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Why Steadicam Ops Rock


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#1 Dave Chameides

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 06:44 PM

I posted a need for a superpost a few days back for a specific shot that I was told about late Friday to be done this morning (Monday). A bunch of people got back to me right away and after realizing that my gear is freighteningly behind the times, Doc Karmen offered up not only his super post but his rig and batts as well.

Now I've met Doc several times before and we have travelled in concentric circles, but I wouldn't say that we know eachother that well by any means. But this is what I have always enjoyed about the steadicam community. What other group of people would graciously offer up tens of thousands of dollars worth of personal equipment to someone in need?

They call it the noble instrument, but I hold that it wouldn't be much without the ops who carry it on high.

Very cool and much appreciated Doc.

Peace

dave
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#2 Charles Papert

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 08:12 PM

They call it the noble instrument, but I hold that it wouldn't be much without the ops who carry it on high.


Dave, is that a short joke? I think that was a short joke. Doc, did you hear that?

From the time that Peter Abraham drove an hour into NYC to lend me his focus system after I blew up a rental Seitz (and we had never even met!) some 15 years ago, these sort of stories are more the norm than the exception (which makes us the exception in the film world). At the recent SOC event a bunch of the guys were chatting afterwards and we realized that in a way we are in competition, but in practice it's all about helping out the next guy.

Another nice thing is that not only will we lend each other gear, often guys will subrent other guys goodies when production will pay for it without taking a cut for themselves. It continues to be shocking to me that the "industry standard" with assistants who subrent gear from their colleagues is to take 50% of the rate just for getting the gear working. Maybe someone can explain to me how that is cool, because it never has seemed it to me, especially for a long-term rental.
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#3 Dave Chameides

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 03:30 PM

"Maybe someone can explain to me how that is cool, because it never has seemed it to me, especially for a long-term rental."

If you were taller you'd get this.
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#4 Dan Coplan

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 10:52 PM

I just have to chime in here (and as a reasonably tall guy I feel I have the right...).

When I first got my rig I was still deciding on which vest to get and my arm was in mid-shipment. Sure enough, a job came through. Stefan von Bjorn, who had another vest, offered me the vest he wasn't using for free. Jon Myers, through a simple referral through Scott Acosta through a simple referral from Stefan, offered me his backup arm. Erwin Landau had my back with the proper cables and bracketry until I could get it myself. I barely knew these guys at all but they were right there to help me out, asking nothing in return. And I have more stories, but enough said.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me which in a way is a thanks to everyone in the Steadicam community. Happy to return the favors!

Dan
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#5 Dave Williams

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 02:12 AM

I have to attest to the feeling of community with people you've never met. Peter Abraham and Alan Mehlbrech helped me very recently. Geat guys!

I posted a need for a superpost a few days back for a specific shot that I was told about late Friday to be done this morning (Monday). A bunch of people got back to me right away and after realizing that my gear is freighteningly behind the times, Doc Karmen offered up not only his super post but his rig and batts as well.

Now I've met Doc several times before and we have travelled in concentric circles, but I wouldn't say that we know eachother that well by any means. But this is what I have always enjoyed about the steadicam community. What other group of people would graciously offer up tens of thousands of dollars worth of personal equipment to someone in need?

They call it the noble instrument, but I hold that it wouldn't be much without the ops who carry it on high.

Very cool and much appreciated Doc.

Peace

dave


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#6 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 04:16 PM

I posted a need for a superpost a few days back for a specific shot that I was told about late Friday to be done this morning (Monday). A bunch of people got back to me right away and after realizing that my gear is freighteningly behind the times, Doc Karmen offered up not only his super post but his rig and batts as well.

Now I've met Doc several times before and we have travelled in concentric circles, but I wouldn't say that we know eachother that well by any means. But this is what I have always enjoyed about the steadicam community. What other group of people would graciously offer up tens of thousands of dollars worth of personal equipment to someone in need?

They call it the noble instrument, but I hold that it wouldn't be much without the ops who carry it on high.

Very cool and much appreciated Doc.

Peace

dave



Dave, the golden rule applies. Glad I could help. More than paid back by the look under the hood of your french fry oil sucking bio-diesel rabbit. And Charles, I think Dave was praising all the pot smoking ops out there, yes? And blessed are the cheese makers.
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#7 PeterAbraham

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 02:26 PM

Always a nice thing to help out my fellows. Charles has returned the kindness many times over in different ways, and besides- the look on his face when I pulled out my Frankenstein Follow Focus, with it's hand-hacksawed dogbones and frightening gear rings was well worth the drive into Harlem. :) ( It did work fine, though it was hardwired. )

I've told this tale before. My first IIIA arm snapped in NYC once, just as I started to tape a show. I called every name I could think of. On that Friday evening around 6:00 pm, only our dear Ted Churchill answered. Without hesitation, he handed over an arm that was one of ten on the planet ( at the time ). He insisted I go and get it, and return it myself. It was modified with a titanium socket block/ arm socket end. He, Steve St. John and a buncha other folks went in on a run of ten of the sets. Ted barely recognized my face, didn't know me well- but handed me the arm without hesitation. It is what we do. :)

Because it is so apropos, might I ask any of you reading this to click on this link, to a thread in another forum of our boards, and chime in one way or the other. It is a great idea that Ian has had, and well worth discussing in depth. Relevant Forum Link
My best to all,

Peter " I See Charles As A Giant Amongst Ops, Dave !!! " Abraham
New York
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