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Pulling the "Oh Jesus" Cord


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#1 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 09:07 AM

Somebody on set was inquiring about my vest and what the Emergency release was for. Then the conversation posed the question of "Who's every had to use it and why?"

I for one would love to hear some of these war stories...

-Alfeo
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#2 David Williams

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 09:34 AM

...and how many rigs now lie at the bottom of a bay somewhere? Maybe the next generation vests could have an in built CO2 floatation device rip cord, they could double as airbags, and perhaps add a parachute too :D Be prepared!

Sorry, it's late here, and I'm tired...
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#3 Alan Lifton

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:04 PM

Well, this is a Ted story, and I hope I remember it correctly. I met Ted at the Steadicam Workshop held in NYC at Silvercup Studio back in 1984 (I think it was '84, anyway...). Ted told the story of how he was shooting on a garbage barge in NY Harbor as it was approaching Staten Island to dock. It was a project for the City of NY or something like that, and the shot required Ted to step off the barge as it docks and to walk ashore following someone. Well... the barge and the dock were both slick and slippery and wet and gunky and as Ted steps from the barge to the dock, he of course slips and starts to fall into the drink. Pulls the ripcord, vest and rig hit the drink without Ted, Ted also hits the drink but bobs up and yells... "I'm alright, Im alright...!" Meanwhile, the entire rig becomes new fish habitat. But he lived to tell the story...

He also told the tale of climbing on one of the bridges in NYC to do a shoot about how the bridges are being painted. According to the story, he's walking up bridge strut and as he nears the top the wind picks up and gets sorta scary dangerous. Once again, he pulls the ripcord and loses the rig to the water, but lives to tell that story...

Over the years, I've tended to believe the first story, but have my doubts about the bridge tale. Can any of my workshop mates from that time recall any of this...?
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#4 nick franco

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:39 PM

We need Garrett to tell the rhino story. (I think it was a rhino.)
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#5 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 01:15 PM

I've heard Garrett tell that story (but I thought it was a Lion?)........... When I heard it, I was a new operator and a safety cord sounded like a cool feature.

Now however, I can't imagine having the time to pull the cord but not having the time to save yourself. I've had 2 PRO vests (#5 and #2??). I've never heard of anybody getting hurt because they couldn't quick release their vest.

Also,does the WK vest have a quick release?

mm.
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#6 Afton Grant

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 02:35 PM

Also,does the WK vest have a quick release?


It does not, but I bet I could get out of it just as fast, if not faster than a ripcord if I had to. Pop one shoulder buckle and swing open the door and it would just fall off.
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#7 Emre Tufekci

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:05 PM

I was speaking with Chrish Konash earlier this year and he told me his story about how he fell into the water was completely submerged. I'll let him tell his story (dont want to give it away).

I on the other hand do not like the idea of the rip cord.....I WANT EXPLOSIVE BOLTS..... :P
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#8 Charles Papert

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:49 PM

As I recall the issue with the quick release had to do with having to have it OSHA certified and a whole set of complications from that, which is why it does not appear on modern vests.

Garrett's story was indeed about the rhino (named Junior as I recall), from "Altered States". And yes, he does tell it best!

The bridge story sounds suspiciously like another of GB's stories where the crew was climbing up a bridge (Brooklyn? Golden Gate? forget which) and all had been strapped into harnesses, but mid-trek Garrett discovered the knots were faulty and the things would pop right off.

I can't remember TC talking about dropping rigs into the brink, but then again--can't remember anyone claiming to own his old Model 2, so maybe that's how he got himself a 3!
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#9 Jerry Holway

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 06:22 PM

FYI, the Ultra 2 vests still have the quick release, and I wouldn't work near water or stunts without it. Several times I came close to pulling the cord, but never had to...

Jerry
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#10 Charles Papert

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 06:25 PM

whoops, never noticed that. Thanks for the info Jerry. Are any of the other Tiffen vests so equipped? And out of curiousity, how did they surmount the OSHA issue (or is it not called a safety feature)?
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#11 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 01:06 AM

I can't remember TC talking about dropping rigs into the brink, but then again--can't remember anyone claiming to own his old Model 2, so maybe that's how he got himself a 3!



I thought that Janice Arthur bought his model II, I do know that it was sold in Chicago.
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#12 Joshua Harrison

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 06:24 AM

Hey all,

I'm in New Orleans on a feature right now. Yesterday I was doing a huge party scene going from room to room and somehow my quick release got snagged on someone in the crowd. Long story short I ended up holding my sled, arm, and vest partially off of me. Luckily it didn't fully release but that doesn't inspire confidence that it would come off me in an emergency :)

Coincidentally I just ordered a Pro vest that doesn't have the quick release and to be honest I'm quite happy it doesn't. I should be getting that in a week or so.

It kinda scared me a bit, I didn't realize that the quick release got pulled all I knew was I was holding a sled trying to fall off of me :)

Anybody else have that one inadvertently pulled for them?


Josh Harrison
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#13 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 11:38 AM

Anybody else have that one inadvertently pulled for them?


I was using a older vest at a workshop some years ago that had had the upper quick-release velcro pad improperly repaired. Instead of thick material, it just had this thin - almost vinyl - material over the back of the velcro.

As I was backing through a door and pushed the rig out to bring the arm in for clearance I heard the velcro go. Between my grabbing the post and my spotter grabbing the edges of the vest and holding it together I didn't loose the rig. Got a newbies hart rate up though... :o :rolleyes:


- Mikko
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#14 Erik Barone

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 11:58 PM

I think Rob Vuona told me a story where he was shooting next to a pool and missed a step and had to yank kinda place the rig on the side as he was falling in......I think it was Rob.....

Edited by Erik Barone, 21 October 2008 - 12:02 AM.

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#15 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 01:35 AM

I think Rob Vuona told me a story where he was shooting next to a pool and missed a step and had to yank kinda place the rig on the side as he was falling in......I think it was Rob.....

Oh you had to bring that up . . . . !!

Ya the vest I had on didn't have the O-Shit cord and it was straight to the bottom of the pool . . .

Dec. 3rd, 4pm 2003, 40 degrees and the water was about 45 . . .brrrrrrr in Las Vegas

Thanks for bring that back up Eric . . . .
LOL . . . . .
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