Jump to content



Photo

operating in water


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 718 posts

Posted 03 May 2006 - 03:28 PM

I've been asked if I can operate in 2 feet of water for a concert film. My quick answer was yes after finding out that a stage will be built and the water will be consistently 2 feet deep. I leave town tommorrow for the job, so I'd love to hear what you guys think about this situation as quickly as possible, in terms of both safety and practicality.
I think I'm going to get a pair of those water shoes that are basically like a sandal but with more support. I don't know what the surface under the water will be like, but I'm assuming it will be pretty smooth since they are building this stage for the concert. I'm trying to think of other concerns that I may have, but I'm drawing a bit of a blank. Any thoughts, tips, or suggestions on what to watch out for or what I may need for this specific situation would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
  • 0

#2 Chris Konash

Chris Konash

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 111 posts
  • New Jersey

Posted 03 May 2006 - 03:53 PM

Good Luck...

I did a shoot by the ocean last week and didn't think anything about the 6" of water I was in until:
A. I fell
B. I was hit by a small wave on my legs and water splashed up onto the bottom of the rig

Not much info but that?s my 2 cents.

If you need to just Lev-i-tate ....

Chris "now scared of water" Konash
  • 0

#3 Alec Jarnagin SOC

Alec Jarnagin SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1801 posts
  • New York City, USA

Posted 03 May 2006 - 04:02 PM

Brad,

Are there other people in the water with you? Enough displacement and the water will be higher, but more relevant, they could cause splashes.

If I were you, I'd only do it if there were exact predetermined shots coordinated between you and talent. I'd be skeptical of "just hanging out in the water" improving shots with a group of people sharing the pool. Learn more, talk to the Producers and see if you can come to reasonable terms that make everyone happy.

Also, be sure you have their insurance policy in hand with a written statement saying they are responsible for the deductible and any rented gear while yours is down. Let's face it, one wrong step and your sled is all but ruined (best case scenario, a factory cleaning and rebuild).
  • 0

#4 Brant S. Fagan SOC

Brant S. Fagan SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 407 posts
  • Charlestown, New Hampshire, USA

Posted 03 May 2006 - 05:48 PM

Brad--

Several items jump forward with the specs you list here.

1. TriAx cables and big voltage. If you are to be shooting with a TriAx camera, the voltage that travels down the cable, when mixed with water could produce very BAD things.

2. Water induced thermal fatigue. Water will sap the body temperature quicker than ambient air of the same temperature. Standing for long periods in water, even with a set of wading boots, will eventually lead to a bad condition which may include cramping or charlie horse pain.

3. Peripheral vision. Water, by it's very nature will refract light coming into it as well as reflecting from its moving surface. When you rely on ground marks for navigation, the water's refracting effects could lead to poor choices in navigational decision making.

4. Fatigue. Moving through that water will tire you out exponentially faster than moving about in a gaseous medium.

5. Pump up the rate. More fluid friction, more cash. Enough said there.

Good Luck and good fishing!

Best,

Brant S. Fagan, SOC
Steadicam/Camera Operator
  • 0

#5 Kris Torch Wilson

Kris Torch Wilson

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 185 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 03 May 2006 - 05:57 PM

Are you shooting film or video? If video and you are wired have the electricians meter your rig with the camera and make sure you don't get zapped. If the truck/video world is not properly grounded you could get it. I would think the same holds true for a film camera if you are hard wired. I watched a buddy fry several years ago and I would hate for you to get hurt. You might be told it's safe but do not get in the water until you have seen someone check it out first. Even then I always test it with the back of my hand EACH time I enter. When zapped your muscles contract. If you test with the back of your hand the contraction will take you away from the water. Does that make sense to anyone other than me. It's clear in my head but I'm not sure I'm explaining it very well. Be safe

Kris " Torch" Wilson
  • 0

#6 Dan Coplan

Dan Coplan

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 507 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 03 May 2006 - 06:29 PM

Write back after the gig and let us know what happened. Post some pics if you can. Very interesting situation.

Dan Coplan
  • 0

#7 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 718 posts

Posted 03 May 2006 - 07:24 PM

Lots of responses already! And lots of good advice.
I just got back from a meeting with the director and I got some more details that were very helpful.
First of all, the only people in the water will be me and my spotter. The 1st can pull from a distance. I was worried about having the performers in the water with me for fear of lots of splashing or having people run into me. I feel a lot better knowing that it will only be two of us. If it were lots of people I probably would have said no.
Second, the camera is a Varicam and won't be hardwired at all. That was my second biggest worry and I'm happy that it's not an issue. Are there any issues with being in the water with the rig on? I've done jobs on the beach in shallow water before with no issues, but I would be happy to hear if there is anything that I'm not aware of that I should be.
I saw a picture of the fountain and where the stage will be. It's basically a large circular fountain and the stage will jut out from the middle of the foutain to the edge and be 2 feet above the water. The fountain is on the top of a 60 story building in Miami. Should make for some cool shots and a nice view.
I haven't gotten shoes yet. Anyone have any recommendations? I'm thinking of something like this or
this. I assume that the soles are designed to work well in water.
I had forgotten about the fact that water lowers your body temperature. I'll certainly keep that in mind and take lots of breaks. There will be four or five cameras, so we should be well covered while I rest.
Thanks for all the tips so far. Keep them coming! I think the key to this job, and of course steadicam in general, is being prepared.
  • 0

#8 Frederic Chamberland

Frederic Chamberland

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 281 posts
  • Montreal

Posted 03 May 2006 - 07:31 PM

hi,

As Alec mentionned, make sure the insurance from the production covers all, my own insurance will cover my equipment over water only if I call them first and pay a small extra fee for that particular day. Good to check the small characters on your own insurance ...

