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#21 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 11:57 AM

I would guess anywhere in the world most productions that are considered "High end"  are on this scale and often times mid size stuff gets condors out there too.  

 

The whole point of my posting this was to emphasise how lucky you folks are over there. Filmmaking is not really done at that level anywhere else, unless the US production industry is financing it and that's naturally very rare.

 

I doubt a setup that big is done once a year here, outside big imported blockbusters.

 

P


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#22 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 12:17 PM

This photo from "Wolf Hall" shows condors being used:

http://www.gazettese...images/3494974/


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#23 Mark Dunn

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 01:02 PM

Rented, as Phil notes, from a general plant hire company and not from a specialist film renter at eye-watering expense, nor driven to the set by expensive union labour who spend the rest of the shoot drinking tea whilst being paid £50 a cup for the privilege.


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#24 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 01:05 PM

Well, that's one!

 

(Also, apropos of not much, that's a Genie lift in my lexicon, and they don't go as high).

 

And yes, the phone number on the back suggests they're from (thanks Google) Nationwide Platforms. In terms of the lighting gear and crewing, it's still a swingeingly expensive setup.

 

I wouldn't personally want to do it on the basis that it's frighteningly easy to tip those over simply by snagging a cable, so you would certainly want a real crew.

 

P


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#25 Freya Black

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 06:48 AM

 

I wouldn't personally want to do it on the basis that it's frighteningly easy to tip those over simply by snagging a cable, so you would certainly want a real crew.

 

P

 

There is a guy who does this out here (crane truck thing not cinema lighting) who has a little truck thing with an arm on the back available for hire. I bet it's not that expensive to hire him and it would be more stable than those and I think the guy comes with it so he would be able to help you.

 

Also its not like you are going to have 18K lights to stick on it anyway. I suspect it would be more useful for doing camera moves than this kind of thing but who knows. I'm sure it could be safe if you used your noodle and had a good talk for a heads up on the head end before you start shooting.

 

Freya


Edited by Freya Black, 17 November 2015 - 06:50 AM.

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#26 Freya Black

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 06:49 AM


Edited by Freya Black, 17 November 2015 - 06:50 AM.

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#27 Freya Black

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 06:55 AM


- A crane that size costs $200 / day delivered.
- Let's imagine that that's a 18K, which is $600 / day.
- Generator - $1000 / day with driver and fuel.
- 2 sparks, $170 / day each.
- Cost of putting the crane there...

 

...Priceless.

 

Freya


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#28 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 06:59 AM

That must be the cheapest sparks in the world :).. that isnt going to keep them in Rolex,s and prawn cocktails .. 


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#29 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 07:21 AM

Those type of rigs get used on TV dramas in the UK. http://bladeaccess.c...c-drama-series/

 

I've only used a couple of 12ks HMIs on a large cherry picker. I know one production mounted a 12k HMI fo the end on a contruction crane arm.


Edited by Brian Drysdale, 17 November 2015 - 07:22 AM.

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#30 Freya Black

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 07:45 AM

This has turned into an interesting thread in a few ways.

 

One thing worth noting is that Phil is normally talking about the film industry and how we don't have much of one whereas Wolf Hall is a production for the BBC so is probably as about expensive as it goes in the UK short of the big Hollywood stuff that shoots here.

We do have a TV industry and a very significant one that I think is actually way ahead of the game and is probably the future of TV elsewhere. Having said that there is some talk by the current government to possibly do away with our TV industry so we will have to see how that turns out.

 

I think it's also interesting how we are now even talking about TV productions and Movie productions interchangeably here, which I think is right because the two are becoming more and more the same thing.

 

I once got to be on set for a BBC shoot for a commercial (yes I know that's a strange concept but there we go). For me it was a lot of fun to be there I had a great time although I was surprised at the glacial pace that it moved at and the inability for any actual shooting to take place. In fact they spent so long doing things like setting everything up one way and then changing their mind and reversing the entire direction of the shoot (cherry pickers and all) that they lost the dark (it was a night shoot) although it worked out great as the shot with the sun coming up actually was the best thing in the whole video and made it work. I hate to think what the other days shoots were like because the footage from them that ended up in the finished video was beyond terrible and looked more like something you would expect to have seen from a self shooter working in a great hurry and to a tiny budget.

