe it’s still available from High Output in Boston. The long handles provide the needed leverage to tip the dolly for turning and for stopping.

It’s basically an oak plywood disc with three medium radius hockey blades attached, one in front, two in back. (The blades do need to be parallel.)

Using wood enables easy changes to any support or cage arrangements.

BTW, the arms are steel since aluminum arms did not hold up.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP

John Tipton
 

My key grip on a shoot in New Hampshire managed to find this ice skate dolly. I loved it. Sooo fast. Had a professional skater drive it. No worries. 
We tried a platform with pucks on bottom but it was too slow for our needs. 

--
John Tipton
Cinematographer
www.johntipton.com
213-268-4210

Rick Gerard
 

On Apr 16, 2018, at 7:50 AM, Rick Gerard <rg@...> wrote:


Then use the Freefly Aero to get some low shots, again Dual Op the rig. 

Rick Gerard
 

Give a Hocky player a MoVI Pro and tell him to follow the figure skater like he was defending and spend 10 minutes learning how to use the Mimic on a set of handle bars to point the camera and you’ll get footage that is absolutely amazing. It will take far less time than anything else you can do.

Then put the MoVI Pro on the top of a C stand and use the Mimic to point the camera around for some clean wide shots. 

Then hang the MoVi Pro from any kind of simple jib arm and get some moving shots that way.

Then use the Freefly Aero to get some low shots, again Dual Op the rig. 

If you have the time hang the MoVI Pro from a cable cam. It takes about 15 or 20 minutes to rig a 200” rope across an ice ring if you have some folks that have done that before.

You’ll be done in half a day with a crew of four or five at the most and can get shots that were not possible a couple of years ago. All it takes is a little blocking and some safety briefings.

Yeah, I love my MoVI pro, Alta and the whole process, and most of the time I have somebody else carrying the rig and I just operate the camera. My gear is available almost anytime.


Rick Gerard
DP/VFX Supervisor
MovI Pro / ALTA / Licensed Commercial Pilot Fixed Wing and UAV
Northern CA
916.472.8085

Gareth Roberts
 

Figure skaters are fast.  They also chew up the ice and kick up sparks from the cement under the ice.  Use bingo dabbers to mark the ice, paint scraper or side of skate blade to remove the mark.  I worked as a focus puller on Ice Castles 2010 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfYbEZtA_0s  Filming with F900's.  Too big and too heavy a platform then it melts into the ice, it's also hard to start and stop any movement.  If you are filming in a rink and using a zoom put the camera in the middle of the rink and film against the boards.  Use a smaller camera pushed along the ice on a hockey stick/blade of some sort.. Attach a GoPro directly to a skate..

Gareth Roberts
Camera
Canada

On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 6:33 AM, <generalstuff69@...> wrote:
Hi
im curious to know how people would approach shooting figure skating on ice in terms of following the skaters at speed as well as getting dynamic low angle shots. I’ve heard of dolly’s with skates but I’m not sure how plausible this would be at high speed. Another possible option could be  a Steadicam operator sat on a rickshaw this would also be  a little more  manoeuvreable..
Any thoughts welcome 
many thanks
Dirk Nel

www. dirk Nel.com




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Dirk Nel
 

Thanks Jimmy
Sounds like the way to go for sure..
D


On 16 Apr 2018, at 14:11, Jimmy Reynolds <jimbaloosh@...> wrote:

 Hi, i'd 100% have a skater with a ronin/movi.
youd be able to get amazing dynamic shots.
may be a bit tricky if you wanting very tight framing, but a few closeups shot from the side would probably cut in quite nicely.

Good luck and post pics when it happens!

Jimmy

On 16 April 2018 at 11:33, <generalstuff69@...> wrote:
Hi
im curious to know how people would approach shooting figure skating on ice in terms of following the skaters at speed as well as getting dynamic low angle shots. I’ve heard of dolly’s with skates but I’m not sure how plausible this would be at high speed. Another possible option could be  a Steadicam operator sat on a rickshaw this would also be  a little more  manoeuvreable..
Any thoughts welcome 
many thanks
Dirk Nel

www. dirk Nel.com




--
-Jimmy Reynolds
D.P. Filmmaker
+27 72 340 9668
jimmy@...
www.jimmyreynolds.co.za

Brian Heller
 

Jimmy Reynolds wrote:

Hi, i'd 100% have a skater with a ronin/movi.
youd be able to get amazing dynamic shots.
may be a bit tricky if you wanting very tight framing, but a few closeups shot from the side would probably cut in quite nicely.
I’d second that.

It’s a lot easier to make a camera operator out of an experienced skater
then it is to make a skater out of an operator. And make sure your skaters are in very good shape. Figure skaters are trained to make it look easy, but it definitely is not easy ;-)

As to pushing a rickshaw or an ice dolly at speed, that’s not the issue; the real issue is stopping without colliding with the boards surrounding the ice. Objects in motion, etc.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP

Jimmy Reynolds
 

 Hi, i'd 100% have a skater with a ronin/movi.
youd be able to get amazing dynamic shots.
may be a bit tricky if you wanting very tight framing, but a few closeups shot from the side would probably cut in quite nicely.

Good luck and post pics when it happens!

Jimmy

On 16 April 2018 at 11:33, <generalstuff69@...> wrote:
Hi
im curious to know how people would approach shooting figure skating on ice in terms of following the skaters at speed as well as getting dynamic low angle shots. I’ve heard of dolly’s with skates but I’m not sure how plausible this would be at high speed. Another possible option could be  a Steadicam operator sat on a rickshaw this would also be  a little more  manoeuvreable..
Any thoughts welcome 
many thanks
Dirk Nel

www. dirk Nel.com




--
-Jimmy Reynolds
D.P. Filmmaker
+27 72 340 9668
jimmy@...
www.jimmyreynolds.co.za

Dirk Nel
 

Hi
im curious to know how people would approach shooting figure skating on ice in terms of following the skaters at speed as well as getting dynamic low angle shots. I’ve heard of dolly’s with skates but I’m not sure how plausible this would be at high speed. Another possible option could be  a Steadicam operator sat on a rickshaw this would also be  a little more  manoeuvreable..
Any thoughts welcome 
many thanks
Dirk Nel

www. dirk Nel.com