Fly safe.
  • 0

#9 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 718 posts

Posted 03 May 2006 - 09:07 PM

That's a good tip Frederick. Thanks. I'll definately check on that.
  • 0

#10 Brad Smith

Brad Smith

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 133 posts
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 04 May 2006 - 01:38 AM

I've got something to add about the shoes

Not all rubber is created equal. I used to be a whitewater rafting guide and I spent alot of time runing around on wet rocks wearing "teva's", or sports sandals. Of course the friction you'll get is going to depend on what material the bottom of the pool is made of, however the two best types of rubber for gripping in the wet are Vibram, or 5.10. It's worth mentioning this because sometimes you come across sandals that have a harder "plasticy" type sole and they are deadly on wet surfaces. Both of the shoes you linked to look good but make sure the soles are soft and rubbery. Apart from the shoes sounds scary going in the water with a rig!!! love to see some pics! :o

Brad "When I was a raft guide" Smith.
  • 0

#11 Mikael Kern

Mikael Kern

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 67 posts
  • Denmark

Posted 04 May 2006 - 04:57 AM

Yes, Teva and Vibram shoes/sandals works well in or at water - depending on the surface inside the pool. Test it.

Keeping warm: divers equipment, neopren.

2 feet of water you say - then you don´t want a long post! Test out and shorten your rig. It would be nice to have some headroom - or bottomroom.

Maybe the shots look just as good with a little less water in the pool. Often it´s just an Art Director somewhere that picked a number when asked: "How deep should the water be?" "2 feet, I think, will give the best visual effect". And on the actual location you may find that 5 inches of water gives the same look, but noone thought about it. (You said you could do it :-) )

Fly dry,

Mikael Kern
  • 0

#12 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 718 posts

Posted 04 May 2006 - 05:51 AM

Maybe the shots look just as good with a little less water in the pool. Often it´s just an Art Director somewhere that picked a number when asked: "How deep should the water be?" "2 feet, I think, will give the best visual effect". And on the actual location you may find that 5 inches of water gives the same look, but noone thought about it. (You said you could do it :-) )

Fly dry,

Mikael Kern

Thanks Mikael. I totally understand where you're coming from. But this job was one of those secondary jobs that wasn't originally planned when the concert was scheduled. In other words, they're going to do what they're going to do, and we have to work around it.
Unfortunately, the job isn't happening in the same capacity as was originally planned. The Producer/Director just got the call today and put in a quote and apparently they balked at the price tag and so now the job is just going to be two local guys on tripods shooting the concert. Heck of a difference between two and five cameras. So anyway, there will be no rig swimming for me, at least not on this one. I was really looking forward to it, but we all know how quickly things change based on budgets.

I really appreciate all of the great advice you guys provided. This forum is really re-shaping itself back into what it used to be, and what it should be. Thanks to everyone who contributes and to the moderators, who have had an immediate and important impact in making this board an important place for steadicam operators to gather.
  • 0

#13 Michael Stumpf

Michael Stumpf

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 491 posts
  • U.S.

Posted 04 May 2006 - 04:04 PM

Brad,

If you are going to be in the water for any length of time,
I'd highly suggest getting a waist high dry suit.

Those shoes you showed might be good, but your feet and legs will
continue to get wet. You'll want to have something that keeps your
feet and legs nice and dry if you are going to be in and out of the water
for hours.

And of course, use your rain covers on the botton of the sled, or wrap
in plastic wrap. Your own walking around (as well as the spotters)
is enough to splash water up on the bottom of the rig.


Michael
  • 0

#14 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 718 posts

Posted 04 May 2006 - 04:39 PM

Good idea Michael. I would have looked into that had the job happened. I'll keep it in mind for the next time.
  • 0

#15 Marc_Abernathy

Marc_Abernathy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 533 posts
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 05 May 2006 - 08:54 AM

hey bradley... :P

those MBT shoes you posted a link to look really cool! the video on the site is really slick also. im about ready to drop some money on these shoes. there is a local shop who has these so im going to see whats up with them...

good seeing you again also...
  • 0




Betz Tools for Stabilizers

Boland Communications

Wireless Video Systems

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Engineered Cinema Solutions

Teradek

Paralinx LLC

Varizoom Follow Focus

Omnishot Systems

PLC Electronics Solutions

BOXX

PLC - Bartech

GPI Pro Systems