Sunday, February 10, 2013

Too Many Options?

I happen to be lucky enough to work in a town with many options in telescopic cranes. I'm missing at least one manufacturer's but in defence of the town's rentals houses, at no time will all the telescopic cranes available be working on one day. I've got TechnoCranes, MovieBirds and Scorpios at my request (and all sizes except for the Scorpio 64 and the Techno 100).

Like the Chapman vs Fisher debate, this is something that's totally a personal preference and may take a number of beers to convince other of which is best ("Taste Great! Less filling!" comes to mind…).

I had one rental house rep ask me what was my preference. I believe it depends on the shot. I tend to prefer the SuperTechnos. All though they are the heaviest of the bunch, I feel that they are not as fiddley to balance and keep in balance no matter the length. When I swing into the final position, I want it to stay there and not drift off. I'd like to be able to take my hands off for two second while I scratch my head or grab a swig of water and not have to worry if it's going to wander off on me.

The Scorpios is the finickiest. Lighter all around, but requires the most tweaking to keep in the optimum performance. The computer brain is very cool to take the arc out of some shots, I haven't played with the motorized lead sled for quickie compensation. Plus that's only a feature on my 23' here. Hoping they get around to getting on their 30+7'.

The MovieBirds fall in between. I had the opportunity to fool around with a 30' at open house and the latest generation feel a lot better than what came out a couple years ago. Peter Adamiec (the gent behind MovieBird) was on hand to explain all the nuances of the latest generations. Also note, that a lot of the MovieBirds are custom tailored to their market, so you may not come across the same machine in two different markets.

Ofcourse on top of all of this is the human element - the "pickle guy" - the crane tech. No matter what crane you have, the tech can either make or break your experience with that crane.

It all takes time to work on any machine. You might spend years on a Pee Wee, being able to pull off ten point dance floor moves with three booms but find yourself on a Fisher Ten and you can't stand an actor out of a chair.

What's your preference?


Unknown said...

Have you tried the Louma 2? I think that there is only one in the USA. Its available for rental through PANAVISION NEW YORK. Really nice crane and the operator Stuart Allen is a gem.

Azurgrip said...

I've had the pleasure of working with Stuart a couple of times. Always a good time!

Wick said...

I'll get in on the Stuart Lovefest too. Somebody raise his rate!

DW said...

Yeah, I was going to say, no mention of the Louma?? A great piece of hardware.

I'm not crazy about the moviebird.

The Grip Works said...

Never used the Louma, but I love the Hydrascope.
I have not used the Moviebird either. The T12 Extreme from Egripment is pretty finicky, and I have had problems with it, anytime I used it.
The Supertechno is a good dependable option.

D said...

I like em all. Haven't tried the new Louma though I used the old one years ago. I actually like the Moviebird. The bearings are great and it's much easier to finesse at 45' than the 50' Techno.