Friday, July 10, 2009

Dollying on THE ROCK

On the road again...

Sorry you haven't heard from me in a while. I've had a busy year so far - I can't complain when there are so many grips out of work these days.

Work has taken me away from home. I'm out on the "the Rock" in St John's, Newfoundland to work on a TV series (D - odd we're doing more TV than feature work when networks are pushing for more reality TV than drama) for six months.

I'm out of my element and never been here before, but the people are great and ever helping. I uncrated my Pee Wee IV. Something I've never had to do before. Normally I just deal with the dolly tech. Here, I'm the dolly tech. The local rental house doesn't have a dolly in house, so they have a deal with another east coast rental house to supply dollies, however... if the item in question is too big to FedEx, (and they have it in shop) then it's six hour boat ride and 11 hour drive, all dependent on IF the truck gets onto the ferry AND the weather is good enough to drive the roads.

Although the chassis wasn't new, it was in pretty good condition. I'm still suspicious of the arm. I'm not a fan of the PW IV boom control as I find it way too sloppy and not enough force feed back to "feel" where you are in the opening of the valve. Also too much distance to travel from closed to wide open.

Had to send back and exchange the low shot plate (spoon) as it had no lower support pin and the attaching bolt was bent and not enough threads to support the plate.

Working with newish Matthews steel track. I haven't seen the beast in ten - twelve years and had forgotten about all the little tricks in dealing with it. We're still working on dance floor... there's another story.

Weather here is a little chilly for my liking as we're right on the Atlantic ocean, and I'm about 15min drive away from the most eastern tip of North America.

Still waiting to be screeched in (local tradition involving lots of rum and kissing a cod). It's an adventure!!!


D said...

Nice update! It's good to hear from Azurgrip! Good luck up there and let us know how it's going. In regards to your question about last night's really cool feature on Dolly Grips on the Science Channel- I have no idea but I'll look into whether it'll be available on their website.

D said...

PS- I've had problems with new Matthews track and bowed pieces etc. and I know Sanjay has also (although I'm not sure there's much you can do about it so far from a rental house.

D said...

Just an aside (you probably already know this but some may not) If you have a really short camera offset, you can flip the levelling head on the IV upside down and attach the offset for ultra low mode or in a pinch if you don't have that crappy "spoon" (It's funny that we both call it that) low mode. You may have to put the offset a little to one side or the other to miss the front of the chassis but it works in a pinch.

Azurgrip said...

Ya, that's right. Plus the operator like to flip his fluid head to do that too. It all worked out. So far there's also been a far amount of SteadiCam.