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What would you share / rent in an emergency


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#1 PeterAbraham

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:14 PM

Seems to me that as our community has grown exponentially, we still know a fairly small bit about what each of us use. I got a call a few hours ago from a stranger. He is in southern coastal NJ. NOT a great place to be these days. He needed to get ahold of the new PRO arm, that can lift 80+ pounds. I had little in the way of advice for him, aside from giving him Alec's number.

I suppose Timi needs to weigh in on this, but I ask our community at large: would you participate in a project here solely made up of a laundry list of those items you own that you would let go of in an emergency?

Just to be very clear. Many folks would not want to post a thing. All well and good. Nobody is judging. But it is a valuable thing to KNOW that if I am in Chicago and my arm is stolen, who has a similar arm and has indicated a willingness to loan or rent it out.

If this flies, it could exist in spreadsheet form. I'll be glad to do the grunt work, because copy / paste takes seconds. Any member here could download the spreadsheet in whatever form it is currently in.

I will be glad to post up a template excel spreadsheet for folks to ponder, comment upon, etc. Once it seems solid, I'd take emailed submissions and combine into one spreadsheet.

In addition to helping each other out in a pinch, it could beg a source of revenue for the gear owner.

Thoughts?

Best to all,

Peter Abraham, S.O.C.
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#2 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

They actually need more than the arm; they need an op and rig. Trouble is that it is a custom 3D rig with two Epics. They originally told me the camera and 3D RIG weighed 85 pounds! I told them that it was not possible because you still needed to allow room for the sled and somehow had to counterweight this thing. As I heard the American Producer explain this to the French guys he was working with, they kept asking for a PRO arm. Finally, I looked up the conversion online from Kilos to pounds and the weight of 27 Kilos is actually "only" 59.5 pounds. Still ugh. Anyway, they need an Op for Monday (I'm not available nor am I sure I'd even be willing). I explained that you really need a prep day, etc. to figure this stuff out. In the end, I gave them Larry's number even though I know he is not available so he could give them additional advice.
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#3 Adam Brown

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:24 PM

I think this is a fantastic idea.

Peter, might I also recommend utilizing Google Docs instead of an Excel doc as it's user-editable so it wouldn't necessarily require one single individual to to keep it up to date. Then we could potentially just sticky the link in the Marketplace or something?

Either way, I think this would be a valuable resource for a number of different reasons.
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#4 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:29 PM

Hate to be Debbie Downer but....

You are creating a localized "Shopping list" for people with nefarious motives....


Just saying

Not sure we need a list, I'm pretty sure that anyone on this board could email or call anyone here and work something out
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#5 James Puli

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:38 PM

There's still a database of some (not all) Ops on the SOA website as well as what Eric said about using this forum to find people.

When ever I work interstate I always know / look up a few local Ops just in case something happens, and I tend to send an email to say hi as we'll!. Plus my liking for beer and chatting about all things steadicam lends itself to dinners / nights out with other ops as well if possible ...... Which many of you can vouch for!
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#6 PeterAbraham

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:44 PM

Never mind then.
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#7 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:04 PM

I think this is a great idea as my son James said there is the SOA data base and I think that (for me )works will .When ever I shot overseas I always make a list of local op's and contact them .I would suggest if you haven't put your details there to do so .
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#8 Afton Grant

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:41 PM

It's a modern idea, Peter. I had a very similar idea a while back. Thought I'd make a website with a sort of location searchable database of equipment and its owners. Never completed it for one reason or another. Rethinking about it now, years later, I'm not sure I would use such a thing. I'm not terribly concerned about something like that being exploited by thieves or anything. Our equipment is so unique and our niche in the industry is small enough that any stolen gear is virtually worthless to your average crook.

As others have touched on already, I like the old fashioned way best. I would like to encourage communication amongst us operators. Right now, I have a good idea of who has what throughout the NYC area, and I'm on at least a friendly phone call basis with just about every single operator around here. I'm confident that if I ever needed to be saved in any way, help is just a few phone calls away. Additionally, as James mentioned, if I am traveling, I'll often reach out to the operators in the area - to just give them a heads up, or even grab a drink. More networking. More friends. More insurance.

The things you learn just by actually talking with someone are amazing. It can help you out now. It can help you out later. It can improve your operating. You can make a friend. It is truly the ONLY solution to the continuous decline in our rates. Communicate!
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#9 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:51 AM

Afton is spot on!

I have in the past and will continue to help other operators with emergency needs on a case by case basis paying it forward for those who have helped me when I needed it in the past. Lack of preparedness however does not constitute an emergency.

It's always appreciated and a pleasure when other ops touch base coming to Vegas and the drinks are almost always on me!

