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Popped my cherry


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#1 Dan Coplan

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 02:05 AM

After months of research, deal making and breaking, and a heckuva lotta borrowed $$$, I finally put together my rig and officially flew today. Summary: PRO2 sled, PRO vest, Steadyrig arm, Transvideo monitor.

BIG UPS to a whole lot of people out there who were incredibly helpful with information, tips, demos, invites, etc. I have honestly been amazed by how f'ing cool this community is and to be associated with people like you is as exciting for me as flying cameras.

In no particular order, HUGE THANKS to...

Erwin Landau for everything. Introducing me to all that a Steadicam is. Being an indispensable and bottomless source of information. Treating me like a friend of many years even though I've known him for only a few months.

Mike Johnson for encouraging me like we're related. For lending me pieces to get me started. For inviting me to set and introducing me to everybody.

George Paddock for his no-nonsense honesty without a care in the world whether or not I buy his products. For his time of which I know he has very little. For pushing my vest through because he knew I had a gig coming up and was eager to get it.

Afton Grant for being my Steadicam compadre. For being a wealth of research and information and excitedly sharing his knowledge with me.

Ramon Engle who sold me my sled and went beyond simply exchanging goods for cash. Who stayed in touch and made sure I was happy and had everything I needed.

Jim Bartell who is great to talk to on the phone and in person and provides excellent customer service.

Fred Davis who trained me how to order cables with simplicity and precision and has been instantly responsive with my panic calls for last minute orders.

Stefan von Bjorn who imparted Steadicam Zen and let me use his name to pull favors to get me going.

Jon Myers who I had only spoken to on the phone, but didn't hesitate to help me out of a bind.

Scott Acosta who I worked with for all of a half day, but also didn't hesitate to help me out of a bind.

Peter Abraham who answered my questions in great detail when I first started researching this stuff. Great meeting you when you were out here!

Frank Rush who opened up Tiffen to me and patiently went over everything Steadicam. Who invited me to come visit during one of the workshops just to check things out.

Pat Pask who first spoke to me about professional rigs and got the wheels in my brain spinning.

Michael Stumpf who keeps me in check on the forum... ; )

Dave Frederick who bolsters my enthusiasm for everything camera/Steadicam.

Tom Gleason who is such a down-to-earth guy and is genuinely interested in helping us all out.

Charles Papert who took time out of his day to have lunch with "JAFO" (Blue Thunder reference) and who's always great to talk to about everything Steadicam.

Ron Baldwin who answered tons of questions, invited me to set, and let me fly his rig.

Greg Bubb who not only ponied up a "Ron Baldwin" but hooked me up with the most amazing pen I've ever seen. But I lost it. Greg - I need a new pen!

Rory Knepp who is the first Steadicam op I visited on set and who welcomed me like I was one of the guys.

Ron Vidor who from the very beginning offered to invite me over with my rig so he could check it out and offer tips and tricks.

I know I'm forgetting someone or someones but I felt compelled to post here as an overall thanks to the entire Steadicam community - some of the coolest people I've met who treat each other like best friends and family.

Attached is my cherry popping reaction after take 1 with my new rig. "Oooohhhh...that's what it's supposed to feel like..."Attached File  goof.jpg   47.12KB   535 downloads
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#2 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 02:57 AM

Congrats Dan! One question.....why the super long cable flopping around on the topstage? Come on man! You sure do look excited though!
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#3 Dan Coplan

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 09:48 AM

The super long cable because I was originally going to take my Glidecam on this job which would require a BNC from the camera down the post to the monitor. They screwed me on the rate and I wasn't going to give them the benefit of my new rig, but I'm doing 4 days on a film starting today and wanted to get comfortable with it before starting. And because I couldn't just leave my new baby at home all by its lonesome self.

I was originally told the day would be 2 or 3 Steadicam shots at the most and the rest straight operating. They ended up going Steadicam for 90% of the shots. Told me I'd be taken care of later...yeah, right - we've all been there before.

Had I the luxury of a short BNC, I would've have used it. Thank God I brought that one because all they had were 25' and 50' cables. I asked for a day of prep and was turned down so I brought the cable as a just-in-case.

I might make it my trademark, though. Learn how to fly anything with an extra long bright orange cable...

Congrats Dan! One question.....why the super long cable flopping around on the topstage? Come on man! You sure do look excited though!


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#4 bobgilles

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 02:56 PM

I would agree that George Paddock is by far the 1# guy you want in your corner as an operator, he has made so many little adapters and fixes for Ops using other brands (he adapted my MS armand TB6 to the Pro 2, I can't think of a single working Op who doesn't owe him a beer. I can tell you that he has literally saved my hide several times, the guy deserves some praise.
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#5 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 03:36 PM

I was originally told the day would be 2 or 3 Steadicam shots at the most and the rest straight operating. They ended up going Steadicam for 90% of the shots. Told me I'd be taken care of later...yeah, right - we've all been there before.

Nothing sets off more alarm bells than a producer saying, "It'll be a really easy day for you. We only need you for a few hours." Every time I hear that I plan on at least 12 hours with the rig on. It never fails. At least you got a good amount on flying time with the new rig.
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