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Any efficient way to operate an alexa classic handheld off the shoulder without an easy rig?

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So the reason I want to operate off the shoulder is because I want to get chest to belly button height shots but with some slight movement whether in and out or side to side. I'm fairly tall at 6' so I want to see if there's any other way I can operate without having to semi squat. I can't sit on something because then I can't move in and out or side to side. 

I'd like to come off the easy rig because the shot is ruined by your hips when you walk.

I'm curious to know what other options there are other than to get a lighter camera of course haha. I am able to hand hold it off the top handle with a light weight setup being: mattebox, <5lb lens, battery, lens motor, wireless tx, and on board monitor, and evf. I can sustain this for a few minutes until I need a break but don't see it as a long term healthy solution. 

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5 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Cine Saddle bag over the shoulder .. prop the camera on top ? 

That’s a good one too! If you do this, add padding to the CineSaddle strap so it doesn’t dig into your shoulder.

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8 hours ago, Satsuki Murashige said:

That’s a good one too! If you do this, add padding to the CineSaddle strap so it doesn’t dig into your shoulder.

 I think Chris Doyle was an early proponent of the art, with 16mm cameras..  but yes the Alexa tank is alot heavier ..  I think the best advise is actually to rent an Alexa Mini .. Cine Saddle combo ..

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20 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

 I think Chris Doyle was an early proponent of the art, with 16mm cameras..  but yes the Alexa tank is alot heavier ..  I think the best advise is actually to rent an Alexa Mini .. Cine Saddle combo ..

Or possibly any one of a huge list of cameras which are smaller, lighter, cheaper, more sensitive, higher resolution, quieter and capable of higher frame rates, lower power consumption, and take cheaper media.

Just saying.

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19 minutes ago, Phil Rhodes said:

Or possibly any one of a huge list of cameras which are smaller, lighter, cheaper, more sensitive, higher resolution, quieter and capable of higher frame rates, lower power consumption, and take cheaper media.

Just saying.

Yes sure .. just presuming the OP wants the keep with Arri .. I was once asked many years ago to shoot a documentary on the Alexa Classic. obviously the director had been told it was the best camera in the world but he had never seen one let alone tried to pick it up and lug it around an ice festival at night ..  I went to the rental house as I'd never used one either .. just pulling it out of the box was enough to know it would the worst possible choice besides an IMAX camera for that shoot .. and obviously now its well known that the Sony Fx9 is the best camera in the world 🙂 

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I've re positioned the handles so I can hold the camera like a scythe when shooting in the way you've described. One handle is on the front rods and the other is on the back opposite rods. Both are pointed up and I hold the camera at or below chest height.

This is good for short bursts, but depending on how much AKS is on the camera + the lens, I wouldn't be able to hold it steady for longer than maybe 5-7 minutes. That's where the easy rig really helps.

 

As an alternative to the easy rig, check out the ergo rig:

https://www.ergorig.com/

Edited by AJ Young
Added alternative to easy rig

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Put a shirt/towel over your shoulder and hold on to the mattebox - if it is a studio mattebox. If not, get some handles. As long as the camera is balanced, you'll be fine. Alexa is not heavier than most 35 cameras and plenty of handheld was done on 35 cameras - not all those cameras were 2c's and such either.

Edited by Giray Izcan

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13 hours ago, Giray Izcan said:

Put a shirt/towel over your shoulder and hold on to the mattebox - if it is a studio mattebox. If not, get some handles. As long as the camera is balanced, you'll be fine. Alexa is not heavier than most 35 cameras and plenty of handheld was done on 35 cameras - not all those cameras were 2c's and such either.

He has to shoot in 'under slung " mode .. not on the shoulder .. thats the problem .. 

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If you don't have a Cine Saddle to-hand (you should though, they're brilliant), you can simply make one by getting any old (and reasonably floppy) shoulder bag any stuffing it with down jackets, or towels or whatever you have to hand, and just resting the camera on that while you undersling it.

 

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TV studio and OB camera operators do operate with the camera on the side of their hip, and cradled in their arm, using the viewfinder for framing. I've done it a number of times with Betacams. 

However, I wouldn't want to do it for more than a few shots.

 

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I've typically just cradled the camera under my right arm and hold it snug against my torso. You'll feel this is using your bicep, upper right rhomboids, and often left side of your lower back for support. I wouldn't recommend doing it full time for multiple days this way, but a few scenes/shots you should be able to handle. I'll then use my right arm to support the front closer to the nodal point of the lens or by using some sort of short grip off a rosette close to that point. This is similar to how a fireman holds a water hose. I prefer this over sitting on the shoulder as sitting disengages your core.

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a tiny jib?

 

or

 

hang the camera with bungees from speedrail and have 2 grips carry most of the weight?

 

 

Edited by JB Earl

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Years ago in Australia, a poorman's shoulder stabiliser was innovated. It was a two man system. The shoulder mount had an extension rearwards about the length of a broomhandle with a wide teebar on the end. The second operator walked behind the first and kept the camera horizontal by his grip on the teebar. I think they had to choreograph their steps and coordinate their planned move a bit.

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