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Landau/Filmtools/Backstage steadi-cart


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#1 James Davis

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:33 PM

Hey everyone,

I have been researching/stalling/deciding on carts for a long time now and read in great depth about all the different carts a lot of people have made/modified/designed here on the forums.

This one looks a lot like the prototype/custom cart that Erwin Landau had made for him and talked about in a previous thread:

http://www.filmtools...tml#productInfo

Has anyone used one yet?

They look good in principle but I am wondering what the build quality is like and how they perform after repeated practical day to day use, for me and my budget it is currently a toss up between this and the modified junior cart, this looks like the better design and I like the fact it folds up nicely for shipping/storage, but is it as sturdy as a normal magliner junior.

It looks a little flimsy possibly....although it's really hard to say, as I have never used one in person, I am based in London, England (the UK).
So if anyone over here has one, I would love to check it out and likewise if anyone from any other country has pictures of it in use and/or would like to give feedback on the cart itself, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks

James
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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:14 AM

I think Andrew Ansnick has one. Looked pretty solid.
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#3 RonBaldwin

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 06:06 AM

I like the shin-buster handle.
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#4 James Davis

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:52 AM

Yeah I really like the whole protective area around the rig, especially for some of the music promos I've been on where you often get stuck in small locations with lots of people.

Nice to know it's safe and as protected as it can be on something like that cart.

Always get stressed when it's on the stand do I usually de-rig where possible for lunchtime and transport etc.

Have been working off both magliner senior and junior and senior is definitely too big for me for most elevators and small spaces junior is fine, but this seems like a great option too and perfect for wheeling into the van for transport.

I'll try messaging Andrew for his thoughts too , thanks for that
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#5 RonBaldwin

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:15 AM

Yeager can also do custom work and get you the same thing, you would just have to add the post. And I suggest a small platform with foam for the sled to sit on while it is wheeled around. Working off a cart like this is nice, been using a similar design since '03.
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#6 James Davis

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:43 AM

For the same money?

Yeager carts do look nice too, I think I saw pics of your one in the same discussion that took place about carts.
If you don't mind me asking how much did your one work out to cost wise?

I do really like the look of that that film tools one, although the Yeager one does look nice also, had never really considered them because I didn't see many off the shelf accessories on their site
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#7 RonBaldwin

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:13 AM

I like the yeager jr's size(probably about the same size as the one pictured, which is nice btw). I think my yeager with an extra set of supports, a smaller shelf and a full size shelf in addition tothe lower shelf with the wheel mounts was about $1800. I then paid a visit to a local grip co and bought the stuff I needed to mount the stand/post to the base and top shelf. I probably have $2k in it. The backstage cart is turn-key so might be a better solution for you as you may not have easy access to grip houses and metal supply for quick custom mods.

I like the way the yeager goes together and it's wheel mounts are pretty slick. Is the backstage cart alum or steel? I have only been using my current cart for 2.5 years, but it has held up well being fedex'd more than a dozen times.
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#8 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:04 AM

Anyone have pictures of this thing collapsed? Do the parts fit inside it like with the Yeager? Can it be latched closed like a case? (It looks like it does not have anything like that, but I'm curious.) How long does it take to collapse?
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#9 Andrew Ansnick

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:13 PM

I think Andrew Ansnick has one. Looked pretty solid.


Yes I do have one of these, and I LOVE IT! I started shopping around for a new cart last spring, researched all my options (Innovativ, Magliner, Yeager, etc.) and found Backstage to be my preferred. I now leave my American stand on the cart all day and rarely do I find that I need to dock to it, ever. So...let's see if I can answer some of these questions/concerns.

Has anyone used one yet?

They look good in principle but I am wondering what the build quality is like and how they perform after repeated practical day to day use, for me and my budget it is currently a toss up between this and the modified junior cart, this looks like the better design and I like the fact it folds up nicely for shipping/storage, but is it as sturdy as a normal magliner junior.

...It looks a little flimsy possibly....


Yes, I have been using mine since last summer and have been very happy with my purchase/service that I have received from Hector & Manolo at Backstage.
No it is not flimsy in any way shape or form. It is solid. I cannot speak more highly of the build quality of this cart! More sturdy then a Magliner Jr. for sure.

Yeah I really like the whole protective area around the rig, especially for some of the music promos I've been on where you often get stuck in small locations with lots of people.

Nice to know it's safe and as protected as it can be on something like that cart.


This was one of the key selling points for me of this cart. This design not only protects the sled while docked, but it makes it much easier to wheel around because of the telescoping handles. I found that with the Magliner carts, or any similar design for that matter where the mast is built onto one end of the cart and outside its wheel base, you are constantly "hugging" the rig and makes it very difficult to maneuver around. I just didn't like the fact that the camera would always be in my face while pushing it. This is not the case with the Backstage cart. The sled docks within the wheel base, which gives you more room between you and the sled while wheeling around as well as increasing the stability of the whole thing since that weight is kept within the wheelbase where it belongs. Plus, I enjoy being able to wheel around the set/location with ease since this cart is roughly the same size as a Magliner Jr. cart.

Anyone have pictures of this thing collapsed? Do the parts fit inside it like with the Yeager? Can it be latched closed like a case? (It looks like it does not have anything like that, but I'm curious.) How long does it take to collapse?


Pics to follow! Yes, the wheels are a similar design to Yeager's with a quick disconnect function and pack inside with along everything else. It uses allen bolts, two at each corner, to keep it from popping open during transit...VERY SECURE! The only drawback to this design really is that it takes about 5 mins to setup/collapse. I always give myself about half an hour anyways before call to get there, get setup, have some coffee, check out the extras, and relax before the orchestrated chaos ensues, so the 5 mins is nothing for me. When you can wrap to a truck, it's IDEAL, since you just wheel it on/off and let transpo take care of the rest. Also, I should note that it is on the heavier side, around 100lbs but easy enough to lift and slide in and out of my Xterra with it's "helper wheels" that let you roll it around when packed up.

