Jump to content


Ridiculous mattebox / Clip ons

  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Ed Moore

Ed Moore

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 185 posts
  • Midlands, UK

Posted 11 February 2009 - 06:22 PM

I flew an MB-14 today. It was stupid. Trying to get some photos from the stills person to demonstrate that, but for the moment you'll have to take my word for it.

Do any of you guys own your own clip-on or smaller mattebox as an item to rent to productions which can't/haven't got hold of one for steadicam work?
  • 0

#2 Alfeo Dixon SOC

Alfeo Dixon SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 756 posts
  • Atlanta

Posted 11 February 2009 - 06:58 PM

I'm quite in awe of just how much gear we need to just get the job done, but then there's just about the same portion of funds allocated into making our jobs comfortable. Just where does it end when the rates are being slashed by producers.
  • 0

#3 Mike Germond SOC

Mike Germond SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 468 posts
  • Orlando Steadicam LLC

Posted 11 February 2009 - 09:45 PM

Glad to hear this in discussion, because I have always wondered the same..

It seems like all the demand that we have for production could be construed as luxury comfort items for us. Especially in the US, the live-multicam guys have proven that they can produce quality work while tethered by working harder at keeping a steady shot, yet we still push for premium HD wireless link packages that cost thousands and carry all the luxuries (icom, pgm, ect..). I do realize that certain situations require wireless however..

I'd feel guilty on set if the other niche experts started to look at Steadicam ops as pretentious and needy, but a lot of times it is what we need to get the job done, or what we need to do the job BETTER.

Just one man's thoughts..
  • 0

#4 Robert Starling SOC

Robert Starling SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1133 posts
  • Las Vegas, NV

Posted 11 February 2009 - 10:23 PM

Been there done that as I'm sure most people have.

The more we bring to make our lives easier and their production smoother, the more we're expected to bring!

All I have for a matte box accessory is one of those CorePlast eyebrows (another $100 to make my life easier) but frankly when you're flying a MB-14 what's the difference in a few more ounces?

All the AKS I bring cost as much or more than my rig costs.

Maybe some of the 20+ year veteran ops can explain how and why, and at what point the Steadicam operator position had to begin providing $29,000 focus systems, video transmitters / receivers etc as part of their kit rental ???

At some point along the way someone started doing it, it set a precedent and now it is expected of all of us.

It is what it is, I bought into it with a smile on my face but I'm just feeling a little bitchy this evening :angry:

Thanks for listening!

  • 0

#5 Jess Haas SOC

Jess Haas SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1144 posts
  • Culver City, CA

Posted 12 February 2009 - 01:10 AM

I have flown an MB-14. It's definitely stupid. If you do get a matte box I wouldn't expect to make any money off it specifically. Many productions will expect that it is part of your kit or find one somewhere else.

  • 0

#6 Ed Moore

Ed Moore

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 185 posts
  • Midlands, UK

Posted 26 February 2009 - 07:51 AM

I finally got some pictures back from the stills guys, and I found this awesome website for making those 'inspirational' posters, so in honour of the MB-14...

Posted Image

Attached Files

  • 0

#7 Erwin Landau

Erwin Landau

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1699 posts
  • TBD

Posted 03 March 2009 - 08:35 PM

<< Maybe some of the 20+ year veteran ops can explain how and why, and at what point the Steadicam operator position had to begin providing $29,000 focus systems, video transmitters / receivers etc as part of their kit rental ???>>

I'm not a 20+ year vet but I hope I'll do.

In the beginning there where no accessories available... nobody knew what they would need or even where to get it, as it was a totally new game. Only by working on set, operators would start to think: Wouldn't it be nice if we had... and went out and got it designed/made.

Most AKS that we use today, came to be by people wanting something and made it them self... (not bought or produced from/by CP) and later would find it's way in almost every operators bag... The Gorelock (brain child from Bob Gorelick), Donkey Box (Chris Haarhoff), [working] Wireless FF (Larry McConkey, John Seitz), Wrap Grips, Lowmode brackets, Dog Bones, tele post, etc (Bob DeRose), lighter more rigdit Vest (Mark O'kane), Side to Side adjustment (Bob DeRose), Antlers (Jerry Holway), Proper Gyro set ups (Larry McConkey), for and aft on the lower J-box (Bob DeRose for the 3A, George Paddock for the EFP), and so on and on and on... Pretty every single operator has invented or streamlined something on his set up that is not widely available... or even unique.

About the Follow Focus...
I'm sure that the wired Follow Focus was just fine, even Panavision made a big deal out of the fact that you didn't had to touch the Panaglide... But...
You couldn't count on CP to come up with on set usable equipment. LC-3 or WRC-4 anyone...? (The only good part were the SLD motors, for almost $4000.- a pice, 20 years ago) They shopped the WRC-4 around as a wooden box to get units sold before they started production... So Larry McConkey hooked up with John Seitz to come up with something that actually worked and worked well. The Seitz Follow Focus, if you open the calibration door you will find Larry's name there.

Anything and everything you needed you had to show up with and bring to set. We are actually carrying less then we used to. If you look at the early check list, there where items like Videotap, Steadimags, Lens adapter gears, Lowmode bracket, different video camera adapters (Ikegami anyone?), even a clip on matt box (to get back on topic) or as far as his own camera that would work with the steadicam. His or her own monitor with receiver and array of Yaggi Antennas...

When I used to own a BFD and got on set and used to be greeted by the AC with the words: Oh... a Bartech! Don't you have a Preston? I wanted to shaw the hand unit into his #@%@... I mean take of my Follow Focus and tell him to get his own.

It came down to whatever you bring on set will make your life easier, if you don't own it you are out of luck!

Now with most parts that we use becoming industry standard, yes you ask yourself, why would I need to own it, just let production rent it for you.... right? Let the AC bring his own FF... Let the production rent you a rig (I heard Glidecam's are widely available), It's a tool that you need to do your job. Do you need all the latest and greatest toys on the market? No! but be honest, it makes your life so much easier on set, doesn't it?

It's just a matter of time until the Producers will not be paying for your gear anymore... then they will pick up a beat up sled from the rental house and we will have concluded our circle back to the beginning of steadicam, when a couple of boxes showed up on set and the producer told you to figure it out as it would be up, the shot after next... memories! (Not mine... that would be the 20+ vet guys...)

I hope I utterly confused everybody,


  • 0


Camera Motion Research

PLC Electronics Solutions

Ritter Battery


PLC - Bartech

Varizoom Follow Focus

GPI Pro Systems

Paralinx LLC

Wireless Video Systems

Boland Communications

rebotnix Technologies


Omnishot Systems

Betz Tools for Stabilizers