Friday, March 28, 2008

Hello From Boston


Hi all,

Spent the day prepping. I ran into a common problem (well, unfortunately it's common today). A lot of shows no longer want to pay a dolly grip to check out his dolly at the shop. Many times now, you arrive at location and your dolly has been shipped to you after being picked at random from the dealer. This can lead to a few problems. You might not have all the accessories you need, and the arm might not be what you like or need.I'm using a Hustler 4 and a Peewee 3. The Peewee is fine. The arm on the Hustler, however, is not quite what I would like. Most Dolly Grips like their arms a certain way. A certain amount of resistance and the way the arm actuates are a big deal when you are looking at spending 12 hour days for 10 weeks with a particular machine. The arm I have has a great, smooth action all the way up and down. It's a little faster than normal on the up (which I actually like, even in the "Normal" setting) but it has a hair trigger. The feather in is very sensitive and goes from 0 to 60 in a very small turn. It's also a very loose arm, almost no resistance. I like about a half inch of turn before actuating with a slow feather in and a little bit of drag on the turn. I spent the day on the phone with Chapman and they were wonderfully helpful. I ended up cracking the thing open and loosening the nut on top of the gear a little which gave a little more play before the start and seemed to slow down the start a little. Since I'm in Boston, I'm a long way from the nearest other Hustler. The arm is workable (at this point it's just becoming a matter of taste) but it's still not the way I would like it. I'll give it a couple of days to see how it responds and then see what my options are if I'm still not happy with it. It just seems silly to me that the machine you plan on shooting your movie with isn't checked out by the guy using it. It always makes for more headaches later. Anyway, that was my day. Hope yours was good.

12 comments:

D said...

Yes, I know the picture is from a Hybrid. I took it for another post I was going to write about your grip on the boom handle, but thought it fit here.

Azurgrip said...

Doesn't that sound a little risque?

Azurgrip said...

What's the rental house in Boston like?

D said...

Hi Azurgrip. Now that you mention it, it does sound a little saucy.
I haven't actually seen the house on this one. I went straight to location as the boys had already been prepping for a day.

The Grip Works said...

I dont know if I risk offending anyone, but I personally like the fisher 10 best. Although the last few times I rented one (from Arri Media in Munich, Germany)the jib had no "feather" on the stop or start. Is there a way to adjust this on location? It makes for a very stressful time. Especially when you have complex dancefloor moves with 12 different colors of Gaffer tape on the floor and 5 different boom positions to hit.

D said...

Hi Gripworks. It's the age old question, Chapman vs Fisher. I prefer Chapman because it has a more direct connection with the arm. In my opinion, the spring mechanism in the Fisher arm makes it hard to feel where you are in the arm and control speed. I know, from my Fisher days, that there is a cue control at the base of the boom handle. You might try futzing with it. Fisher users will better inform you than I will.

D said...

Gripworks, try calling Fisher at 818-846-8366, and getting some answers.

Anonymous said...

the adjustment for the feather action in the fisher ten is inside the arm, you can see it if you remove the top panels on the arm. it looks like a long bolt with a little piece that travels along it, and the feather is adjusted by moving the nuts on either end of the bolt thing. sorry i am not doing a good job of explaining but as D said if you call Fisher they can talk you through it, it is a pretty simple process

D said...

Thanks Anonymous. I remember the feather control now. It's been years and I am unfortunately way uninformed about Fisher stuff. I need to do some studying.

chris said...

o.k i am weighing in on this a fisher 10 for a big dance floor shot.you must have powerfull wrists gripworks to guide that beast and do cranes at the same time.i can't stand the jib on fishers not responsive enough give me a hybrid or peewee anytime.for me fisher dollies are for park and shoot only.

The Grip Works said...

Thanks anonymous, sorted out with a little trial and error. Hi Chris, I agree, the Fisher 10 is a bit too large for dance floor moves, and tough to guide with one hand while you try to jib with the other. The other problem is that since we were using a live location for the move (airport), the dolly winds up rotating clockwise or anti clockwise on long crab moves, which is not a big deal on a peewee, but on a fisher10 you take up huge amounts of space.

The Grip Works said...

Thanks anonymous, sorted out with a little trial and error. Hi Chris, I agree, the Fisher 10 is a bit too large for dance floor moves, and tough to guide with one hand while you try to jib with the other. The other problem is that since we were using a live location for the move (airport), the dolly winds up rotating clockwise or anti clockwise on long crab moves, which is not a big deal on a peewee, but on a fisher10 you take up huge amounts of space.