Robert
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#10 PeterAbraham

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:51 AM

Yes, I get the social aspect of knowing people in a city and hanging out. That has nothing to do with this idea, just to be clear. I'm not anti-socializing.

I'm pro-information in an emergency. Look, this happened twice yesterday. ( I agree with Alec's post by the way. They needed an experienced Owner/ Op who could handle a large 3D rig )

The other call was from a former Workshop student of mine. I've got over 1,300 people who fit that bill but this guy I did remember. He was in a city and did not have his mounting plate. ( If you've never lost, broken or forgotten a part, you haven't been in Steadicam long enough. It happens. To seasoned professionals. )

Fellow asked if I knew anyone in the city where he was. I gave him two phone numbers off of my cell phone. Did he have time to log into the Forum, put up a post and hope someone in that city saw it? Well no not really. Not at all in fact. He reached out fast because he lacked a list of comprehensive information. If I was in that situation and had the most recent Help Me Out ( HMO™) excel sheet on my laptop or smart phone or printed out, I'd have made the calls directly and saved myself and production valuable time.

One of the people I put him onto got someone else involved and did a drive-by and dude got a mounting plate.

I also love socializing with my fellow creatives. This is about putting out fires, not about drinking alcohol. I was interested in trying to help people put out fires. See, this fellow has borrowed a plate so he could do his day's work and move on with it. ( Having ordered a new plate of course ). He has no time to take the loaning party out for drinks- and sometimes we just don't have that time when on the road.

Fair to say that people initiate ideas and move them ahead without the blessings of the Forum. Anyone interested in sharing such data is more than welcome to email me directly and I will coordinate the effort and share it with those who contact me. The SOA Database is terrific and perhaps the thing to do is work with Jay to make it a more portable document so we can all share there.

Best,
Peter
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#11 PeterAbraham

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:46 PM

Eric does raise a valid point- the spreadsheet currently being constructed shows no home or business address information. I've gotten some strong feedback today indicating interest. I'm taking this off-board for now and as interest continues to build, I will offer folks a chance to look at it and join in if they wish.

100% free. The document people get will be locked and uneditable. I figure once compiled it will be easy to add to the group every month or so and do a new bulk email to share the current list. This is a worldwide Steadicam Operator support document- it is by no means meant to be America-centric in use.

Sadly, I only speak English so if you're writing to me with questions by email, please write in English or have your note translated !

Let me know if you're interested.

Best,
Peter

peter@steadicamproductionservices.com
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#12 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:44 AM

Peter,

I have had two emergency situations which where helped by the local AC's. One was in The Big Easy when the Ultra1 monitor bracket slipped straight out and slammed to the ground while balancing. Ralph Madison came thru and helped me go through all the brackets with his extra monitor, didn't work out but he tried...

The time was in Orlando at Disney, my gear was picked up from the camera house and somehow was separated, my vest and arm did not make the ride in. Again, the local AC's jumped on the phone to find John Atkinson whom sent out a Masters Arm & Vest until mine arrived later that day via Delta Dash.

Thanks Ralph & John!

There has also been the other side of things when I called a local op that had the exact same Ultra 2 rig and preston HU3. He wasn't willing to loan nor rent out any of his gear... I was floored by this and would never consider that type of approach with another working professional. I have been asked about my rig by someone that had not taken the workshop yet and I politely declined with the provision that I must be there and once they completed the workshop I would consider the possibility. Granted I knew this person prior to the workshop and they actually put my rig on twice for two different jobs that I was there for as a DP.

That said, I hope that I have done the same to help out other ops in a pinch, we are a community and even in the undercutting bastardization of this industry, we are a community and if we do not stick together to keep the rates moving upward instead of downward, we will never keep up with the rising cost of technology and cost of living to maintain a career capable of retiring on.

I'm in, excellent idea!

-Alfeo
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#13 Twojay Dhillon

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:20 AM

In the Commercial Production world I would often see Steadi Ops showing up to set to help get the Op on the callsheet out of a bind and came to believe that to be normal. I think that's a major reason why I feel that loaning gear and helping other Ops out that find themselves in a jam is part and parcel of being a Steadi Op.

Pay it forward.
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#14 Kyle Fasanella

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:56 AM

I love to join in on this. I have 2 steadicams, Bartech, Video transmitter and lots of other non traditional gear like Lights, Sound gear, Cameras, Lenses, fluid head tripod and other camera support stuff.

http://www.smoothcamera.com/equipment/

just this past month I was in need of Kinoflow lights, a zoom recorder and a second bartech unit. Special thanks to Yousheng Tang, Michael Hauer and Brendan Banks
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