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First Time Shooting on Arri 3C - Tips and Tricks

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Hi all, 

I'll be shooting on the Arri 3C for the first time next week. I've done a little bit of filming on an Arri SRT2 and some 8mm - but no 35mm - and would love to hear some tips and tricks from other DPs who've worked with this camera, as there seems to be fairly little info available online.

We'll be shooting mostly indoors (stock has already been chosen by the DP, I am working as the 2nd unit DP).  From the sounds of it, it's a fairly clunky camera to use handheld - which is what I think we will be using it for mostly (shooting children). I have an experienced 1st AC, so, I am more interested in operating, or exposure quirks. 



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For all intents and purposes the 3C is the lovechild of a 2C and 35-III, it really all comes down to the accessories you will have with the camera in terms of ergonomics. Flatbase adaptors or the Crystal motor bases (CE / Tobin) might be unwieldy for handheld but much better at "studio" or tripod operation. 

The kind of door that is on the camera also makes a big difference and there are several for the 3C so without knowing what you have it really comes down to the specific package you're receiving. 

Handheld on a pistol motor isn't bad but you'll probably be sore at the end of the day depending on the viewing system on the 3C. The Jurgens door will let you nestle the camera closer to your body, the Arri articulating viewfinder door will probably feel odd to shoot handheld at eye level. The non articulating viewfinders will be best at eye level but your arms will be bearing most of the weight and low angle shots will be a pain. 

Be prepared to start and stop the camera yourself, contemporary FIZ systems cannot start / stop the older motor bases / 3C pistol motor unless they have rigged up some proprietary method.  

In the event you're having to pull your own focus you may want to tape the iris ring when set, you don't want to inadvertently grab the iris ring mid take. 

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