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New Preston Dovetail mount from GPI


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#1 Erwin Landau

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 06:08 AM

I was at GPI today and wanted to checkout there new Bracket System for the Preston (see website:)

http://www.pro-gpi.com/dovmount.htm

It attaches the MDR (motordriver) via a Dovetail system to the FF Bracket of the rig. It facilitates the removal of the MDR while held in place by two thumb screws. Very nifty... for handheld, crane, etc.

Unfortunately it will only work on the specifically made for the Donkey Box 3 FF Mounting Bracket.
(Jim... relax, they have a little Dovetail adapter that will screw on to all FollowFocus adapters that have the PRO hole paddern, like the BFD, the original Preston Bracket, etc.)

That means if you want to use the new dovetail system on your old D-Box 2 or the like, you will not be able to... at least for now.

If you want to use your old Follow Focus on your new D-Box 3 , you just need a little adapter...


So... How the hell am I going to mount that thing to my rig..........


Erwin Landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com
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#2 Michael Stumpf

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Posted 04 January 2004 - 12:27 PM

Erwin,

I was at GPI on Saturday as well. Mark O'Kane showed up for a "how to" on that new system. Marcel was demonstrating it and according to Marcel, they had just finished it that day.
Mark was getting it for use in adding a second Preston MDR-2 to his rig. Don't ask, I'll tell you anyway. He said he needs to fly more than 3 motors (in this case to control an Obie light on a dimmer), and according to him he does that quite a bit. He owns two complete 3 motor Preston systems.
He was starting "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" on Monday.

It was interesting!
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#3 Erwin Landau

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Posted 04 January 2004 - 06:19 PM

Hi Michael,

I missed you by a couple of minutes then, Taj was just picking up his arm as well. Mark was telling the story when the A camera guy fell asleep turing a take on the Dolly... looked like a small get together.

When I saw the set up initaly I thought that was the set up I was looking for to be able to quickly take it off the rig and mount it to the Hendheld rig. But to be able to use it I will have to modify it quite a bit.

Still a very nice idea.

I'll post a picture once I made it work...


Erwin Landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com
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#4 Mitch Gross

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Posted 04 January 2004 - 11:05 PM

initaly I thought that was the set up I was looking for to be able to quickly take it off the rig and mount it to the Hendheld rig. But to be able to use it I will have to modify it quite a bit.

Baer-bel has a nice plate for swapping between the rig and handheld/tripod. Looks jelpful in keeping single-camera shoots moving along.
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#5 Erwin Landau

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 01:15 AM

Hi Mitch,

Not quite what I was talking about...

I'm very much familiar with Bernhard's product's and the "Cat Griller", I'm just talking about the possibility for the Motor Driver to stay with the Camera when you go Handheld or with a crane, etc. As you lose the plate anyways when with most Handheld rigs.

I had a talk with Greg Bubb about a way to Hard mount the Motordriver (or better the whole FF for that matter) to the Camera from the get go, so that you always have the Remote capability, even when you go to the sticks or Dolly... Basically integrating (through a Bracket system) the Motor Driver into/onto the Camera... cut down on rebuilding, reattaching and recalibrating the motors and going to a studio style Follow Focus. (All done as you already calibrated all lenses during Prep...)

So basically that the MDR is not attached to the Rig anymore... We ran in quite some problems and it's way to go to make it userfriendly...

I thought that the new PRO bracket system could substitute for it until userfriendly...

But thanks Mitch,

Erwin Landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com
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#6 JimBartell

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 10:57 AM

I had a talk with Greg Bubb about a way to Hard mount the Motordriver (or better the whole FF for that matter) to the Camera from the get go, so that you always have the Remote capability, even when you go to the sticks or Dolly... Basically integrating (through a Bracket system) the Motor Driver into/onto the Camera... cut down on rebuilding, reattaching and recalibrating the motors and going to a studio style Follow Focus. (All done as you already calibrated all lenses during Prep...)

