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UK production company shoots 3-D music performances with Steadicam

While the Montreaux Jazz Festival occurred last summer, a new firsthand report on shooting 3-D with a Steadicam at the event has been published in the P+S Technik newsletter.

Jason Lord-Castle, Freestyle Rig technician at On Sight, a UK-based production company, described his experiences using the P+S Technik Freestyle Rig Evo, equipped with two Sony P1 cameras, C-Motion lens control and a matched pair of DigiPrimes recording to an SRW-1 deck via fiber-optic cable.

Lord-Castle said the main reason for choosing this setup was to keep the weight down because it was essentially the on-stage Steadicam rig, and it also helped reduce setup time during a lens change.

“Throughout the festival, we had to film many high-profile bands and artists, from Herbie Hancock to Quincy Jones,” Lord-Castle said. “The Freestyle Rig enabled us to be discreet and get the best possible shots when on stage with these iconic artists while giving us the freedom to use the Steadicam as it is intended.”

When not on the Steadicam, the 3-D rig was mounted on a Cartoni Lambda head to perform locked-off shots, he said, something done throughout the day.

“Using the Freestyle Rig meant that this was a simple task, and the switch-over could be complete within minutes,” Lord-Castle said.

“Throughout the festival, the Freestyle Rig performed to a very high standard,” he said. “With the recent ‘Evolution’ improvements to the alignment and locking plates, this has meant the overall performance of the Freestyle Rig has improved and is keeping alignment throughout the day, therefore saving time on every shoot due to a decrease in having to realign, which was a factor with the previous setup.”

The Freestyle Rig has been tested with Sony HDW 750, Sony EX3, RED, Canon HDSLR and SI-2K cameras, accommodating camera and lens packages up to 15lbs.