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Crane Step Off


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#1 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 10:25 PM

Hello,

What are your experiences in regards to crane step offs. What do you ask for from the grip department and what to do and what to avoid?

I did one this week from titan crane on the beach/pier in Seal Beach, CA.

Thanks!

Jens
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#2 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 11:15 PM

I've only done a few but I'll give you my thoughts.

I like a little bit of slack on my teather. I don't want to lean on the strap and beaner.

I don't like a locking beaner, I like a simple release.

I don't want to think about when I can and can not step off so I just make sure one grip is responsible for letting me know it's safe to step off and I'm un hooked. Nothing subtle either, a nice hard smack on my rump means, "you can step off now, the crane will not go flying and you are not hooked in".

My only other thought is that I don't like crane shots in high wind. I generally want to have a really slow drop so I can easily tilt toward the direction I'm going. Obviously that plus high wind is not so fun. If it is windy, it's nice to have a few double nets in a "V" behind you on the crane so you are at least somewhat protected while your up high.

What kind of shot did you do, did you go from low to high or high to low. Was it an on then off or just an off? What kind of camera and config? Crane shots are one of the cooler things we get to do imo.

mm.
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#3 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 11:56 PM

Hi Mike,

It was a hi to low step off. Arri 416, thank god. Night EXT, we started being about 18 to 20 ft in the air looking down the pier and dropped down to beach level to step off and follow two actors for 2 1/2 pages underneath the pier walk and talk in sand. Did four takes and moved on. Compliments from the producer and DP. Nice, but scary. No harness though.

Jens
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#4 Jon Beattie

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 12:02 AM

As a guy who's worked as a grip, operated, rigged to and been party to most things crane. I'll say talk to your key and crane op see what they have to say. Find out their experience. Its one of the cooler shots to do but also a potential for any number of danger situations. If you can have a handle or a safety line go for it. Find out what type of crane. If they say "tulip" just say no! It has to small a footprint and your asking for trouble.
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#5 Colin Elves

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 03:50 AM

Nice, but scary. No harness though.



I bet it was scary. The only time I stepped off a crane was during training, in the middle of the panavision grips department, on a custom built steadicam platform, fully harnessed up and assisted by some very good grips. At the time I felt entirely safe and loved the shot.

Having said that, without the harness I wouldn't have gone up (I'm a bit of a scardy-cat, I know, but people die making films every year).

The end of the crane wobbled a wee bit due to simple physics, add to that an unfavourable wind and I can easily foresee a situation where you I would be slightly unbalanced, or the rig would shift away from me, I would unseat a little and whoosh, the rig pulls me off a 30ft drop. Not pretty.

I remember at the time the grips said: Make sure you ONLY use a purpose built reinforced steadicam platform (not something they 'just knocked up') and ALWAYS wear a harness.

Colin Elves,

Steadicam newbie / doom-monger, london.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 04:59 AM

No harness though.

Jens

I don't think I'd ever go up on a crane without being clipped in. This is especially true after hearing about Bill Brummond's accident a couple years ago. One little tiny problem and you're seriously injured or possibly dead. With a fall restraint your chances of serious injury are greatly diminished. I'm actually very surprised the grips didn't at least try to talk you into some kind of fall restraint. That was an unnecessary risk in my opinion. I'm glad it worked out this time, but you might want to re-think it next time.
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#7 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 10:43 AM

my dolly grip talked me out of using a harness. any suggestions for harnesses?

Jens
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#8 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:20 AM

a regular rock climbing harness backwards would work (the idea is if you happned to fall it would stop you from going splat) or you could just use an insert car safty type belt. a full body harnes (say petzl) is probably the safest idea but maybe a bit constricting.

personally, i use 2 small thin pieces of webbing and make a figure 8 around my chest (kind of goes on like a bra?). then they clip the beaner to that and unclip it from that (so im not dragging a beaner around). the grip should be able to un clip you when your still a few feet off the ground and then step on and tap you as soon as it lands..

mm.
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#9 RonBaldwin

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 01:38 PM

my dolly grip talked me out of using a harness. any suggestions for harnesses?

Jens


that guy should be reported -- he put you in a very dangerous situation. Never get on a crane with a rig on without a harness of some kind...and I'd think twice about being on one without a grip riding with you. I've done alot of step-offs and luckily I've had titans most of the time and grips that are overly concerned about my safety.

rb
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#10 Richard W. Davis

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 05:27 PM

Jens,


I'm curious what the argument could be to not wear a harness? I have done a half dozen or so step on/ offs and would never do one without a harness and grips I trusted my life with.... because you are. I agree that Titans are the way to go as far as crane choice.

Glad it went well and you are safe.

Rich Davis
LA
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#11 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 06:59 PM

The argument was, that it might interrupt the process of walking off at the right time.
But I agree, that you can just unhook it at 10 to 5 ft to avoid that to happen.

Jens
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#12 Erwin Landau

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 09:03 PM

I did a bunch of step on's and step off's over the years.

Titan is the way to go, but the Zeus is not bad either... I draw the line at Giraffes and cranes like that...

I'm always very conscious about safety and I make sure that I'm the person with the final "NO" even after the Key Grips okay, which usually they turn to me first to see if I'm okay with the set up, before they give there final go ahead. Usually the Key grip is the acting Safety officer on set .

I had one incident where the DP almost got me killed... he was riding along for a rehearsal got impatient and jumped of the platform at about 2 feet to go... it's amazing how quick a bunch of 300 pound grips can move if they have to... They caught the platform in mid air... I was able to get hold of the railing... I had expected more from a twenty year ASC alum... oh well.

Amspec (Stunt supply store and custom harness maker in Van Nuys) made me a special sling that is padded and has a dedicated release on the back... only ride with a dedicated Grip and only he tells me when to get of and when it's safe... No one else, ...they also made me a belt for Motorcycles and a full body harness for process trailer handheld stuff...

Good Luck,

Erwin

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#13 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 12:17 AM

"I remember at the time the grips said: Make sure you ONLY use a purpose built reinforced steadicam platform (not something they 'just knocked up') and ALWAYS wear a harness."

Colin Elves,

Hi Everyone
There have been some great safety tips from Ron,Mike and Erwin .I to would agree with then never go on with out a harness.
Here are a few examples of what NOT TO DO

Safety First
Louis Puli B)
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#14 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 12:28 AM

Hi everyone

And as for this new Bonnett mount :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
"The Horror death mount "
No thanks.
Louis I don"t get paid that much Puli B)
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#15 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 02:41 AM

^^^holy shit^^^!!! the crane is one thing but that 'rig' if you can call it that is beyond crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cant even begin to list the reasons that is wrong! and seriously, how good is that shot going to be?!?

mike 'wow' mcgowan :o
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