Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Stabileye

  A movie I did last year is about to open big next week. When I signed on to Guardians Vol 2, I knew immediately it was going to be different than any other job I had ever done. The DP, Henry, and James, the director, had decided to shoot primarily with a handheld stabilization system called Stabileye. So I knew right off the bat that I wasn't going to be spending my time behind a Hustler like I usually do. Yes, we had the dollies. My usual Hustler 4 and a Peewee 3, but they rarely worked. Instead we had a new stabilization system called the Stabileye. Those of you who have used the Movee have a general idea of how this works. The Stabileye is like a Movee on steroids. It's not prosumer. It's designed by a former Libra tech, the brilliant David Freeth, and is designed specifically for feature filmmaking. I've used both systems and can tell you that the Stabileye is the ultimate handheld device for dolly grips to use on feature films. The Movee, although I have used it on high budget features, often falls short. The Stabileye is quite simply the state of the art handheld stabilization device for feature filmmaking. While it does have it's eccentricities and can glitch out at times, it does get the job done. We shot around 80% of Guardians 2 on it and the rest on Technocrane (from the good people at Cinemoves) and a small portion handheld. We did drag the dollies out every now and then for plates. The Twindolly from Solid Grip Systems achieved some great shots especially in the jungle type settings. Thanks to Onno for his generosity and brilliant design. Henry, the DP brought in his British key grip, Paul Hymns. He worked alongside Alan Rawlins, our American key grip.  There was a little confusion in mixing the American system with the British, but we made it work and Paul became one of my favorite people in the world. He's a fantastically talented grip and a good dude. He and I often shared duties on camera.. The Stabileye techs, Tim Dean and Joe Marsden became good friends and their technical expertise and great personalities made a lot of tedious days easier to get through. I made some good friends on this show.
Go see it. It's good.

PS: Here is a link to some behind the scenes stuff that shows the Stabileye in action.

PPS This is the Next Day Sober Rewrite.

Friday, April 21, 2017

That's A Wrap on the Marvel Picture that I'm Not Sure I can Name!

   As Azurgrip said, the NDA is a mighty frightening thing. Therefore I will just say this. It was a movie about a cat with big claws in an African country. We shot for for months and used a variety of camera support devices including: The Chapman Hustler 4 dolly, my favorite. This machine never fails to deliver. It's just a well made dolly. The arm is superior and it tracks well. The Super Peewee 3; I don't even worry about this one. It does what it should. From my friends at Cinemoves, the Supertechno 50', the and the Moviebird 35'/45'. As well as their new detachable Movee. All of these devices performed well under the most trying of conditions. We shot in the water, the heat, and the cold and they all came through. Of course there were some glitches as there always are, but the guys worked them out. Thanks to my old friend and pickle guy Mike Howell, his tech, Henry, and, as always, head tech Kenny Rivenbark. The Oculus performed spectacularly and we achieved some fantastic shots. Thanks everyone from Chapman and Cinemoves! I could not do my job without you.