 

The shoot was the biggest British shoot I have ever seen. Not only did they have a huge cherry picker that you could see for miles but they also had techno cranes and stuff sitting on stand by just in case they needed them. It dwarfed the Guy Richie shoot I once saw (for Rock N Rolla). A lot of the equipment just sat around on the truck or in the street etc and was never used. It was there just in case.

 

The weird thing about all this is that it's not something you see on the screen. Although the BBC funded stuff has access to all these amazing resources it doesn't end up looking any different really to the stuff made on much lower budgets elsewhere in the UK TV industry. Wolf Hall might be a case in point. There are large parts of it that just look like someone with a digibeta camera running around filming stuff in existing light. The low light candle lit stuff looks like it could have been shot by someone with a Sony A7s DSLR for example. I could even see it as being quite inspirational from that point of view as a lot of the  cheap Alexa shot TV productions (Ripper Street etc) are the kind of thing that seem out of reach to ordinary folks with a DSLR but Wolf Hall is something where you can see someone thinking "I could do that too"!

 

It's interesting to see behind the scenes on Wolf Hall as it becomes clear that they did actually have quite a bit of a budget and equipment on site and it really isn't someone just running around with an Alexa. While watching it I did often think that the Amira would be the perfect camera for doing stuff like this.

 

...and yes it's just plant hire style stuff but they have a lot of them and no doubt once they tell them they are with the BBC they will give them their "special TV rates".

 

Freya


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#31 Freya Black

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 08:01 AM

Again I think the only thing that is unusual about this is the scale. 

I actually think this is a very typical thing in the UK. Blast a high power HMI through the windows and you are good to go and you can talk about how it is "naturalistic". It actually saves time and hastle as you don't have to do any more lighting and it is quite simple and easy to pull off. 

 

Obviously you wouldn't be  doing this in a busy street tho or to really high up floors in a building.

It's more the kind of thing you would do with a house where you can stick the big light in the garden.

 

I will admit it's not at all common on lower budget stuff where the equivalent is to bounce a 2K off the ceiling and be good to go but even I've run into the high power HMI through the window thing on a couple of shoots. 

 

Muti storey cranes and shutting down streets, or even plonking your crane in the middle of a live street however, I have never seen.

 

Freya


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#32 Mark Dunn

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 08:05 AM

deleted


Edited by Mark Dunn, 17 November 2015 - 08:06 AM.

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#33 Mark Dunn

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 08:06 AM

there is some talk by the current government to possibly do away with our TV industry so we will have to see how that turns out.

What?


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#34 Freya Black

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 08:38 AM

What?

 

Ah, you may not have heard... and it may not come to anything as the current government a big on throwing ideas out there that havn't been thought through too much. Like that whole thing about doing away with the human rights act, which they were once hot on and then they were a bit like "ooh this is actually a bit tricky isn't it", and then "oh we are going to consult with people a lot on this" and then they kind of stopped talking about it altogether, although who knows that too might resurface after they have actually had a think about it.

 

Also see variations on this at various points of disaster such as "Working Tax Credit" (now an "in work benefit" I note) and the whole EU referendum thing.

 

The new idea is to privatise Channel 4. This is an odd idea as Channel 4 was actually created by a Tory government but one that I guess was thinking about things before they did them to some extent. Channel 4 is quite clever because the company is public owned but it is still a public service broadcaster (like Channel 5) and it doesn't make any programmes itself. This means that there is a division between the broadcasting side of things and the programming side of things and it is the creation of Channel 4 that made the UK TV industry as interesting and diverse as it still can be to a limited extent (although there has obviously been a lot of consolidation and changes with this stuff). It was Channel 4 that bought all the little independent production companies into existence and it was such a success that it was decided that even the BBC should commission some of its stuff from independent companies.

