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Cheap crappy Steadicam dilemma


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#1 TerryWest

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 12:38 PM

I just recently received my first inquiry to build cables for a Laing Camera Stabilizer. It cost $1550. When I replied to the owner, I cannot refer to it as a Steadicam or their owners as operators, that the cables that he needed costs more than the equipment that he bought. He responded but I basically refuse to assist these phonies.
What is the general consensus from the real operators? Am I wrong in doing so? I really don't want to see these things get into the market?
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#2 Janice Arthur

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:11 PM

Terry

Do whatever you think but they're going to be more and more of these in the future as cameras shrink

As to price you charge and what they can afford is again up to you.

As a business model maybe you can come up with a few universal cable options for them and make the price point affordable for you and them?

Good luck and never turn down a new option on income maybe it will grow into something in a few years

Janice
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#3 William Demeritt

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:20 PM

Charge them for the cables what you know your cables are worth. 

 

Let them go bankrupt when their POS is kicked off every reasonable set with a budget.

 

You keep on keepin' on, and everything will run it's course.


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#4 Blaine Baker

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 06:40 PM

Hey I can help anyone who needs cables for those smaller rigs, shoot me an email.

 

Best,

Blaine

blainebakercinema@gmail.com


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#5 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:12 PM

Terry, your cables have a quality seal guaranteed, and I don't think your prices are outrageous, I mean, look at the price of the raw material and you understand the price of the cable. If they can't afford it, they can look online for a Chinese knockoff cable. Their choice. Keep on doing what you do.


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#6 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:35 PM

Mr. Baker,

 

Terry probably won't care but it's generally not acceptable practice here to jump on another vendor's thread and offer your services even if he is complaining. It's a courtesy thing so maybe you can start your own thread on it as I'm sure you can get some business.

 

Robert


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#7 Janice Arthur

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:08 PM

I just thought Terry clearly didn't want/or was not able to help those owners.

I didn't see a bad thing

Janice
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#8 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:54 PM

Charge what you normally charge Terry, When they upgrade, they'll still have a quality cable that only needs the top stage tip replaced.


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#9 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:14 AM

Hey I can help anyone who needs cables for those smaller rigs, shoot me an email.

 

Best,

Blaine

blainebakercinema@gmail.com

Cheap shot!   Way so…. cheap.

 

Ken Nguyen.


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#10 Michael Maga

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:25 AM

Hey I can help anyone who needs cables for those smaller rigs, shoot me an email.

 

Best,

Blaine

blainebakercinema@gmail.com

So very unprofessional. 


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#11 Lars Erik

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 03:57 AM

Hey I can help anyone who needs cables for those smaller rigs, shoot me an email.

 

Best,

Blaine

blainebakercinema@gmail.com

 

Let's see. Blaine Baker, on my shitlist. Check!

 

Douchebag


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#12 Mitch Mommaerts

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:24 AM

Hi Terry, I have yet to order cables from you but am looking forward to the day I do.

 

My 2 cents on building cables for these guys are. If you have the time (without sacrificing time for your professional users) and can make money doing so then great. Some of these guys may eventually upgrade to a better "real" rig or whatever we want to call them and they could eventually be on par with your current customers. In other words, some of these guys may be potential long term customers as they go from rig to rig.

 

The more they use their gear some will build a wish list leading them to the professional rigs and having custom cables built adds to creating a wish list for their next rig given the proven features of the pro rigs.

 

I do applaud your dedicated support for the professional market and am glad to have guys like you on my side (when the time comes).


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#13 TerryWest

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:43 AM

As to Blaine's comment. It didn't bother me at all. I guess the reaction is because so many have known me for so long. Nothing like experience. What surprises me is how many think I shouldn't turn down the work.
But, that being said, I still resist providing assistance of any sort with these companies. People like Greg Bubb, Jack Bridges, the crew at Tiffen as well as David Stevens of Glidecam and Howard Smith of MK-V have invested a lot of time and money in their equipment. All of these people are in my mind a fine group of second generation builders of the Steadicam, with close attention to its legacy. They are conscientious and want to present the best equipment possible to allow the operators to do their best work.
These new devices are cheap knockoffs without a single thought to the history of Steadicam or the quality of the operator using it. It's not right that an operator who invests in a quality system should be low-balled by someone that hasn't made such a commitment.
As far as competition, I handle that. If my customers decide that they want to use someone else, well then retirement isn't that far off.
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#14 Mitch Mommaerts

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:09 PM

I see your perspective and agree with your logic.
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#15 JimBartell

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 02:49 PM

Setting aside the main issue here (which I think has been adequately discussed), how in the hell can anybody produce a full size sled w/monitor, arm and vest for $1500 and make a profit?  Even assuming the low labor costs in China you still have to design it,  purchase the materials, do the machining, anodize or paint it and add wiring and a monitor.  Regardless of how low the quality is and how badly it performs, it just boggles the mind.  It's like if someone was selling new cars for $1000 each. 


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