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Job with a BL4s


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#1 Jerry Franck

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 06:17 PM

Hello guys,

been reading many topics on the G2 and it's horrible weight.
Never flown a G2 nor a BL4.

I accepted a job with the BL-4s 3perf from Otto Nemenz in a few weeks,

wanted to know what you can tell me to make this beast the lightest possible? (we're gonna use zeiss superspeeds and clip-on)
is the video tap huge & heavy like on older Arri cameras?
Does Otto have a good low mode bracket?

And how would you prepare yourself physically for this? I have three weeks, is there something I can do to make the experience more pleasant? ;-)


Lots of questions I know,

But, wanted to get a fresh update on the BL-4 discussions,

Thanks guys,
Jerry
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#2 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 06:44 PM

The BL-4 is a beast that you really don't want to have to fly but sounds like its too late for that. I have done a few days with a BL4 and while it is not advisable it is possible to fly it. Superspeeds and a clip on are a good start. Might want to just go with no mattebox at all if you can get away with it. As far as low mode I would just tell them its not possible with a BL4. For mounting a follow focus motor the camera actually has a square hole in it where you can stick a square to round rod. Obviously make sure you have 400ft mags. Not sure if anyone has steadicam mags for these or not.

I have some very heavy weight plates I made up a while back if you want to practice flying with a lot of weight.

~Jess
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#3 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 06:56 PM

Might want to just go with no mattebox at all if you can get away with it.



Bad idea especially with superspeeds
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#4 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 07:02 PM

wanted to know what you can tell me to make this beast the lightest possible? (we're gonna use zeiss superspeeds and clip-on)
is the video tap huge & heavy like on older Arri cameras?
Does Otto have a good low mode bracket?



To make it as light as possible see if they have a BL3.

In all honesty it's not that bad of a camera, it's stable as hell.

To make it lighter I suggest the following, if you can get a sony xc-999 or xc-77 tap do it. Remove the optical viewfinder (6 allen bolts iirc) that removes almost 5 lbs from the top of the camera. Lo-mode is not advised due to the design of the carry handle but if you must see if Whitehouse still has any sushi tables availble (I think I gave mine away a few years ago) us a Square to round rod for motors and by all means use the clip-on mattebox especially with the superspeeds (they tend to flare)

Good luck
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#5 Jerry Franck

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:27 PM

Thanks Eric and Jess for the comments.


I just rigged something together with weight plates, batteries and hvx...put the whole sled on my scale and it was a little over 60lbs. I'm gonna fly this everyday now til I do the job...


I will definitely tell production to get one of those lightweight video taps you suggested Eric, if it takes of 5 pounds then of course!!!
These are the little insights that I hope getting from you guys, since I've never worked with a BL4.

Does Otto have such a video tap?

But instead of that rod I could just use my pro rod on the plate...

So, bottom line, should I try to talk them out of low mode? Or just tell them flat out it's not possible?
(didn't see a sushi plate on whitehouse's website)


Thanks,
Jerry
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#6 thomas-english

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 03:30 AM

It is heavy but not the end of the world heavy. As Eric says its very stable; to be honest you will really enjoy your operating on it: Smooth with stable motion control like stops and starts. I've never even attempted poor mans lowmode, I wonder if that would be ok.

If you are going to practice like a loon; double up your practice one day and take a day off. or practice two days for a day off. Take a lesson from the weight lifters. If you train train train you'll just make yourself an injury. Take 1 or 2 days off before the shoot and remember that its all good fun!
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#7 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 04:17 AM

Jerry,
As Eric and Thomas stated, you will be surprised to find out the ease of flying it.
Well, some limit on long take and running shots.
For low mode, it is possible with a low mode cage.
If you are in doubt about your physical ability, bring along a rickshaw.
You will be fine!
Ken.
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#8 Jerry Franck

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 03:29 PM

Thomas, thank you for the advice on training. That's what I was thinking of doing.

I will talk to production and see what we can do to make it a bit more pleasant...
But from what I hear low mode with the bl4 is almost impossible. the sushi plate is not right for it apparently, because of the handle design on the 4.


btw, any of you guys have photos of a BL on your sleds?
Would love to see some...

Thanks,
Jerry
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#9 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 04:38 PM

Jerry,
Stop by Birns & Saywer and/or Alan Gordon to check out the camera by yourself rather than trying to figure it out from photo.
Cheers,
Ken.
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#10 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 03:10 PM

Jerry,

I'd avoid the low-mode cage as it is an invitation to vibration. The sushi table does not work with the top mounted taps as I recall. I'd tell them low-mode is not possible unless its a flip in post thing.

As for removing the aforementioned optics, I seem to recall the BL4 has issues because of the glow (which the BL3 does not have). Been awhile.
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#11 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 03:13 AM

As far as fliping in post goes I seem to recall that some old 35mm cameras such as this are not happy being run upside down. Not certain about the BL4.

~Jess
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#12 Erwin Landau

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 04:29 AM

Nobody cared to mention the coax mags... great for your horizon... not!
that you are holding the entire camera in place with one screw and that would be with the short one...
And the video noise... the tinny image of the video assist and the heavy non removable viewfinder.

Have fun.


Years and years ago:
http://www.steadicen...p?image_id=2234
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#13 Erwin Landau

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 05:01 AM

It's not the question if you can... you can do anything you put your mind to... but if you should.


Erwin "Scrap metal flyer" Landau




Even longer ago:

Attached Files


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#14 RonBaldwin

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 09:17 AM

It may have been mentioned above, but switch the optics from bl-4 to bl-3 optics and use an eyepiece tap. Doing that will shave off several pounds and allow you to use a sushi table (if you have to).

rb
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#15 Jerry Franck

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:21 AM

Erwin, thanks for the pictures! I'll post some myself once I'm on the shoot.
Do you recall how the low mode experience was? How long could you do it before you were physically exhausted, and what bracket did you end up using?


As for low mode, I explained to the dp the issues with mounting it safely so we'll see if they decide to do it or not.
I suggested all the things to them what was said here about replacing it with a bl3 or/and adding the sony video taps etc.


Next week is prep and that's when I'll find out how this will go down, I'll keep you guys posted...

Jerry

Edited by Jerry Franck, 21 October 2009 - 11:22 AM.

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