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#1 Philip J. Martinez SOC

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 12:32 PM

Hi Guys,

I have a question about this crane. Is this one safe for a steadicam walk on? Really I think I am going to sit on because there is not a speed rail frame around the platform.

http://www.egripment...tInfo.asp?ID=15
It is the Egripment piccolo system.

I have searched the archives and found these 2 topics

http://www.steadicam...crane step offs
http://www.steadicam...crane step offs

Thanks,
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#2 Charles Papert

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 01:36 PM

I've done it but wouldn't do it any more. It's too small and wobbly.
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#3 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 01:46 PM

Philip--

Before saying "yes" to production, try and find out who the Key Grip on the job is.

You really shouldn't have to "sit on" the crane to make this work. Take a look at the physics involved when creating a force moment like that when you sit and extend the arm out to clear your body and the seat.

The Key Grip should be able to fashion an appropriate platform to meet the demands for function and safety.

He will also make certain that the crane base is absolutely level to ensure safe and proper operation of the crane.

I wouldn't undertake the shot otherwise. You do yourself and the rest of us a disservice if you do.

Good Luck.
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#4 Philip J. Martinez SOC

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 04:17 PM

Thanks Charles and Brant,

I'm glad this crane seems safe enough. I remember hearing about one that is total unsafe, but I cant remember the name.

The Key Grip is coming in from Finland on Sunday so I'll talk to him then. He has used the "Panther Foxy crane" before but not this exact one.

If anyone has any tips on how to put a guard rail around the platform please pass them along. I like to know how to do thing myself instead of relying on people I do not know.

Thanks
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#5 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 06:54 PM

Thanks Charles and Brant,

I'm glad this crane seems safe enough. I remember hearing about one that is total unsafe, but I cant remember the name.

The Key Grip is coming in from Finland on Sunday so I'll talk to him then. He has used the "Panther Foxy crane" before but not this exact one.

If anyone has any tips on how to put a guard rail around the platform please pass them along. I like to know how to do thing myself instead of relying on people I do not know.

Thanks

Here are a few examples of some good and not so good shot of op's on cranes .Many cranes have a small foot print or platform I would increase the size to give you as much space as needed and safe as possible.If is in any way at all un safe say NO.
all the best.
Louis Puli

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#6 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 06:57 PM

As for the first 2 shots both very dangerous but they said "YES I can do it "??
Here is a very safe crane mount Large base grips on the case .

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#7 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 09:09 PM

I used this crane for step-up/down before in Vietnam.
I took some pictures but accidently dropped it down to the bottom of a river.
I designed it and asked Key Grip to build it for me.
Attached is a redrawn of the mount.

Made by welding metal pipes and plates.
It then bolted to the center column of the crane base.
For sturdier, I used pipe clamps to bolt down the 2 ends of the mount to the circular rim of the crane base.
I wanted the car seat styled buckle because of its safe and quick release feature.
You can stand on the crane base, lean your back on the back support (mine was a piece of fly-wood)
Buckle yourself up around the belly. Move the buckle to the side where your trusted assistant can access to it with ease.
With the belt and the back rest you can operate with 2 hands.

To step down: the 2 grips, one on each side, grasp the handle bar to control the landing of the crane, then step on the horizontal bars to clamp it down.
Then, your assistant unbuckles the belt.
For safety, I asked my assistant to ask the 2 grips; one at a time: "Left is UP?" and "Right is Up?"
I wanted to hear both "Left's up" and "Right's up" ; then a tap on my shoulder from my assistant before stepping down the crane.
For step up, a click from the buckle and a tap on the shoulder gave me the CLEAR signal.

I used to lean my back on the back rest as the crane is reaching the bottom to support the stop; then slightly boom down the camera to skid off the stop and also slightly pushing it forward to continue the shot after the step down. Timing is important here; try that whole procedure skid off - step down - then forward as smooth as you can.

Fly safe,
Ken.

PS: Don't know how to upload image!! Someone please help!

Edited by Ken Nguyen, 24 June 2009 - 09:13 PM.

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#8 Amando Crespo

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 10:43 PM

..Hi!. Like Erwin Landau saids..."Fly safe".
If you take a look the crane(3-4 minutes on use), an it seems "chiclet", plastic, bad materials, or no safety....Please, DonĀ“t work up it!...
Cementeryes are plenty of KAMIKAZES...
Enjoy
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#9 RonBaldwin

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 11:13 PM

In my humble opinion, you should never do a step on/off unless there can be a second person up there with you to clip/un-clip/hold you/hug you/whatever. If it's too much weight to have a second person...do you really want to be on it in the 1st place?

