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Panavision Gold 2 again...


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#1 Erwin Landau

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 06:26 AM

I got a call last year for a feature. I have done 20 feature lengths project with that Production Company to date. Everything was fine, dates, locations, call times... all as usual and casually before hanging up, I asked it's the ARRI as always right? No we are using Panavision this time... Otto's is out of cameras.

That was the first time I worked with that UPM. They always use Arri's from Otto Nemenz and have never or very seldom used Panavision before.

So I made sure that they had a steadicam camera and the answer was we have two G2's. I said that I would not fly that camera under no circumstances... (if you have to ask why check: http://www.steadicam...?showtopic=1695 or http://www.steadicam....howtopic=262)... after a short silence, she came back with what do you mean... That the G2 was not a steadicam camera... period.

Anyways after some back and forth they got me a LW2. First day all is fine we finish the day, the next morning the first AC comes up to me and half nervous laughing, half concerned uncertainty tells me that Panavision just picked up the LW2 and dropped off another G2 with conversion. I walk over to one of the producers and tell him about it, totally surprised he calls the UPM and a back and forth starts that lasts most of the day. I offer to leave as there is no camera that i can use, but repeatedly, I am held on set as the Production scrambles to get another camera for me...
I do not fly that beast and operate for the rest of the day the B-Camera... no other camera shows up that day... for my next steadicam day they got me the Aaton 35-3...

A couple of weeks later I receive my pay check after I had to repeatedly pound the accounted and on my pay check the day that they couldn't get a dissent camera they subtracted my Steadicam Rental for that day... Calls to the UPM result in very bad relations for the future...


Anyhow...


Now on Saturday I ran into the DP and after some laughter and catching up we started talking about that last show... and he surprised me with that remark:

He had talked to the UPM, as I had stirred up quite a rakes, and that's what she told him happened when she checked in with Panavision... The remark from the Panavision Sales representative was as follows:

"The G2 is a very nice steadicam camera and that she, the UPM and the Production, where misinformed by me the Steadicam Operator and that I didn't know what I was talking about. And that they should in that case replace me with a more competent Steadicam Operator in the future..."

To this day the Producer thinks that I screwed them out of a day by refusing to fly the G2 and that he was right not to pay me as he was backed up by Panavision.

I was quite baffled that Panavision would treat a person that is quite involved in choosing the tools for there job, meaning the camera, in such a way. BTW: I'm starting project #21 with that company... I was asked what camera I would like to use... guess which Rental House/ Camera I declined to use...


Thoughts, Comments... ?



Erwin "Have quite the kicked in the head sensation" Landau
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#2 Charles Papert

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 08:57 AM

Too much hearsay--DP telling you what the UPM told him that the sales rep said? Wouldn't surprise me if the actual transcript of the original conversation went much differently. I personally wouldn't a grudge against the entire rental house until I got both sides of the story.

You can easily find out who the rep was for that particular show and have a conversation with them directly, probably best had in person. May not mend or even advance things as it is very unlikely that they will admit they said all that, but at least it could satisfy your curiousity.
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#3 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 05:38 AM

"The G2 is a very nice steadicam camera and that she, the UPM and the Production, where misinformed by me the Steadicam Operator and that I didn't know what I was talking about. And that they should in that case replace me with a more competent Steadicam Operator in the future..."



Erwin,

Ive had to deal with that same BS attitude from PV Dublin for my entire career as a steadicam op. They have, on occasion said a very similar thing to me in person. Ive always refused to fly PV conversion kits and i always refused to fly the 435 unless it had a 100% top and steadi mags. I was told on more then one occasion that i was being difficult and that all the other operators in the Uk fly this set up (more BS!). Most of the time the Producers/PM's believed me but i did loose several gig's because some believed in "the power of Panavision" (as someone once put it).
Stand your ground - you did the right thing.
S
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#4 MarkKaravite

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 10:28 AM

I'm prepping an 8 week feature next week, and I'm preparing for the same battle, only with the F23 and whether to fly 1 piece or 2. I have mounted a preemptive strike, informing the DIT (who is only on for the first week or 2) that we will be in 2 piece mode for all handheld & Steadicam. My next conversation is with Panavision. Both are leery about 2 piece, because people in the past have lost scenes because the wrong buttons were pushed.

If we were shooting Arri, I wouldn't order a 535 for Steadicam, it would be an LT. If we were shooting 35mm Panavision, it wouldn't be the G2. If we are going digital, it won't be with an SRW-1 on board. I think as long as the DIT or Panavision don't get the UPM paranoid about splitting the camera, there should be no discussion needed, and I'll dictate the correct mode of the camera for the shot. If paranoia rears it's ugly head, then I will politely decline, and see what happens.

Erwin, you'd think after 20 shows, they'd trust your judgement more. Anyway, nice meeting you at NAB.

Best,
Mark
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#5 nealnorton

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 03:44 PM

Hi Erwin:

I agree with Charles that you should contact the Panavision representative that was supposed to have made the remark about the G2 conversion.

I have yet to meet a Panavision rep that is not supportive of our needs.

If the person really did say the G2 is a "nice" camera to fly, maybe you could take a few hours to go by the shop and set up a demo with the G2 and a 50 Primo and all the goodies. Have the person give it a try! You might want to have paramedics standing by. . .

Regards,

Neal
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#6 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 09:06 PM

If the person really did say the G2 is a "nice" camera to fly, maybe you could take a few hours to go by the shop and set up a demo with the G2 and a 50 Primo and all the goodies. Have the person give it a try! You might want to have paramedics standing by. . .

Regards,

Neal


Hey Erwin,
I agree with Neal, who ever the person was that said it will fly just fine, head over and suit them up, along with the producers who think it's all good . . . .

I have been making it a practice to put my rig on as many producers, directors and talent as I can, they seem to have a whole new outlook and respect after they put it on for 5 minutes and we are in the 14 hour of the day and still going.

I have a whole file of photo's, maybe we should start a "producer, director wearing the rig" section oh and a producer director touching the rig section . . . LOL . . .

Good luck with it
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