Tuesday, September 11, 2007
AT some point in the past, we became responsible for carrying cameras when handheld between takes. This means you take it off the operators shoulder at "cut" and put it back up there on "rolling." I don't mind this so much. It's part of the job and keeps me busy. Some newer dolly grips are often shy about grabbing the camera, or are unsure about how to grab it. First, realize that you aren't going to hurt the camera (unless you drop it). Cameras are pretty rugged so don't be tentative about touching it (the main thing is try not to accidently hit the on button when you're holding it). On a Panaflex, I generally grab the lens support rods with my right hand and the mag with my left and lift it off. Be sure the rods are tightened though. Generally on a Panaflex it's acceptable to grab the mag but on some cameras (like the Moviecam) it's better not to because of the locking mechanism on the mag. In this case, grab the handle on top with your left hand instead of the mag. This can be awkward but just takes some getting used to. Arriflex, you're on your own. I still haven't figured out the best way to do it. On the Genesis, I was told by the Panavision techs not to grab it by the "mag" part. If you're unsure, ask the AC. Incidentally, some veteran dolly grip buddies of mine have reached the point where they refuse to even do any of this any more and I totally agree with them and will probably reach that point someday too. It's a courtesy you provide. If and AC gets snippy about it, tell him/her they have to help you carry the dolly up the stairs next time.