 

Now it doesn't appear to be an idea that makes a lot of sense but there are two reasons to want to do this. Firstly the government want to have a big fire sale of government assets so they have more money to play with and to give to friends and stuff. Secondly this is seen as being a possible soft target before full blown privatisation of the BBC, so kind of like an experiment.

 

I would argue that the sensible thing to do if you wanted to privatise the BBC would be to move it to the Channel 4 model of 100% outside commissioning but then that's more about what would be good for keeping the ideology while protecting the industry. It doesn't give the opportunity to sell off big assets to the same extent.

 

Anyway at the moment the whole idea is a bit sketchy on details (funny that... maybe it's because there aren't any yet and they are just throwing it out there to see what sticks).

 

You can read more here to see that I'm not making this stuff up:

 

http://www.broadcast...5094838.article

 

Freya


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#35 Michael Collier

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 11:20 PM

I thought I heard a rumor that in england, juicers are no longer allowed to ride in a condor.  Not sure if I am remembering correctly, but I am sure I heard something like that about some European country.  I am about to do two 80' condors tomorrow night on a SAG modified low budget, so it's not a crazy expensive setup. The cost for 3 nights of two condors is well under 8K.  The real problem is cabling.  If you're sending up (as I am) two 20Ks, a 9 light and a half dozen par cans, cabling becomes the real consideration, as well as labor to rig it in place. We've got almost a half mile of 2/0 and banded to make that happen, and that is low budget.  I have been on sets where you have miles of 4/0 (sometimes 9 wire 4/0) to get power around set.

 

Light is a pain in the ass, but it's a mistress I love. It takes quite a bit to light a very small location, and as things get bigger, all things become exponetially heavier.  This includes wattage, cable length, lamp height and generator power.  It gets out of hand very quickly.

 

I'm amazed by the shots of NYC David posted, seems there is no opportunity to swing a turret, and limited opportunity to dance the condor up and down the block. The Jib must be critical in those scenarios to get lateral motion on the lamp. Even then a jib can only give you a few feet of fore/aft movement. Most of my experience with condors is in Alaska and New Mexico, where there is endless room to dance around, the only limitation being cable and where the camera is looking.


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#36 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 05:59 AM

This is sort of the problem with these kinds of conversation.

 

You think $8,000 is not a lot of money for lighting.

 

I have never worked on any production which spent $8,000 for its entire G&E budget.

 

The US perspective on what's expensive filmmaking is grossly disproportionate with respect to the rest of the world.

 

P


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#37 Mark Dunn

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 12:00 PM

 


 

Anyway at the moment the whole idea is a bit sketchy on details (funny that... maybe it's because there aren't any yet and they are just throwing it out there to see what sticks).

 

You can read more here to see that I'm not making this stuff up:

 

http://www.broadcast...5094838.article

 

Freya

Well I'm not going to subscribe at £240/year to read that article but changing the corporate structure of C4 isn't 'doing away with our TV industry'.

A bit sketchy on details indeed.


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#38 Freya Black

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 06:54 AM

Well I'm not going to subscribe at £240/year to read that article but changing the corporate structure of C4 isn't 'doing away with our TV industry'.

A bit sketchy on details indeed.

 

 

Heh heh! Fair enough I didn't realise that article was behind a paywall!

Sorry about that.

Heres a less in depth article about the same stuff...

 

http://www.televisua...m_nid-5698.html

 

and yes perhaps my saying "doing away with our TV industry" is a bit hyperbolic or something, although such a change would likely make the UK TV landscape very different but it would of course continue in some form in the same way, just like if the BBC became a commercial entity. Thinking about it some more, it could even be good news for some people. For instance if CH4 was bought out by a large U.S. broadcaster, there is the chance they would bring production in house and make larger better quality programmes which might mean better work for some people rather than spreading the jam too thin. Of course there is also the chance they will just treat the UK as an extra U.S. state and mostly focus on exporting larger American productions to the UK to get an overall cost efficiency.

 

Anyway it may never happen...

 

Freya


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