Sunday, January 25, 2015

SOC Awards

Congratulations to Moose Schultz for winning the SOC Lifetime Achievement Award for Moving Camera Platform Operator this year. This is truly the only body in the industry that recognizes the contributions of the dolly grip. I've been to the SOC's and they really put on a good show. Only camera operators really know what we contribute day after day and I appreciate them in their recognition of the dolly grip's role in what they do. In recognition of Moose's award, I've decided to list a few of my colleagues who I believe deserve some recognition. I consider most of these guys friends as well as top notch Dolly Grips.

Danny Pershing- This is the dude whose career we all want. Cool, calm and collected. Even Bob Richardson can't shake this guy. With credits like: Django Unchained, Iron Man, Shutter Island, and Eat, Pray, Love, Danny continuously amazes me with his professionalism and calm under fire. He was also the first Key Grip I ever worked for way back in 1990.

Bill Wynn- A dolly grip's dolly grip. This guy knows more about the craft of moving a camera than anyone I've ever met. He gets it done and if I was a Key Grip, I would call him first. The West Wing, Three Kings.

Moose Howery- The ultimate professional. This guy has a list of credits that makes us all hang our heads. He's a rock star. Apocalypto, Forrest Gump, Contact, The Book of Eli.

Greg Brooks- My buddy. Came in like a freight train to become Clint Eastwood's dolly grip. This guy inspired me to walk the rail on a recent shot. Makes it look easy. Gran Torino, Trouble With The Curve, J Edgar, Changeling.

Sean Devine- Somehow decided to become a Key Grip, but a craftsman as a dolly grip. A world class pusher. Serenity, 42, Friday Night Lights.

Ashley Sudge- I wanted to be this guy for years. The coolest customer you will ever meet. He literally just walks up to the dolly and just does it. Planet Of The Apes, Interview With The Vampire, NCIS: LA.

Andy Crawford- A veteran pusher. And a gentleman. I've admired this guy since I walked into Chapman in Los Angeles and saw his personal dolly off to the side with his tag on it. Independence Day, The Help, Friggin Stargate. Really Dude?

Troy Wade- I've known Troy forever. He was Michael Mann's go to guy for years. Collateral, Ali, Miami Vice.

Brad Rea- What can I say about this guy. He is the ultimate professional. Winner of the SOC Lifetime Achievement Award. I am so proud to know him. When I think of the most professional dolly grip I know, his name pops up. Gone Girl, Memoirs of a Geisha, Iron Man.

Mike Epley- I've known Mike for years and am still amazed he returns my calls. There is literally nothing he can't do with a dolly or a crane. The General's Daughter, Shooter, Marley and Me.

Sanjay Sami- Everybody who is anybody knows who this guy is. My friend. The only Key Grip/Dolly Grip/Steadicam Operator I have ever heard of. He completely amazes me with his talent and ability. Wes Anderson's go-to guy. Those dolly shots in Moonrise Kingdom?  Yeah that was this guy. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling Limited.

Wayne Stroud- I met Wayne years ago when he was Robert Altman's regular guy. He has a talent for improvising and making the shot happen. That long opening shot on The Player? That's Wayne. The Player, Gingerbread Man, Kansas City.

John Mang- I don't know John personally, although we run in the same circles. He's Spielberg's regular guy. Lincoln, War of the Worlds, Iron Man 2

Bruce Hamme- This guy is at the top of his game He's Roger Deakins's regular Dolly Grip. Roger trusts him to deliver and he does. I've heard Roger ask him many times after a shot, "Was that OK?" True Grit, Skyfall, No Country For Old Men.

Trip Pair- I've known Trip for years and his dedication to his craft and single-minded focus on the job at hand inspires me to go the extra mile every day. Founder of Stop and Care, he truly cares about his profession and those around him. Terminator:Salvation, We Are Marshall.





That's it.  These are the Dolly Grips that inspire me through their innate talent or professionalism, or just....coolness. I am honored to call most of them friends.
Again, congratulations to Alan "Moose" Schultz. Good on you Brother. You make us all proud.
I raise one to you.
D



This post has been edited since it's original publication. I write most of them after a few drinks and I always add something I forgot or reword some things. Just thought you should know.
D

6 comments:

Darwin Conort said...

Well said D. and congratulations to those men who have achieved recognition, and to all the men and women who strive to b the best at their craft and approach the work with an attitude of service. dedication to the Shot and and team participation.
If I may, here are some thoughts.
I never had the pleasure or honor of meeting some of the world class professionals you speak of, as I was a regional Grip/Dolly Grip(Atlanta) and mostly worked the SouthEast(except for my stint in WCWWWE using the dolly as a CamMate platform) but then was able to travel extensively all across the US for TV broadcasts, but that is another subject/approach for dolly usage, at another time.
But speaking regionally, and now that Atlanta has become the most recent boomtown for production, here goes:
I would like to recognize just a few of the Class A dolly grips here that mentored me and allowed me the privelage to be a part of an elite group of technicians that are so often unrecognized, but don't need the recognition and are happy to know we were part of the camera team, and just got the shot, moved on, and got ready for the next one.
My erly influences were Key Grips/dolly grips that could(and some still) do it all and may have forgotten more than i'll ever know. From Atlanta, a brief list: Billy Sherrill, Scott Trimble, Eddie Evans, Alan Rawlins, Scott Leftridge, Michael Fedack, David Hulsey.
These gentlemen trained me, as i started from a happy go lucky grip(just glad to be working) and helped me develope into a more focused(still working on that, it is Key) attentive, aware and able to adjust/adapt kind of dolly grip that, to me is the ultimate co worker.
So that's it- be FOCUSED(on your task, Operator, 1 st AC, and Environment.
AWARE of your responsibilty as you are moving the camera, on a dolly or Arm.
ATTENTIVE to your operator, as needs may change in realtime as you are rolling.
ADJUST & ADAPT- be ready to change what you had rehearsed as the shot/environment changes around you, and make these adjustments without having a rigid attitude-be flexible, yet dependable.
Theabove mentioned men got me on my way into Dolly world and guided me in the ever changing world of livProduction, and i will always be Grateful.
Thanks for the forum and the opportunity to share.
Sincerely.
Darwin Conort

D said...

Thanks Dar. I also benefitted from the expertise of all these men and their willingness to share it. Thanks for your perspective Darwin, as a veteren pusher yourself.
D

GHB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GHB said...


What a prestigious list to be mentioned on and thanks so much. So flattered. But it's incomplete without the author's name. Daryl Humber, a friend, mentor and all around cool dude with the resume and skills to equal or shadow every name on this list.

Congrats to Moose too!

Also gotta throw my bro Eric Whithead into the mix. An amazing human and an incredible dolly grip who has seen and done it all humbly and with an ever-present smile

D said...

Absolutely. Although I don't know Eric personally, his reputation precedes him. Great to hear from you GHB. Don't be a stranger.

Sanjay Sami said...

Wow ! Honoured to make the list. I watched the SOC awards as well and it was really nice to see everyone acknowledge the contribution a Dolly Grip makes.
It was a great awards show.