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My new toy


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#1 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 01:48 PM

I've just collected my new toy - A Worrall Geared Head. I've wanted one for a while. The sort of work I've been doing over the couple of years has meant that I really should get my head around the wheels.

This one came with a bit of history too - the original bill of sale from 1968 (it's older than I am!), and the original Worrall blueprints from 1961, where it is described as being 'For BNC camera'. On the side of the head, there is a small plate with a serial number, and the name of the original owner. I'm going to do some research and see what i can find out about him.

Meanwhile, the difficult bit....learning how to use the thing!
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#2 John Holland

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 01:59 PM

Stuart, you will have fun !! John Holland.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 02:05 PM

sweeeeeeeeeeeeet

Yeah man, if you can work a gearhead that's a special skill that seemingly fewer people are developing nowadays.

Have fun!
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#4 Matthew Buick

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 02:32 PM

I take it this is a tripod/dolly head ?

Whatever it is, enjoy it! :D
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#5 Paul Bruening

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 06:33 PM

Hey Mathew,

It's the thing you see the camera sitting on in old photos of Hollywood productions. It is noticeable by the two crank handles poking out of the side and back. You pan and tilt by turning the handles. It is a special skill and takes practice. It's really a leftover from when cameras were as big as... Buicks (forgive the pun). When cameras got quiet and light, geared heads fell out of favor. I love mine. But then again, my camera is as big as a... Chevy.
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#6 Greg Gross

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 06:45 PM

Do you mean cameras like what I call "Hitchcock" cameras? I believe I've seen
pictures of Mitchell cameras sitting on this type of geared head. I bet its as solid
as a boulder.

Greg Gross
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#7 chuck colburn

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 07:09 PM

I've just collected my new toy - A Worrall Geared Head. I've wanted one for a while. The sort of work I've been doing over the couple of years has meant that I really should get my head around the wheels.

This one came with a bit of history too - the original bill of sale from 1968 (it's older than I am!), and the original Worrall blueprints from 1961, where it is described as being 'For BNC camera'. On the side of the head, there is a small plate with a serial number, and the name of the original owner. I'm going to do some research and see what i can find out about him.

Meanwhile, the difficult bit....learning how to use the thing!


Put your head, (the geared one) on some Big sticks. Mount (attach) your camera with a standard focal length lens to the head. Now put a bunch white tape Xs on the wall. Put eye to eyepiece and practice in a random manner going from X to X. When you stop having to think about which way to turn the wheels your ten percent of the way there! It's so easy, just ask any old time operator. LOL
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#8 Matthew Buick

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 01:27 PM

Hey Mathew,

It's the thing you see the camera sitting on in old photos of Hollywood productions. It is noticeable by the two crank handles poking out of the side and back. You pan and tilt by turning the handles. It is a special skill and takes practice. It's really a leftover from when cameras were as big as... Buicks (forgive the pun). When cameras got quiet and light, geared heads fell out of favor. I love mine. But then again, my camera is as big as a... Chevy.


Oh my god!!! How much did that cost?!

Buicks (forgive the pun).


Ahh, believe it or not, twas an ancient ancestor o' mine who founded the factory.
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#9 Paul Bruening

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 07:26 PM

They still average around $2,000.00 bucks to buy. I guess you might get one as low as $1,200.00. It is abit odd how they are still so expensive when the demand is so low. Ken Stone is unloading one that's stepper driven on eBay right now.
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#10 Bob Hayes

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 01:47 AM

There is a magic and a big studio feel to scenes shot on a gear head. A fluid head always feels sort of like a tennis racket and it creates a style where you sort of whack away at shots. The gear head, once mastered, feels like you just will the composition and it happens. It is smoother and more ethereal. Enjoy!
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#11 Tim Terner

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 02:15 AM

Nice piece of tackle Stuart and great advice Chuck. Here's a pic of one Matthew
http://www.owyheesou...eared_head.html
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#12 Drew Hoffman

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 02:24 AM

I'm certainly jealous. It's hard to get any experience on wheels out in AZ... you can't even rent one anywhere in the state. The only time I've gotten on them is when the camera equipment comes from LA. I'd rent it just to practice. Enjoy it!
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#13 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 04:58 AM

You can see the gearhead in many behind the scenes extras on DVD's, but the one that comes to mind "The Man Who Wasn't There", a film that Deakins DP'd. He operates as well, so it's very cool to see him workin' those gears.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 22 January 2007 - 04:58 AM.

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#14 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 05:27 AM

It's not as if nobody uses gear heads anymore. Any sitcom that uses dolly's uses them, and most network TV shows have them, as well as most movies.
It's certainly a good skill to have. I wish I worked with the gears more often just to stay practiced.
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#15 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 05:42 AM

Nice piece of tackle Stuart and great advice Chuck. Here's a pic of one Matthew
http://www.owyheesou...eared_head.html


That is the very thing, except mine's black. It's very heavy, about 90lbs, I think. Despite it's age, it's beautifully smooth, and very quiet. It's a fantastic piece of engineering. I was lucky, I got it for a very good price, but they are usually about $2000 I believe.

I'm starting to get the hang of it now, after a couple of days of practice. We don't use geared heads over here that often, but any time a crane and remote head is in use, it will have wheels, so it's an essential skill.
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#16 Max Jacoby

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 11:50 AM

We don't use geared heads over here that often, but any time a crane and remote head is in use, it will have wheels, so it's an essential skill.

The good thing about remote heads is that the gears have a dampening function, so they are easier to operate than a geared head.
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#17 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:29 PM

The good thing about remote heads is that the gears have a dampening function, so they are easier to operate than a geared head.

If feels really weird when you add slop into the head. It makes the starts and stops very smooth, but it's hard to be precise. It's nice to be able to make adjustments if needed though.
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#18 Matt Pacini

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 04:13 PM

Is there not anyone who makes a newer, lighter version for lightweight cameras?

MP
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#19 Matthew Buick

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 04:29 PM

They still average around $2,000.00 bucks to buy.


AAARGGHHH!!!!! That's more than I've spent on Camera, film, projector, stuff to make optical printer e.t.c.
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#20 chuck colburn

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 04:39 PM

Is there not anyone who makes a newer, lighter version for lightweight cameras?

MP


Arriflex makes one. Cinema Products used to. It was called the Mini Worral.
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