Jump to content



Photo

Not going to happen to me!!!


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Chris Konash

Chris Konash

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 111 posts
  • New Jersey

Posted 02 May 2006 - 12:41 AM

I have heard many stories of a steadicam op falling during a shot, but of course it would never happen to me.

I know it's early in my career and would never want to fall but I'm glad it happened now rather than later and that no one got hurt and nothing got damaged.


Alright here is how it went.

Last Saturday, student film shot on the beach in Montauk, NY

I fell on the third take, but it was more like the first take because the actors screwed up there lines twice so we never made it to my first move. And I walked through it with the DP but never the actor so I didn't know how he was going to react.

When he picked up the rope out of the water he was supposed to "walk" back to the boat, instead he started walking THEN began to run. Because of his sudden change of pace I quickly accelerated the rig toward me then tried to catch my body up to the speed of the rig. That's where it all went south, my lead foot sank in the sand and my back foot had no chance to catch up. So I was almost running backwards, I'm not a huge fan of Don Juan. I've done it a few time but am totally more comfortable backing up. Now if I did go for Don Juan I would have been in the middle of the switch and the rig and camera would have bought the farm so to say.

Hopefully this will never happen again. Lesson learned; never do a shot that you may have any doubts about, Rehearsal, practice, dry run, run through, what ever it takes!


P.S.
That hand/arm that you see in frame when I hit the ground is actually my spotter. He broke my fall and actually caught the rig as the gimbal popped off the post and just before the rig and camera hit the water. How lucky I am!!!


HERE GOES NOTHING, My shin still hurts!


Just thought I would swallow my pride and share my misfortune with everyone...
  • 0

#2 Jason Torbitt

Jason Torbitt

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 401 posts
  • Manchester, London UK

Posted 03 May 2006 - 04:28 PM

Hi Chris

That must have been slightly un-nerving. I haven't fallen with the rig yet, although a rug in a corridor nearly got the better of me earlier this year, luckily my focus puller Philippe was with me and managed to do a good job of pulling focus and supporting me at the same time.

I always find it amazing how quickly the talent can walk, when you are walking backwards holding a shot it can get quite hairy. The beach must have been harder on the feet too.

After talking with the director, I usually do the sensible thing and speak up these days and ask them to cheat their movement slightly slower for me, or take my pace into consideration when they're walking / moving at fast pace.

Hope the you and the Clipper 2 survived the fall.

Cheers
Jason
  • 0

#3 Dave Bittner

Dave Bittner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Columbia, MD

Posted 03 May 2006 - 08:17 PM

There's always this chestnut:

http://users.pixelwo...e/BlownTake.mov

There's a frame in there where you can see the poor dancers' ear pressed up against my lens. They were all Cuban, in town for an arts festival. I was lucky not to have caused an international incident.
  • 0

#4 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 718 posts

Posted 03 May 2006 - 09:09 PM

Dave,
That's really funny. It was nice to see laughing as oppossed to screaming after you bumped her.
  • 0

#5 Afton Grant

Afton Grant

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 908 posts
  • New York, Boston

Posted 04 May 2006 - 07:23 AM

Dave,

Ha ha. If there were to ever be a human version of a car accident, that was it. "She came out of nowhere!" "I thought I had the right of way."

I hope you exchanged insurance information.

Seriously, though, is this a common occurrance? I can count several times I have been shooting in what i was pretty sure was a straight line, and an actor has walked right into me or my rig. It's not like the guy with the giant piece of equipment strapped to him is hard to see. Anyone else besides Dave experienced this phenomenon?

Best,
Afton
  • 0

#6 Alec Jarnagin SOC

Alec Jarnagin SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1800 posts
  • New York City, USA

Posted 04 May 2006 - 11:12 AM

I almost slammed into an extra very hard a few months ago in similar fashion to Dave. I was moving very fast too and I know it would have hurt both of us big time. She even did the deer caught in the headlight thing by freezing up in my path. I managed to slam on the brakes and swerve practically pulling a muscle or two. Crazy.

Keep in mind, if you cream the wrong person, it doesn't matter who's at fault, you'll be the one packing.
  • 0

#7 Sven Joukes

Sven Joukes

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 81 posts
  • Antwerp, Belgium

Posted 05 May 2006 - 07:09 AM

Hi all,

I ran into the referee at a football match last week. Walking backwards in front of the players as they exited the tunnel, the ref starts the line-up behind me and I just keep walking (straight into him). After the game he comes up to me and actually apologizes for not putting the line-up far enough onto the pitch... Good chap... :)

Cheers,

Sven
  • 0

#8 thomas-english

thomas-english

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1165 posts
  • UK

Posted 05 May 2006 - 05:16 PM

Have you ever had one of those actors that no matter how many times you tell to slow down a little when tracking/running infront of him (DJ), always seems to insist on showing off how fast he runs and catching right up on you and practically pushing you out of the way being really dangerous.

I had this one guy, nightmare! "No, thats how fast I run" , in the end I scrapped the shot. He was literally trying to shove me out of the way take after take, I think he was acting to the director and chicks not the camera. tough guy can beat a tired camera op humping 25 kg in a race.

