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GPI-PRO Insanity - Things You Need to Know

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#1 John Stout

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 10:14 PM

I have to tell you about the insanity that I experienced on Monday.


We are upgrading to a Pro rig.  However, before I spent the amount of money that we are about to spend I wanted to see the rig close up and look someone in the eye after our experience with our current rig's company.


I arranged what I thought would be a one hour meeting with "one of the guys" to go through the rig, answer a few option questions and define our final gear list.


Well let me tell you what I got.


I got a meeting with the THE GUY.  Jack was patient, and explained not only a top level view of the system, but intricate detail of each component, manufacturing, assembly and materials.


I was convinced by users on the forums plus some individual emails with various operators that this is the choice for us, but after spending the time with the Pro team, I KNOW that this is the right choice.


The care and detail that they put into their components is amazing.  The detail that you would generally not see in the components is INCREDIBLE. Most companies cut corners on the areas you don't see, however, that is not the Pro way.


I knew when Jack handed me a magnifying glass to see some of the bearings that are used in the top stage, it was just the tip of the iceberg as to what the day would hold for me.


There are not a lot of people that are as passionate as Jack is about their product.  I honestly believe that if we were in a life and death business, you could call Jack at 2AM and he would take care of the issue.  Jack's story is incredible of how he came to the business and you should get him to share it with you.  


What Chad and Chris do with Jack to produce a rig is incredible.  Their time is valuable, but yet they freely gave it to make sure that every question was more than answered and that they showed the craftsmanship that they have every right to be proud of.  


I now have a new appreciation for the tools that I will use to tell a story when operating.


I joked with Jack that one thing that I think he could improve on is not keeping his passion bottled up inside.  He beams as he shows off each piece of the system and tells of the way it was built and constructed.  I think he would explode if he tried to keep it in.


Jack's wife Michelle was great too.  She makes sure to keep everything on task, which can't be easy with such a visionary.  However, Jack is quick to say, check with Michelle, I just build the rigs.


I could go on and on about what a great day it was and how much I learned, but I want to make sure that others know what a great choice they would be making with this company.  In my opinion I don't think you can go wrong.


I can't wait to get my rig from them.  Now, off to hock everything I own to pay for it :)



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#2 William Demeritt

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:27 AM

The door to their office should say "Abandon all hope of buying something else, ye who enter here."


Glad you had a great experience, but the only thing you missed out on was if a repair job came in. Jack's enthusiasm for showing off his stuff is only exceeded by his service and repair attention, and he probably would have left you to chat with Tommy and Chad while he, personally, repaired the gear. 

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#3 John Stout

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 07:09 AM

Actually that is exactly what happened.


There were two repairs that came in while I was there.  Got to meet a couple of ops from California so that was nice.


The guys did take care of them right away.


I was also told that even if shipping something in, it gets the same priority as If I was walking it in.

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#4 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 10:21 AM

"I honestly believe that if we were in a life and death business, you could call Jack at 2AM and he would take care of the issue."


If you're having problems at 2am it will seem like life or death and essentially it's almost always 2am someplace on the planet for some op.  For that they have an after-hours number on their voice mail.



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#5 Kevin Andrews SOC

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 11:14 AM

I would like to visit this GPI PRO someday... : )

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#6 BJMcDonnell SOC

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 11:49 AM

True story, many years ago I was on a feature shooting in Arizona. We were on the top of a very small mountain. I was operating a crane shot and my rig with camera on it was put off to where the equipment was being held. Not much room on top of this place. Somewhere during the take a crew member bumped into my stand and it went rolling over the edge of the mountain. The camera and all of my gear was toast. I called Gpi and told them what happened. They immediately began building my new gear and was in talks with production for the insurance claim. He next day when I came to set Gpi sent out a loaner rig so that I could keep going on the show while my new gear was being built. THE NEXT DAY!! Talk about quality service. I will always be a PRO owner and with the service they bring I will say no other can compete.
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#7 Colin Donahue

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:12 PM

I got my first Pro in September of 2013. I bought a CineLive package. I arranged a cash deal with Michelle over the phone. When I went in to get it, I had to be "interviewed" by Jack. :angry:

He said he was very particular about who owned his products. He wanted to know what kind of work I did and how long I had been doing it. He asked if I had just mortaged the house, or was this my son's college fund. He wanted to know if I had a viable plan for recovering my investment, or was this a crazy pipe dream that I hadn't really thought out.

 I laugh everytime I think about this because at the time I was both  irritated and amazed. I'm thinking "Dude, heres the cash, just give me th damn sled!"  (How dare he "qualify" me as an owner!! :D ). The thing was he was putting me and  my famliy's best  interest ahead of his own. He was deciding if this sale was something he would be morally and ethically happy with.

This  is a rare quality in a vendor and one that I truly  appreciate. 


Also, I almost got the whole sled  tutorial, but I had to leave early to get my son from school. If you don't stay for the whole tutorial, you might get yelled at two weeks later for 

messing around with the screws inside the donkey box . Not that that happened to me or anything..... :blink:



Colin Donahue



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#8 Jessica Lopez

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 12:03 PM

I have also had amazing experiences with everyone at PRO. I've developed a relationship with them back when Jack took over and I was planning events with them through the Steadicam Guild and Stabilizer Gear Expo. They have always been so kind to me. Even when I had my EFP, I got more information about my rig from him because he knows machinery and technology. 


The day I found out I was getting a new rig, Jack asked what are my plans in this business. Where do I see myself going? I told him I wanted to do any job that came my way. I told him that it was a dream of mine to shoot on big budget movies and to even shoot for NFL football games. Ideally that is almost impossible in this profession for they are two different mediums and require two different paths of experience. But that didn't phase me, I intend to do everything I set my heart and mind too. Jack helped me shop for the best options of what I need. I felt if I was going to be paying so much for so long, then it was going to be the best damn machine I could get. 


I have never felt more confident in a purchase in my life. And it was the biggest purchase of my life. Jack, Michelle, Chris, Chad and Tommy are an amazing bunch of people. The type of people that make you a better person when around them. The type of people that make you feel equal, respected, and proud to be in a community where you are a minority. There should be more people like them in the filmmaking industry and in the Steadicam/stabilizer community in general. 


They say it's not the rig, it's the operator. Yes, I believe that but my rig has given me a new life. I've never felt more confident, more athletic, more beautiful, and more accomplished than I do now. Ever since I got my PRO rig, I've been living the best days of my career. I am so thankful for them. 

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#9 Joseph Lindsay

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 10:59 PM

Just got my new PRO CineLive package and want to thank everyone at PRO for such an amazing experience but also everyone here for knowing how big of a deal it is to believe in the people you are buying from and singing your praises for an excellent establishment. Of course, everything about the rig is stellar, but this thread is what tipped the scales in PRO's favor.

Couldn't be happier.
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