Pedro Guimaraes, SOC ~ Life Behind the Lens


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Katy Perry 3D! A look at my steadicam setup w/ the 3ality ts-5 lightweight

with 2 comments

Katy Perry is working on a 3D concert movie (more info here) and i was hired to work as the steadicam operator during a couple days on her tour. Incredibly after working in 3D for 5 years and operating on just about every 3D rig out there this marks the first time I got to work with the 3ality TS-5 rig. In this case the “lightweight version”. Same rig that was used on “The Amazing Spiderman 3D”, “The Hobbit” and “Step up 4″.

During prep the rig tech (John Bloom) and I managed to get to a very clean setup. We mounted the Telecast “copperhead” (more info here) unit on the bottom battery stage. This gave me some needed back weight and bottom weight. Thus with this setup I managed to have a rather short post. So this setup would be good for use on a segway where a shorter post is vital. Here is a picture of the rig with our final setup during prep. Total weight 74lbs. (rig, sled, batteries) this is the weigh on my steadicam arm. So if you add the 11lbs of the arm itself that is 85lbs. that the operator has to lug around!!!

This is why when I can I use my segway!

Production being what it is changes were requested with our configuration and we had to move the Copperhead up to the top. This meant that I had to extend my post quite a bit. This setup with the long post actually dropped 2 lbs. off the total weight. The long post means it would make for a tricky configuration on a segway. Here is a picture of the re-configured rig….longer but a bit lighter.


























Here is a video of the “prep” config and the show “config”.

Operating notes,

What can you say about operating a 75lb. rig? Uffff…..!!!


Well that said, it is long…. like most 3D rigs so “switchovers” are just about impossible. Your stamina will be tested. Mine was! 2-3min songs for 2 hours? ……yeah, separates the men from the boys. The biggest issues for operating though is the huge fiber tether. Worse than the rather stiff cable is the fact that the connector(on the camera side) swivels. Unfortunately it only swivels back and forth. What this means is that the cable is always pushing the rig off balance. So besides dealing with the weight you will always be fighting the rig to maintain your horizon and balance. Here some pictures of the fiber tether and the connector. You can see the large swivel connector that only swivels in one direction….


I would say the most important┬áthing is not to underestimate how hard you will work when flying 3D rigs. This should reflect on your rates. I hold firm on my rates for 3D because I have done it so much and know all too well the challenges and effort required. Frankly it’s just not worth the wear and tear on your body and your gear to work for discounted rates. I cannot emphasize this enough. Many arms, socket blocks and other equipment have been broken or damaged while operating at the limit of our equipment parameters. I have not heard of any physical injuries to operators but it is not inconceivable to imagine a possible on the job injury.

I hope you enjoyed my quick look behind some of the most advanced 3D technology being used today for steadicam use. Feel free to contact me with any questions! @

For more info on the rigs or rentals contact 3ality Technica today!

Naturally I ended the night the same way many 3D jobs end…….with someone spraying the camera with something…..hahahahahah!!! That’s life in 3D !!



























Here is the link to the trailer!


Enjoy the photo album below with more pictures from the shoot.



with 2 comments

Written by Pedro

February 27th, 2012 at 11:22 am

2 Responses to 'Katy Perry 3D! A look at my steadicam setup w/ the 3ality ts-5 lightweight'

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  1. Nice Overview. It was fun working with you on that one. I wish we could’ve stuck with the first setup.

    John D. Bloom

    27 Feb 12 at 1:58 pm

  2. Hi John! I forgot to credit you! I’ll amend the article. I also enjoyed working with you and I’m sure it won’t be the last time!


    27 Feb 12 at 6:27 pm

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