Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm so sorry that you haven't seen me around here in a while. Been spending my nights with zombies (can't say much more than that as the confidentiality forms are longer than the deal memo itself) and have turned into one myself.

Haven't had much to report in the last while either, but something did cross my mind while on set the other night. We here in Toronto have safety bulletins attached to the call sheet whenever doing or using potentially dangerous equipment (IE: stunts, pyro, camera cars, water safety, camera cranes, etc).

These bulletins have been around a while and most shows now don't even include them, merely make note of the bulletin numbers.

So, most crew people are either really tunnel visioned into their own jobs or are really comfortable around big pieces of equipment.

I'm working a 50ft TechnoCrane and cleared enough space around to be able to walk around what was set up.

Why do everyone feel the need to walk under 3000lbs + of metal that could move and crush them at anytime?

Now, I'd be horse if I bothered to scream at all these coworkers (including the producer that's footed the bill for production insurance...) and I don't want to deliberately knock someone unconscious.

This falls a little outside the questioning operators who jumps off cranes. Any experiences? Thoughts? Suggestions?


Wick said...

I never found a way to stop them. In fact I'm convinced that something about camera cranes turns them into meat magnets. If you built one two days from anywhere in the desert, the next day there'd be three people standing under it. If it got be a real hassle, I generally tried to pick one person and bawl him out, explaining that while I didn't care about his sorry ass existence, his mother might miss him and wonder where she'd gone wrong. This gave me a wide berth in which to work and a little more space at the table at lunch, too. Nice just never seemed to really get the message across.

With TV shows, we could usually demand and get crash barriers and security guards, but for films it was always a scramble. Even if you cordon off the area, everybody in the crew thinks it doesn't apply to them.

D said...

I hadthe same problem on my last job. Mostly stuntmen running under the Techno just as I was moving the arm. Oblivious. I'm glad you're back.

The Grip Works said...

For years I had a Rigging Grip called Antony with forearms the size of an average thigh who was my "Enforcer" around cranes. He would "Gently" hold people by the shoulder and "Escort" them to a safer place. When the bruises left by his fingers on their shoulders didnt clear up for a few days, they always remembered not to walk under the crane . His looming prescence was usually enough to discourage people approaching the crane. Sadly he emigrated to Australia 10 years ago, and I have not been able to find anyone on my regular crew "Persuasive" enough.

Anonymous said...

I usually just have the 1st AD make an announcement when the crane is up, then whatever happens after that is up to them.....i stop worrying about it.

Wick said...

In regard to the new poll, I operate(d) cranes by sight lines, but relied on a monitor for start and end framing - not so much to watch the monitor to hit the final position, but as a reference to ensure I was where the DP /Op wanted to be. I occasionally used lasers as references in the same way, but it usually really all comes down to seeing where that chunk of metal is in the air. On the occasions where a move could or should be done from the front of the arm, it was all sight lines.

Drewprops said...

I'm undoubtedly one of the idiots who have walked under a camera crane before, but I like to believe that it was only occasionally and in moments of "need" to get out to fix something on set. The baskets full of crazy lead weights always served to scare the sh*t out of me.

Set a c-stand near the crane with a photo of a crush victim taped to a piece of foamcore. Put a piece of paper over the top of the photo that says "LIFT THIS TO SEE Why You Shouldn't Walk Under This Crane".

Anonymous said...

In reference to Captain Drew's suggestion, will have some absolutely nasty crush/dismemberment photos. This is probably a good way to scare people...unless Antony repatriates.

The biggest thing I've ever worked with was something like a Miller ProJib with an F900 on the end. A toy compared to a Techno. It is low enough to the ground that one basically has to walk around it.

Perhaps another option would be to tie caution tape streaming down from the arm...though on a techno, that wouldn't work on the telescopic sections...