Saturday, September 13, 2008

Votes Are In

And the Fisher 10 wins by one. It was neck and neck between the Hybrid and Fisher 10 until the end. The Hustler 4 got only 3 votes, and one of those was mine, suggesting that a lot of you just haven't used it yet.
The second unit goes on and we're having a great time. Meanwhile, feature work seems to have slowed to the point where tier 2 crap is all that's shooting. I got called to do a show,(actually a sequel to a movie I did almost nine years ago) and they offered me a dollar an hour less than I made on the original. I appreciated the offer but said no thank you. The price of everything but dolly moves has apparently gone up. By the way, the original made hundreds of millions of dollars.
You know what guys? Sooner or later we just have to say no and make them get what they pay for- a person with experience equal to the price they're offering. Otherwise, it will just keep going down. Then, when they're a week behind and the operator is pulling his hair out, they'll either have to come up with the money or muddle through. I'm sure they'll muddle through, but the point is that they get what they pay for. I got offers earlier this year for two movies where they got what they paid for, and then two weeks into shooting realized that the dolly grip was in over his head. This led to frantic phone calls trying to find a Dolly Grip who could do a compound move. On at least one of them, they weren't able to find anyone because by that time nobody was available. I don't know what happened with the other one.
I understand that paying bills takes precedence, and believe me, I've done more than one ball-buster at a crappy rate just to make the mortgage. But don't take the crappy rate if you don't have to just to keep working. Say, "No thank you, my rate is ______." and sit back and see what happens.
Meanwhile, my job goes to October 6 and then I've got nothing.


Chris said...

I am a little surprised, but very happy, to see the Fisher on top. I was almost positive the hybrid would win for it's toughness.


The Grip Works said...

Have to admit that I was a little torn between the F10 and Hybrid. Went with the Fisher !
Have never used the Hustler 4. Would love to try it though. Seems heavy for the kind of work I do by and large - very little stage work. By the way I bought the new Porta Glides on your recommendation. They are great.

Unknown said...

It's strange but most Dolly Grips I'm friends with are Chapman guys, just by coincidence. HAve fun in Michigan.

Glad you like them, Gripworks. I think you would really like the Hustler, but you are right. It's not really a tough location sled.

D said...

Woops, "Rebecca" is me. I was on my wife's account.

The Grip Works said...

I like the Hybrid a lot. Its hardier and less quirky than the Fisher. But I think I,ve just worked more with the fisher and am more used to it. I was wondering who rebecca the grip was.

Anonymous said...

I like the Hybrid very much.
Very Precise Boom and the Sturdiest Dolly I have worked with so far.
A key grip once called it the "Yank Tank" because it reminded him of a Sherman... And like the battletanks of old it mitght even plow through a mud paddle and after a short rinse with water afterwards, would be usable again (Try that with a Panther Evolution) ;-)

Here in Germany many DOPs/Operators like the German Dollies (Panther/Magnum) better, because they are used to the Seating and swiveling around the collumn since the Elemack Spiders.

I tried to convince as many as possible of the advantages of the american dollies but only a few youngsters dared to try (usually with big success).
The other problem is the pricing because the rates for Chapmans and Fishers are so high that TV Production people desperately try to avoid them.

The only thing I don't like about the Fisher Dollies is the unprecise Boom control. I'm just working with a Fisher 11 on a TV-Movie in the moment and i'm lucky that we don't do very much booming during shots. I think this dolly is unrivaled in tiny indoor locations though. And the round track wheels give a very smooth ride.

Greetz dan

D said...

Thanks Dan. I wholeheartedly agree with your assesments. Fishers are hard to get used to but it can be done. I inherited one on the movie I'm doing now and the first week or two were really not pleasant, but I've managed to get the hang of it after 13 weeks.Thanks for the comments.

Anonymous said...

By the way, how do you set the Cue on Fishers?

I set it for the boom to stop when I release the Knob.

I tried to set it for the start but occasionally I didn't turn it far enough back to stop the boom and overshot the mark.

So how do you prefer it?

Greetz Dan