This concept has led to the sale of a lot of Matte Box Rod Mounting Brackets for the BFD. Many a Steadicam Op has learned that the Steadicam camera is also the hand-held camera, the jib camera, etc., and that if they don't want to pull the FF off each time it makes more sense to mount it to the camera instead of the sled. We also offer cables to power the receiver/amp from the camera as well.

Jim "trying to post enough to get elevated above newbie like Erwin" Bartell
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#7 RonBaldwin

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 03:08 PM

I kind of like the idea of my Preston NOT coming off the rig and being put somewhere I can't keep an eye on it. Production insurance aint what it used to be!
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#8 Charles Papert

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 05:20 PM

I had a bracket made that lets you use the PAM rosette mount to attach the Preston MDR using your PAM arms to any size iris rod, and through the excellent PAM system you can swing it around, up and down like a madman. I thought about making a run but everyone's so damn fickle about their needs, wants and desires. So here's your chance...anyone want one of these things? Maybe I post a picture.
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#9 Mitch Gross

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 05:52 PM

It's easy enough to mount a BFD or Benz receiver to lightweight frontrods on a video camera, 16mm camera or 35mm Aaton, but it would be nice to see a simple plate for other 35mm cameras that included standard 15mm 60mm center-to-center rods for matteboxes, follow focus, etc. Stick this on the bottom of the camera, perhaps adjust height & centering such as the Chrosziel video plates do and then you're done. Cavision actually makes something like this but it's such cheap junk I hesitate to even mention it. There's no reason a unversal plate couldn't be made other than no one has bothered. The standard tabs for rods on Steadicam plates are too close together, as I understand it precisely so that no one would start sticking a bunch of other accessories on them as they were not meant to withstand the extra weight. But why not make a slightly beefier design that would mount motors, lens support, mattebox and sling the receiver underneath if so desired? For those who use one camera for everything (especially in video) and would like to be able to swap back and forth between sled and sticks with greater ease, wouldn't this make a lot of sense?
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#10 Anthony Hardwick

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 12:31 AM

Chas,

Count me in... I think...

How much would one of them doohickeys cost?
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#11 Charles Papert

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 12:54 PM

I dunno, haven't priced it--probably around $100 (the rosette is the complication). Let's see if a bunch of other people want it.
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#12 Michael Stumpf

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 03:27 PM

I kind of like the idea of my Preston NOT coming off the rig and being put somewhere I can't keep an eye on it. Production insurance aint what it used to be!

Ain't that the truth!

And once people start doing that, production will never rent another FIZ for crane or handheld work again, they'll just say, "well we can use the Steadicam Operator's Follow Focus for the crane work" and that just adds one more thing the AC's have to do as you bounce between Steadicam shots and Crane/Handheld shots. Unless, of course, you just buy a second system. Then good luck trying to get an additional rental for it!

Budget cuts, budget cuts, budget cuts!
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#13 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 06:32 PM

Erwin, for only $100 I would be happy to sell you a pair of plastic thumbwheel screws you can use to attach your MDR to the PRO brcket for a tool-less "quick Release" to replace the allen socket cap screws. I will even throw in a spare in case you drop one in the 10 seconds it takes to unscrew them.

OR I'm sure you can find these at a hardware store for about $2.
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#14 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 09:29 PM

Erwin, hope that didn't come across as me being a smart alec. I was just trying to suggest a more cost effective alternative.
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#15 Erwin Landau

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Posted 08 January 2004 - 05:46 AM

Hi Lawrence,

You should know that it takes more to set me off, or maybe not... Knowing I mean...

The Thumbscrews solve the "take it off" factor quite nicely, but what then? You still need the means to attach it to the camera.

And also never under estimate the Sexy factor... we are still only Steadicam Operators and the Sexy factor is still very high...

And of course it has to be ridgid don't forget vibration, this darn vibration...


Erwin"Also don't take me to serious" Landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com


BTW: I never meant for my MDR to go onto a crane... I just want to be able to use it when I do handheld... to make MY life easier.
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