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Stupid is who stupid does...


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#1 Erwin Landau

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 01:07 AM

Stupid is who stupid does...

Imagine the scenario:

Call on Memorial day around 4PM. Production is shooting that night, call at 6PM, didn't anticipate to be using Steadicam... So no steadimags, no Lowmode Bracket, no prime lenses... no money.... No Prime lenses so what do you have? The only lens they have that could be remotely useable is a 5-1 (20mm to 100mm) Cooke Zoom. The Director is joking that they also have the 10-1 and a 14mm fisheye. And also they have no money but need "only" a couple of shots (Sure... fouled me.... whatever). So we agree on the regular Student "deal".

I show up at the set a couple of hours later (I could have walked it, was a couple of block down from me, actually, if I would have ran, which I should have done, I would have been home in 5 minutes...) and then the horror really starts to kick in...

Camera package:
- Arri 35-3 with CE highspeed base.
- Juergens fricking Video Door.
- regular 400 foot Arri mags (Director: Oh by the way... we have only a couple of 400 foot loads, can you balance the 1000 footer on your rig... Me: No F@#$ing way...)
- 6 by 6 Mattebox, no clip on.... of course.
- 5-1 Cooke Zoom it is... (luckily we are shooting in a very spacey yoghurt shop, yeah right!!!! we are in a 4 feet wide corridor and I'm sharing the little real estate I have with a 6 by 6 griflon 3 lights and a couple of C-stands....)

- BTW: I forgot to mention that we had 2 walls of mirrors and 2 walls of windows... we are shooting at night so we have 4 walls of mirrors... that's the time when you start shooting your self from the back...

Anyhow...
I start with the sliding base plate and the bridge plate because the Lens needs support we also go with the Lens bridge support and the long Iris rods. I refuse to use the matte box so we tape the 80A 6 by 6 to the front element. Lose the handle and eyepiece for weight (Yeah that helped...) 2 Preston motors because we want to be able to change Focal lengths on the fly.

The result was the center post extended to 23 inches with 3 batteries on the bottom on my Ultimate... for comparison I used to fly a BL-4 on my 21 inch fixed post with only 2 batteries... (Note: I had just received a shorty post from Greg 3 days earlier. The 21 inch fixed was always to long, with the LW2 and 2 batteries, I had between 4 and 5 inches above the Gimbal, so Greg made me a 16 inch shorty, The shortest build so far, [TJ you were after me] I wanted a fixed he opted for telescope... thanks for that it is extendable from 16 to 27 inches. I would have been screwed with anything shorter...)

It actually balanced quite nicely... PL mount behind the center post.
Now try the Arm... Black and Blue... sagging instantly. Going with 4 Blacks... all the way cranked up.. it flies...

Of course with a wanabee AD asking me every 5 minutes about my ETA.

We have a Zoom lense where do we shoot? at the long end... 100mm most of the time
If there is a 135mm on set, by the third set up, I will be doing wrap around's on that lens... The other day I was shooting moving coverage on a 200mm... the DP works his way up the long lenses and the moment he is confident that I can do it, he goes for the triple digits... every time...

As the day (night) progresses we are getting into a time crunsh the couple of shoots turn into a solid work day (what a surprise) let's do everything on Steadi... also as the day started to approach they started to throw money my way... can you stay a little longer??? etc. Did I mention that they had no money?
Also can you shake it up a little, so you want handheld... no no... steadi with the handheld NYPD Blue feel to it???? YES, NO, Maybe... we want the "Man on fire" moving style with crash zooms... man try to frame with that when the AC is going constantly through the whole range of the Lens... in out in out in out...
We finally run out of 400 foot loads, and the Camera goes into Handheld mode with the same lens and 1000 footer top loads. The original operator starts to develop operating problems (tired and lost his contact lens....???? I wear glasses) and I'm asked to step in... we start doing running shots... quick pans... lock off (they lost the Ranford plate somehow, so no Tripod)... hours later we wrap at 8AM...

THAT was fun....

Note to self: Just say no! Just say no!....

Ring.... Hello? Can you help us out? Suuuuure!

BTW: There was a scale near by so I stepped on it... 307 pounds... taking the rig off, stepping on it again... 208 pounds. Darn! I gained weight...

Erwin "Scrap metal flier" Landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com
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#2 Marc_Abernathy

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 01:52 AM

:lol:

hey erwin, does your back still work after all that?

btw hope to see you tomorrow...
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#3 Mitch Gross

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 01:55 AM

Darn! I gained weight...

...and likely lost height.
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#4 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 02:22 PM

thanks mr landau ...its good to se that some times people have the same problems

ps the pro vest...pics .yes im looking for blue prints if is posible...hahahahah
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#5 pbalsdon

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 04:58 PM

Why do we do these things, why don't we say no? I think possibly the kind of of people who take up steadicam operating have a "can do" attitude and enjoy a challenge. The way we all share our experiences on this forum shows a willingness to help out.

I've often thought we should run courses for directors, dp's etc. demonstrating what they can do with a steadicam and how best to achieve it. We did this Garrett for a day after a workshop in Sydney a few years ago and it worked well.

I once worked on a film that had quite a lot of steadicam and was told I'd be using a Moviecam Compact. I saw that camera on only one of the 23 steadicam days, the rest of the time I had a BL3 or BL4S and there quite a few action scenes. They were always happy with the work, but my attitude always had an underlying tone of "imagine how much better it would be with a more suitable set up, but it's your film mate."

