Monday, March 25, 2013

The Aerocrane

   A while back, I included the Aerocrane on my list of Things That Suck. I had used it on a series and had very bad luck with it. We couldn't ever seem to get it back in the cases right (not just me, three of us) even after taking pictures. This culminated in a 2 AM aberration involving a ratchet strap and a note to the rental house. Yes, I know it's easy to take it out and make a note, or a diagram, but none of us had time. Plus, every time it came out, it was in a different case setup. This was minor compared to the problems I had with parts that didn't fit, or wouldn't come apart due to a piece inside the arm shifting. The solution involved me attacking it with a pair of channel locks to turn the male coupler inside it, which had shifted out of vertical, to make it go together. It also never seemed to be quite long enough at around nine feet max.  Now I won't say it was all bad. We got some good shots with it. I just didn't like it very much. I recently became very familiar with this jib once again and the circumstances were somewhat different. Instead of using the Hustler 4 or some other heavy dolly as a base, we used the lightweight Magnum Dolly from Movietech. This thing was a dream. Two grips can very comfortably carry it, set it on the track, and then mount the arm. With a Power Pod on it, the options are greatly increased from the standard dolly on track scenario. The secret is in the system. The Key, Dolly , and Best Boy I was working with have been using this setup with the DP for many years and have it down to a science. It takes a couple of days to get used to it and get the steps down as well as become familiar with the arm, but once that's done, it's extremely fast and easy. The secret is also in using your own arm, so that you know it's been well maintained and you know where it's been, so there are no unwelcome surprises with sections that don't go together etc. So, I have to say, I was wrong. In the right hands, with people who know it's strengths, it is a very effective piece of equipment. So yes, in short, I have reevaluated my stand on the Aerocrane. I was wrong and am proud to admit it.

D

PS:
 I recently reacquired the .com suffix back from the clutches of Crazy Lady. It's mine, I invented it, and I stupidly and drunkenly let it go. It should be linked back up to the site and operational by tomorrow. So now both .com, and .net bring you here. So there.

5 comments:

Sean said...

I just had an amazingly horrible experience with a Magnum dolly. Without proper maintenance, it is a completely useless piece of gear. Add an operator that wants to operate the boom as well, that just completes the nightmare.
I personally like the Aerojib, especially in tight spaces. We drug the Felix crane all over the place last summer, basically operating it as a jib in many instances, and I would have killed for an Aerojib many times. My disclaimer is that I have never experienced the maintenance problems that you described.
Do you have any photos of the system you just used in action, I am curious to see it.

PS- congrats on getting your domain back.

D said...

Sorry to hear. I'll see if I can dig up some. Thanks!

The Grip Works said...

Im glad you got it back !! My shortcut still goes there first, and I curse everytime I land there ...

Danny Eckler said...

I've got a few pics if you need em, D.

Nhiên Kiều said...

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