Friday, December 22, 2017

My Least Favorite Shot





  Anytime I have to put a camera looking straight down over anyone it gives me the willies. I hate it. I'm in a constant state of nervousness until it's over. The above shot is an extreme example. Sixty floors up, over a bunch of schoolchildren. You can't really see the whole setup, but it's off a Peewee sideways on track and it's a left to right move of about twenty feet. Shots like this are nerve wracking enough when you're doing the standard offset-on a riser-over-the-bed-shot. When you're eighty feet up, it just magnifies it. Always remember to do any rigging, attaching the camera to the head, lens changes etc. before you swing the offset out. I actually prefer to swing the actual offset rather than  the R.O. because I can see the bolt and how much engagement it has as opposed to the R.O. knob where the threads are hidden. Don't forget to safety the matte box as well as the camera and double check everything before swinging it out. If there isn't a "Jesus pin" on the plate, screw a 3/8" bolt into one of the holes in the plate below the camera. On this setup, I have a daisy chain through an eyebolt, around the handle and around the rods just for a little more piece of mind. Some lenses have little tabs with holes for wire safeties too. I have seen a lens fall out of the mount and hit a stand-in so don't take anything for granted in this situation.  Whenever I'm in the old lock off looking down at an actor position, I'll usually support the arm too. It's overkill but if the hydraulics ever pick that moment to fail, someone's going to the hospital or worse. Sometimes AC's will laugh at me for taking all of these precautions but I'd rather over rig than under. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong and a matte box or focus motor from that high up could kill someone. Don't take shortcuts.

   I've added a new link in the long neglected links section for filmtoolkit.com. Give them a look. It looks like some well researched info.

  I've had a little more time to post lately mostly because I've been doing B Camera on the last two shows and frankly I'm not as tired as I normally would be. Plus, both are in the Marvel universe and that means ten hour days. I had the opportunity to work with my old buddy the legend Brad Rea on the last one which was a treat, and I'm helping fill in for a friend who needed some time off on this one so I'm getting to work with some other A camera guys who I wouldn't normally see. It's always kind of fun to team up on a show with another A camera guy, although doing B camera can leave you feeling a little left out when you're watching the other guy in the middle of it all. Anyway, it can be a nice break from the action and I get to see some friends without all the pressure.  I hope you all have a safe and joyous holiday with family and friends.

Happy New Year!

2 comments:

D said...

Should say six floors up not sixty. Fix it when I can.

Sanjay Sami said...

I'm with you D !
I rigged a small Jib arm off a service balcony on the 68th floor of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. I tied everything I could down, but it was still a sphincter tightening moment when I swung that arm out.
Better safe than sorry.
From that height a nut or bolt becomes a bullet.