Your professionalism shows, Erwin, in the fact you did your utmost best to deliver the best possible product under the circumstances and did it well. Your challenge however is to convince them it's not the way to do things next time they call!
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#6 Amando Crespo

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 08:26 PM

No words about....
"RAMBO" never was steadicam op.... <_<
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#7 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 08:22 PM

Hi Everyone
I would have to agree with everyone I have been there as well .

"Why do we do these things, why don't we say no? I think possibly the kind of of people who take up steadicam operating have a "can do" attitude and enjoy a challenge."

I have no problem with the challenge but I am sorry to say some producers are taking advantage of our kindness regardless of the budget.
."I am saying NO more now then ever before. Yes there will be op's how will do the job but at the end of the day they are screwing us all .

Here is a link we all should considering
http://www.facebook....34607510&ref=mf
Just my 2 cents worth .
Louis

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#8 Andrey Yazydzhi

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 01:30 AM

Hi Everyone
I would have to agree with everyone I have been there as well .

"Why do we do these things, why don't we say no? I think possibly the kind of of people who take up steadicam operating have a "can do" attitude and enjoy a challenge."

I have no problem with the challenge but I am sorry to say some producers are taking advantage of our kindness regardless of the budget.
."I am saying NO more now then ever before. Yes there will be op's how will do the job but at the end of the day they are screwing us all .

Here is a link we all should considering
http://www.facebook....34607510&ref=mf
Just my 2 cents worth .
Louis

Without zoom but with 1000 feet mag and 2-feet door in "don juan".
My 2 cents.

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#9 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 09:25 AM

Hi Andrey
I see your 435 and 1000'mag and raze it .A Genesis with the lot Preston 2 motors ,short zoom cinetape ,matt box filters ,etc etc.

Louis

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#10 Janice Arthur

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 11:20 AM

Hi all;

I am more and more amazed at the expectations of Steadicam operators every single day of the week.

It is something akin to the Middle Ages in both torture and expectations of the human skeleton.

I am seldom asked to do what lots of you do (weight and accessory wise) but I've put on a crazy amount of stuff on my rig too in an effort to make the director or DP happy.

It has become something of a Pavlovian response to make them happy and I'm not sure I like where this is going.

In the earliest days it was fun to kind of see what the device could do and what we were capable of, now it is partly that but we've become huge beasts of burden in the process. Because we make it look easy and because the device is still "weightless" looking I think other people forget how much is being asked of us.

Now in addition the same precision and finesse is still required; like that of a motion control device, with very long lenses.

I am hearing more and more younger operators lamenting "boy I don't know how much longer I can do this".

I throw this out as an observer of this forum since its AOL days and one who has done more than her fair share of tremendously hard days. You guys are outdoing those days by miles.

JA
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#11 Charles Papert

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 12:22 PM

Louis:

From one who has successfully managed to avoid flying the Genocide in one-piece mode across 2 features and 2 series, what got them to convince you to fly it this way? High-speed? (which incidentally we have been able to do with deck remoted, but I'm not quite sure how).
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#12 RonBaldwin

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 12:57 PM

Without zoom but with 1000 feet mag and 2-feet door in "don juan".
My 2 cents.


doing a 10 minute take or just like the auto tilt up feature? Still much lighter than the giblet-busting full blown genesis. Getting through the door is impressive...were you lubed up with Lisagav to slide through easier?

rb
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#13 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 10:05 PM

Louis:

From one who has successfully managed to avoid flying the Genocide in one-piece mode across 2 features and 2 series, what got them to convince you to fly it this way? High-speed? (which incidentally we have been able to do with deck removed, but I'm not quite sure how).

Hi everyone
There were a number of outside forces from the producer and dp after they had spoken with the tech guys at panavision about the possible problems of splitting the recorder from the camera and that we were shooting off normal camera speed on several shots and also paying for a extra crew person to lug the backpack around .I did say the only way I would do it was for any long shots (walk and talks) I want to be hard mounted on what ever (western Dolly /rickshaw etc) which they were fine with and we did.

Most of the shots were 30 seconds to one minute in length which worked out fine Having said that I will never fly it again one -piece .
Also panavision didn't have the hard drives available at the time.
All the best.
Louis Puli from down under.
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#14 Charles Papert

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 01:44 PM

Good old misinformation--I'm sure once the Panavision guys got their teeth into your bosses there was nothing to be done about it but there have been literally hundreds of jobs done with the Genesis in two-piece mode without any problems. I was warned early on about getting close to electronic ballasts (HMI, Kino) with the cables, that one seems to have disappeared. As far as hiring extra crew to carry the backpack, that job usually goes to one of the grips, we've never added personnel to carry the pig around.

Sorry you had to go through all of that but I would have a chat with your friends at Panavision and inform them that the backpack has been SOP for a few years now out here. Fiber has gained more popularity and the SSR's are occasionally glimpsed (but priced so high that most shows can't afford them), but the backpack is tried and true and certainly not a high risk. I would actually say that I have heard more about equipment failure and injury as a result of operators flying one-piece than issues with the two-piece setup.
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#15 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 07:13 PM

"Sorry you had to go through all of that but I would have a chat with your friends at Panavision and inform them that the backpack has been SOP for a few years now out here. Fiber has gained more popularity and the SSR's are occasionally glimpsed (but priced so high that most shows can't afford them), but the backpack is tried and true and certainly not a high risk. I would actually say that I have heard more about equipment failure and injury as a result of operators flying one-piece than issues with the two-piece setup."
[/quote]


Hi everyone
Thanks Charles,Phil
Before saying yes I did read everything about the Genesis on the forum but when the techo's got in to the ear of the producer about possible problems etc that was it NO splitting it.
As for me next time I will split it regardless .
Thanks again
Louis Puli
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