Thursday, August 14, 2008

Checking In

Still on 2nd Unit although we've shut down for a few days (I guess to let 1st unit catch up-ha ha) We move along pretty fast. Chris, who has written to the site several times, was working on the Sony lot on a commercial and stopped by to say hi, although we only had time to shake hands and say "Hi." It was good to see him. That's one great thing about starting this site is that I've made friends with a lot of Dolly Grips and Grips I otherwise might have never met. Dolly Grips by design rarely work together, but are starting to fraternize more than they used to. It's starting to be seen as more of a specialized craft than just something some guy bumps up to to get the rate, at least in my opinion, and the more we all communicate the better it will get.
I'm using a Fisher 10 on this one and as most of you know I'm not a regular user. The DP chose it before I got there though and I'm stuck with it. Other than his taste in dollies, which I have yet to bring up to him, he's a good guy, though , and I like him a lot. This dolly, though, is going to be the death of me. I had a push in and boom down on a doorknob the other night on a 65mm at about 4 ft to 3 ft with about 2" depth of field and it was a trial to feather the stop on the boom down. I remembered something from my earlier days on the Fisher, however, when someone told me to use the whole forearm rather than the wrist which should dampen it a little. I'm just used to the immediate feedback from the arm on a Hustler/Hybrid that you don't get with the 10.
Chris, it was good to meet you in person. If any other of you are on the lot in the next few weeks, please stop by and say hi.

15 comments:

DW said...

"It's starting to be seen as more of a specialized craft than just something some guy bumps up to to get the rate,"

I sure hope so. I think that here in the northeast, we might be a bit slower/behind in adapting to this idea. I'm not sure how many people (production people especially, and perhaps even the G&E/camera community in general) have fully realized this yet. I hope that this notion you speak about expands and becomes more widely accepted.



"when someone told me to use the whole forearm rather than the wrist which should dampen it a little."

I find this particularly true. Sometimes, I move my whole arm, and if the boom needs to be *very* subtle and gradual and feathered, I sometimes put my whole body into it -- I find this needs to be done on less well-maintained/finicky units.

-DW

D said...

What I've found is that it's true until a real Dolly Grip isn't available and the operator or DP insists on getting one. Dolly Grips are like Steadicam operators (although overworked and less paid). There are a lot of really crappy ones running around and no one realizes it until it costs them money. As far as technique is cocerned, it depends on what dolly you are comfortable with. Do whatever it takes to get the shot.

Anonymous said...

speaking of booms i had to show a new actress the art of the hollywood sitdown.
she was killing me with the stop and drop on a long lense close up.

CBGrip said...

Can you teach us all the Hollywood Sit Down. This is the first time I've heard of this move.

CBGrip said...

D- It was nice to finally meet you. I wish I had know you were having trouble with your Fisher 10, I would have invited you to stage 9 for a lesson on using the finest Dolly in the world. How did you like the new skate wheels from Fisher?

Chris B.

D said...

CB-Azurgrip is referring to an exaggerated slow sit or stand, rather than just plopping down into a chair so fast that the boom can't keep up. You know, slow it down but make it look real.

D said...

CB grip- Ha HA--You funny.
I haven't been on the new ones- the B CAmera's been using them and no one wants them. He hates them. I think the problem is the wheels. I believe they're too soft.

Anonymous said...

the hollywood sit down

if the actor stops before they sit down simply slow down the movement so you can follow them on a longish lense

but when an actor does the chair dive as i call it tell them to glide into the chair slowly at a decsending angle.

don't worry about talking to the actor just tell them it will mean they will be on camera longer

unless they are a bigshot where you are on your own good luck

CBGrip said...

D- The Fisher skate wheels have become a favorite of mine. Nothing else seems to compare, ever time I use a different set of wheels I wish I had my Fishers back. When I first tested the new design I was given two different sets of wheels. Both where clear however, the cores were different colors. One set hard and one soft, and the soft won. The soft wheels seemed to be the perfect combination of resistance and ability to not flat, and when they did flat, rolled out quickly.

(When I am up on the wheels the dolly is always creeping back and forth at an unnoticeable speed to avoid flats.)

I also love the versatility of the wheels, setting the dolly up in crab(I prefer not to use Chinese)mode can really help make the shot. This mode is NOT recommended by J.L. Fisher for the 10, But it does work well for both the 10 & 11. I will email some pictures.

Chris

D said...

Thanks for the firsthand review, CB. I'll post your pictures when I get my computer back (it's in the shop). The set we were sent had softer wheels on them. I hate babysitting wheels and rolling out flat spots. I also hate sitting still for a stretch of dialogue before a move sweating as your wheels flatten. That's why I love my Portaglides, I don't think about it anymore. I'm interested to see the 10 configuration for crabbing, but I can't download the pictures yet. Hear you're going to Detroit, Good Luck.

D said...

Thanks for the firsthand review, CB. I'll post your pictures when I get my computer back (it's in the shop). The set we were sent had softer wheels on them. I hate babysitting wheels and rolling out flat spots. I also hate sitting still for a stretch of dialogue before a move sweating as your wheels flatten. That's why I love my Portaglides, I don't think about it anymore. I'm interested to see the 10 configuration for crabbing, but I can't download the pictures yet. Hear you're going to Detroit, Good Luck.

The Grip Works said...

"When I am up on the wheels the dolly is always creeping back and forth at an unnoticeable speed to avoid flats"
Hi CB, I understand how that would work if you start the shot with a move. What would you do about the flatspots if you were statice for the first minute of a shot and then started a move? I generally prefer harder compounds and great quality track. I have been using Panthers Stainless Steel precision track for a while now. Very heavy and many other cons, but really smooth.

CBGrip said...

When there is a long period of time between roll and the point you start your move, you only need a very slight movement of the dolly. A move so slight that the operator and most importantly the 1st AC don't feel the dolly move. This is something I have been practicing for some time know due to having used so many different sets of wheels. Think millimeters back and forth, very subtle. I personally have never owned a set of wheels, mainly because the Keys that I have worked with want the rental for themselves. And often their wheels are worn or have some issue. This is another reason why I like the Fisher wheels, I say "They are the only wheels I can Crab" and if there is a problem than I can always swap for another set. (side note: Now that the wheels have been out on rental and they are showing signs of age, they still feel like new.)

D said...

Everyone's got their own style and if yours works for you that's all that matters. It obviously does work, since you've ben successful at your craft.

D said...
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