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Being skeptical

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#1 Janice Arthur

Janice Arthur

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 09:18 AM

Hi all;

This is just a reminder to use your instincts on jobs

I recently had a job where I could tell from the beginning that things were not going to go "as discussed".

Aside from little information from the production, days and outlines of what we were doing kept changing.

A helicopter portion turns up. I say no, I say no again, and a third time. "Oh just a couple of shots;
Oh, big helicopter; Oh, very safe pilot.

Finally after getting another camera operator, it turns into; Many shots, hand held, take off the helicopter door, tiny two blade helicopter, 4 tiny seats, shooting over water, and a 275 lb. Producer who piles in at the last moment. No room. We didn't think it would take off. The AC and I walked back to the truck after getting it all set up and say smiling "Sure glad that's not us!"

Once on the job one third of the shoot turned into blatant lies. You can't know how often the things they told us about our shooting portion was just lying. We were able to pull off the safe, tame stuff and get it done but I can tell you the entire crew is out for the next job with them.

This is just one of those FYI kind of posts, (and its fun to vent).

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#2 David Allen Grove

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 12:57 PM

Good for you Janice!

I had a somewhat similar situation where they wanted to mount the steadicam inside a van with sliding doors on either side. They just wanted shots of Downtown Hollywood.

It didn't seem safe or even practical. I politely said I didn't think this was a good idea. They pushed and pushed but I ultimately just said no.

It was quite silly since it was a promo and the shots would last less than a second or two on screen.

I've worked with this production company several times before this and since then so it was all good but if you have that funny feeling about a shot you should really fight for your safety. Especially if it's last minute cluster-whatever and in Janice's case if they flat out lie!
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#3 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 03:16 PM

Kind of reminds me of a shoot where I was working as the key grip. The director met some rich guy with a helicopter who would come out for free so they decided they wanted a helicopter shot. Someone got it in their head that we should rig the camera to the skids with speedrail..... I politely told them that I would not be rigging the camera to the outside of the helicopter as we did not have the proper equipment or crew and that if they didn't like it I would quit because I did not want to be involved with something illegal that could very likely kill people.

The few first times I expressed my concerns they seemed to ignore them but in the end we took the door off and safetied the DP and camera in and he shot handheld out the side.

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