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Chapman Leonard

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#1 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:46 AM

This may not be directly a Steadicam post, but a lot of the Operators here are Camera Operators who do not exclusively operate Steadicam, and so as users of various moving camera platforms, I thought this may be of interest.

I own Chapman dollies. I own them because I love the dollies themselves.

I soon realised that there is an intense pride with which that company backs their products and the people whose livelihoods depend on them

I am on a movie in Goa, India and we had an issue with the transmission of the Hybrid 3 on the movie.
The dolly might have got shaken up a bit in transport, but it got stuck in Conventional steering and would not steer at all, as in the steering was stuck at about 30 degrees.
As any Grip would know ... this is a disaster. I called Frank Requena at Chapman,I am on the other side of the world, with a 12 hour time difference, and he was watching a baseball game at night, probably with a cold beer, but he very patiently talked me through the various possibilities and then I proceeded to very cautiously take the transmission apart. Through his night and my day, he texted me with info as I sent him pics of my progress and he advised me one way or the other. 
The next morning, he got to the office early, took a Hybrid transmission, and drew instructions and alignment marks on it with a red sharpie and sent me the pictures ...
Dolly is now back on location at work.
Thank you Frank. 
I love Chapman


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#2 John Stout

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:04 PM



Yet another vendor that goes the distance for the team.


Now if only...could learn from that...

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#3 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 05:56 PM

NOW THAT type of Customer service is worth it all!. Big Thumbs up to the folks at Chapman!

 Is it still a family run business? I remember speaking to a Lady, last name Chapman many years ago at the company.

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#4 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:09 PM

Still entirely family owned. Leonard Chapman is in his 80's and is at the factory every day. You probably spoke to Christine Chapman or Carol Chapman - Leonards daughters.

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#5 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:32 PM

I just got a message from Frank thanking me for doing the work, because downtime on the Dolly affects their reputation regardless of the cause of the down time. This is a Dolly that I own ... not a rental from them. 

Love that.

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