Onto the good stuff....

Attached File  backstage_cart1.jpg   60.64KB   413 downloads

Umbrella not included...but it does include the mounts for it :)

Attached File  backstage_cart6.jpg   52.97KB   483 downloads

Some custom modifications I had Hector & Manolo at Backstage come up with for me...

Attached File  backstage_cart2.jpg   54.94KB   463 downloads

Attached File  backstage_cart3.jpg   42.48KB   431 downloads

Attached File  backstage_cart4.jpg   84.68KB   426 downloads

When it's all collapsed....

Attached File  backstage_cart5.jpg   57.5KB   425 downloads

Attached File  backstage_cart7.jpg   45.16KB   412 downloads

Attached File  backstage_cart8.jpg   47.56KB   480 downloads

From a few recent shoots...

Attached File  backstage_cart9.jpg   76.3KB   584 downloads

Attached File  backstage_cart10.jpg   78.99KB   502 downloads

To sum up, I highly recommend this cart. Definitely get the optional vest holder and skip on the foam filled tires since they only induce vibrations (not the best thing for us), stick with the standard pneumatics. The service I have received from Backstage is top notch. I love the fact that they continue to listen to me and help me modify their shared (with Erwin) and already brilliant design as I see fit. The build quality and parts are all the best available. I love my Backstage cart.
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#10 RonBaldwin

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:24 PM

I do like the cart (especially it's turnkey nature). Seems when it is closed for shipping the 2 allens are in a pretty exposed place and can either be ripped out, bent or do damage to whatever it is next to (car interior?). A few times I have gotten mine back from Fedex looking like it was air dropped -- the corners are all bashed up from years of abuse and shipping.

But the idea of having a cart with this style of dock on it is key. I don't use my stand often either.

Ron
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#11 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:16 PM

The backstage cart is steel. Because of this the shelves are thinner than on a yaeger but probably weigh more. Would actually love to see the weight comparison for shipping.

~Jess
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#12 Matt Petrosky

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:17 PM

I have one of the original 5 prototypes of this cart that Erwin/Backstage designed. I love mine and it's held up well over 7+ years of shipping and truck ratchet-strap abuse. It almost always gets ogling and positive comments from ACs, sound guys, and VTR–it just does what it does well. I will say that one of the best things about this cart is the service behind it.

Backstage is AWESOME. Sig, Manolo, and their guys are great, and to this day if I wanted to change/fix something on this cart, or anything else that Backstage makes, they would happily accommodate, and that includes major changes that require welding and re-painting, etc. Can't say enough good things about having that kind of custom support. And they will make/modify it to your needs/liking before delivery. Say you didn't want that "shin-buster Ron Baldwin-style" handle on it. No problem, just tell them and they'll make you one without, or perhaps in a different style. Also worth mentioning, the Backstage design easily allows a custom shelf height/spacing. For example I have my top shelf just hight set enough above my lower shelf so that I can stack two 1650 Pelican cases on the bottom self. Will Arnot has (or had, he was one of the original 5) this cart, and being a tall fellow, he set a tall man's comfortable shelf height. Easy to do and easy to change.

FYI, mine is 130lbs. shipping weight, still within the realm of FedEx and UPS.

Cheers,
Matt
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#13 Andrew Ansnick

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:47 PM

Good to know Matt that it's held up so well since I've yet to actually ship mine anywhere. I believe John Joyce also has one of the original 5 if I'm not mistaken. It was when I first saw his about three years ago that I pretty much fell in love with this cart's design.

Ron, I really do like the Yeager and wanted to get one of their carts while I was still an AC. I feel that their tie-down method through the top and bottom of the cart locks it together better and is less exposed to damage as you said. As far as the shin-buster is concerned, if anyone knocks into it then they are too close ;) seriously, you can't really knock into it since it doesn't even stick out as far as the telescoping handles do (they are slightly longer). Besides, when all the wheels are off it and it's packed away, its a great handle to push it around with. Matt does reiterate a great point that Backstage is very accommodating of custom modifications and their support is top notch!

James, if you're having difficulty deciding which cart to go with (Yeager, Backstage, or Innovativ), I really don't think you can go wrong. Just try them all out if you get the chance because at the end of the day, you're the one who has to live with it and it has to work for you.
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#14 RonBaldwin

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:00 PM

I know backstage builds nice stuff and can be good at modifications -- god knows how many versions they went through for Erwin to arrive at this. It just seemed funny seeing that handle there (Iwas referring to you docking the rig, not others hitting the handle). I tried to have Backstage make things for me in the past and they were not so eager to change their design at that time.

My yeager was 105 lbs with everything in it when I shipped it 3 days ago (but I use 8" tires and Backstage uses 10" so there is a few pounds there).

I will say it again...this is probably a better solution for a turn key cart.
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#15 James Davis

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:37 AM

Thanks guys, for how fantastically helpful you've all been.

That cart looks like it is just the ticket then, glad to see that someone else has been brave enough to take the plunge before me and that it's stood up to daily use and abuse well, as much as I like a lot of the other carts, I think this definitely looks like the least hassle off the shelf option with pretty much everything I need, plus I do just love the way it shields the sled off from people.

Andrew thanks for all the pictures and feedback mate, absolutely brilliant.

Is that an american stand with some kind of holder hanging off the back?

If so is that an off the shelf option? I couldn't see it online.

That's one less equipment related decision to keep me awake at night ;)
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