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extreme cold

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#1 richard bellon

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 04:06 PM


My friend and fellow steadi op, is shooting a music vid next week and he mentioned to me that they are gonna shoot in a freezer about the size of 2 shipping containers @ -20 celsius.
i suggested he get himself a freezer suit :unsure:

what things should one look out/avoid/do for such extreme cold?
how badly does the cold effect a steadicam?
i know that the batteries are gonna suffer and should be covered by heat packs but curious to know how it would effect arm/rig/monitor/gimbal? i dont know exaclty what gear he will be using but he has NIMH batteries, 3a goldspring arm; marell hbm5 monitor and si2k camera, RED, 7D)

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#2 invalid username

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 05:57 PM

I've never operated a rig in the cold, but I was part of a commercial for a local grocery store that involved a large freezer like you described.

What the film team did then was to move everything in the freezer that needed to stay cold into another freezer, turned off the cooling, painted some boxes to look like frozen food containers, then shot things at room-temp.
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#3 max volokh

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 06:27 PM

don't switch off the equipment. use NiCa batteries or new LiIon in parallel commutation. Cower all unused holes by the tape. Cower every thing you can by the winter cloth but don't cower the ventilation. When you finish. Take all batteries away from rig, put it in the case and leave at the room temp for the 2-3 hours.
good lack 8-)
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#4 Brett Manyluk

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 10:17 AM


His rig should function fine in the cold, especially with the tube screen. LCD's don't do well in the extreme cold. The general rule with lenses is: warm to cold is fine, cold to warm takes time. If you do suddenly have to shoot in back in a warm room, put the lense in a plastic bag to minimize condensation and warm it with a hair drier (NOT a heat gun). Your Red and SI2K may need a light like a 1K or 2K shining on it to keep the body warm between shots (if it's below -10). Keep the cameras on all the time to help generate body heat. I don't know how the new Bomb EVF from Red is working in the cold yet (built in heater), but the old Red EVF will be useless below 0 degrees (no heater). Leave it in the box, it won't work at all. Typically, HD cameras with small tubes in the viewfinders (sony's, Panasonic's, etc) will run in the cold fine. We've run Red's down to about -50, but it wasn't pleasant.

Keep your batteries in a cooler with an electric blanket wrapped around them to keep them warm until use. Or better yet, keep them outside the freezer in the warmth until needed. Ni-cad's are less affected by the cold than NiMetal and Li-ion, but if you have large Li-ion's (140, 160, 190) it may not matter so much.

Make sure you have stronger FIZ motors available (Preston, M1) as lenses can become quite stiff in deep cold.

Dress warmer than you think you need to be, because you stand around more than you move typically.

Why does this freezer need to be -20? at -4 it will look plenty cold enough.

I hope that helps.
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#5 richard bellon

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 03:11 AM

thanks for all the replies much appreciated
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#6 Janice Arthur

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 09:34 AM


No one mentioned this but you're going to need some way to walk without slipping.

Lots of floormats are a start.

I agree with the others, why -20C?

The actors, sound, everything is going to be giving up way too early in that significantly-colder-than-it-needs-to-be-conditions.

Good luck.

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#7 richard bellon

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 10:57 AM

hi Janice

thanks yes that is a good point, im fortunate that its not me who's in the freezer but my friend and fellow steadi op.
ive never been in such an environment before, so thats why i asked,
and it is really appriciated all the feedback so that if i ever have to do it i can be a bit more prepared.

As for the temp i have no idea maybe it will change but thats what we talked about will ask him on tues and see what they did.

thanks all

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