The guy assembling that thing really has your life in his hands. A fellow op took a spill (yes, while wearing a rig) off one of these smaller cranes with a small standing platform a few years back and went through alot of pain and hell trying to get Universal's insurance to pay for the rehab. The money just stopped coming. The pain didn't (I haven't spoken to him in a long time, I hope he's doing ok).

I always thought it was funny how here in LA we have to take all these safety classes (making it much more difficult to hold anyone but yourself at fault) and show up on set and have to break all the rules to get the shot as quick as possible. And when you bring up any safety issues, all of a sudden you become a trouble maker! The a.d.'s, producers and director's don't usually give a crap...they didn't have to take the class (and they aren't the one standing on a tiny platform 15 ft in the air on a crane that was unpacked out of a suitcase by a hung-over grip dept).

Use common sense. Life is good. Stay vertical.
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#10 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 11:24 PM

Lets see if this video works.

The backstory is production cut the Titan Crane from the budget for that day (We already had two different cranes that day and they didn't want to pay for a third) The grips were going to build a Scaffold and ramp, the pain with that is trying to move it and it would have stretched the grips thin. Thats when the the DP said "There has to be an easy solution, what does Evil Kneivel do when he needs a ramp?" Strangely enough I knew the answer. He uses a flatbed trailer. They were going to rent an auto flatbed when I stepped off the stage to make a phone call... We already had it and it would be there that day, We had a 4 car ramp hauler.

A speed rail hand rail and Viola Insta-crane. 12 feet of lens height and an EASY step off. Check it out

Video here


It's a download sorry about that.
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#11 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 11:58 PM

Chapman Titan and a safety person/grip on the platform is a must or what Eric said, good idea, cool shot.

Charles was in contact with Local 600 to discuss that, Charles...any news?

my 2 cents
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#12 RobVanGelder

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 12:33 AM

Interesting, to see a picture of me appear suddenly!

That was a Giraffe crane, and one of the most dangerous shootings I once did. I don't think I would do that again, but this was when I still had hair.... as a young operator! After the step off, I would walk on huge oil-pipes, about 4 ft diameter, but round..... and no railing or anything to hold on......
Never again!
Having said that, my first step on was on a totally unknown, locally build Portuguese crane, they called it a Bull-crane. It was dangerous too, thinking back, but this is what you do, sometimes. And it brought me more work later-on.

Trusting the grips is important. And knowing your own limitations. Having Titan cranes is nice, but limited to USA places only, the rest of the world works with smaller cranes. Be sensible and try to limit the risks. Don't be afraid to make and demand adjustments to the crane platform and safety procedures.

The piccolo is too small, and also the Panther maxi-jib. The base is too lightweight
The foxy is also a thin crane, it can handle one person but is not advisable for Steadicam. Also here, the base is (too) light and small.

I would go with an GFM crane (GF-8, but preferably GF-16 in a short version).
Giraffe crane is scary, because of the creaking aluminum construction, but it has not given any problems, as I know of.
Tulip crane: preferably with the wide track, it is a strong crane.
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#13 Charles Papert

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 01:07 AM

Tulip crane??!! Isn't that the absolute no-no crane? the tipper? Not that I've seen one in years.

Not surprisingly, my attempts to get the local involved with the safety pass people sort of ground to a halt but thanks for the reminder, I'll give Steve Poster a call about it tomorrow and get 'er back on track.
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#14 RobVanGelder

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 01:26 AM

I'm pretty sure that it depends on the crane operator/grip. These Tulip cranes are used worldwide, but probably mainly in Europe. I do not see any structural reason why this crane should tip-over more than others of similar size and build.
They are certified, welding tested etc. Their design is not exceptional.

Yes, I have seen them tip over, 2 times, one time with 2 people on board, one time with a remote head, fully build. But both times were because the grips thought they could handle/move/replace or set it up in such a way that a disaster was bound to happen. :angry:
And once an accident happens, it is easy to blame the equipment and not the persons working with it......
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#15 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 01:46 AM

Eric,
What I really want to know is what you did to get that cop after you.
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