It was on a panavised f900 with panavised chunky primes. A needlessly heavy setup if ever there was one.
  • 0

#9 Alec Jarnagin SOC

Alec Jarnagin SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1800 posts
  • New York City, USA

Posted 05 May 2006 - 09:08 PM

Thomas,

That sucks man. My heart goes out to you cause our days can be hard enough without a horse's ass trying to showoff. You should have pulled a Tonya Harding on him. No seriously, all you can do is quietly get the DP and Director in your corner and see if they can help. With an ego like his though, sometimes its best to let him "come up with" the idea to slow it down for the camera's sake. Then he is the hero, feels good, and YOU get the shot.

Sometimes, actors just get so pumped up they can't slow it down. I had a situation where an actor is running full speed to "save his girlfriend from being murdered". Luckily during prep, the DP asked if I wanted an ATV, which I of course agreed to - and am glad that I did. Our actor, Jonathan Tucker, could outrun me hands down even if I wasn't wearing the rig! I was just very glad to have the ATV, although, he continually outran that too. But, it made very dramatic footage and the various angles combined made the scene. Everyone was happy. In this instance, I assure you that there was no bravado involved as there is not a pretentious bone in this guy's body and he is very camera savvy. I was just glad that we were able to get the footage without asking our actor to compromise his performance. Obviously, different situations warrant different responses.

Anyway, Thomas, I hear you get to work with my buddy, Milton, again as he is returning to do another film there. I'm jealous! Have a blast (and a pint for me).

Cheers,
  • 0

#10 Erwin Landau

Erwin Landau

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1699 posts
  • TBD

Posted 06 May 2006 - 12:46 AM

I did the opening sequence (opening logo or something like that) to the Superbowl 2 years ago. I was supposed to run with a linebacker and stay in front of him as well as side shots etc. On grass at night with a 435 at highspeed. I opted for a Maverick with my own driver.

We had 2 pro Football players that would take turns. The grass was slippery the tires where a little under inflated but never the less we where not able to outdrive these guys. They where with in seconds in top speed, as we had to rev up and by the time, the guy was in my mattbox. And once we reached the end of the field (we shot at the colosseum in LA) we had to start to slow down to not hit the wall at the end...

Very frustrating... Later I had to actually run with the players... I don't know how Jimmy did that on "Any Given Sunday". I was dead... need a running Rig...

(Last week running on a Graveyard, man are there a lot of headstones... especially when your spotter actually guides you into one... while running. Oh did I mention the rain towers...)

(But yesterday was fun... when one of the actors runs by me trips over my foot as he is to close, and uses my operating arm to prevent his fall... almost pulled me over... I already was hearing Greg: What did you damage this time????)


Fly Safe,


Erwin"These shoes are not made for running" Landau
  • 0

#11 Erwin Landau

Erwin Landau

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1699 posts
  • TBD

Posted 06 May 2006 - 01:00 AM

Talking about knocking out people on set...

A couple of years back... I was flying a LW2 and I gave the Director a handjo... I mean a hand held TV. But he was one of the Center post grabber types... and was always inches away from my rig. I told him repeatetly to stay clear of the rig... no use.

Finally on one particular running take (with rain towers), I missed the queue and stopped cold... I totally forgot about the director who stopped a split second after me, also very cold, helped by the back of the Panaflex lightweight mag.
He was out for a couple of minutes... once he came to, he apologized, we resumed shooting and he stayed away from me... at least for that day. The next day he was back inches away from my rig... again.


Fly Safe,


Erwin"Don't touch my Center Post, or else..."Landau
  • 0

#12 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 718 posts

Posted 06 May 2006 - 02:24 PM

I totally forgot about the director who stopped a split second after me, also very cold, helped by the back of the Panaflex lightweight mag.

Erwin"Don't touch my Center Post, or else..."Landau

I'm sure there are quite a few operators who would have liked the opportunity to whack a director in the head with a mag.
  • 0

#13 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2922 posts
  • LA, Ca

Posted 06 May 2006 - 02:39 PM

I'm sure there are quite a few operators who would have liked the opportunity to whack a director in the head with a mag.



I knocked a director out with a mag, the ENTIRE cast and crew applauded. Yes we hated him that much much.
  • 0

#14 Hervé Colosio

Hervé Colosio

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 102 posts
  • France

Posted 07 May 2006 - 03:42 AM

The cable man was sleeping well !

I was shooting on a live show , with a triax cable . a tiny one to the camera , a big one attached on the back of my vest .
The director says ?steadicam ready , go ? , I go running to make the shot in live , but the cable man was sleeping , looking somewhere else with the headphone on the neck not on the ears !
The big triax have take off all the straps of the back of the vest , and I was very lucky because the sled have not fall . I have take all the Steadicam in my hands harness included.
The cable have not unplugged, and the end of shoot was in the clouds.
Finally he wake up , with a ?oh sorry I was not ready? .
ARGGG !
  • 0

#15 Dan Coplan

Dan Coplan

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 507 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 10 May 2006 - 09:57 AM

You gave a director, who's a center post grabber, a handjob?

I dunno...maybe that will help you get into the union.

Couldn't resist.

Dan Coplan
  • 0




Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

BOXX

Boland Communications

Ritter Battery

PLC Electronics Solutions

Omnishot Systems

Varizoom Follow Focus

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

SkyDreams

IDX

PLC - Bartech

Wireless Video Systems

Engineered Cinema Solutions

Teradek

GPI Pro Systems

Betz Tools for Stabilizers