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Question about Condors


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 01:54 AM

In a never ending quest to fill the gaps in my cinemagraphic education and because I've never had the chance to use one and will probably need one or two for Blood Moon, Are the Condors used in film production purpose built for the film industry or the standard Condor lift platforms used on construction sites? B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 05 July 2007 - 01:55 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 01:59 AM

In a never ending quest to fill the gaps in my cinemagraphic education and because I've never had the chance to use one and will probably need one or two for Blood Moon, Are the Condors used in film production purpose built for the film industry or the standard Condor lift platforms used on construction sites? B)


They are standard Condors except that you have to use ones with a large enough platform w/ safety railing for a large light stand (like a Crank-O-Vator) and person, plus it has to handle all that weight safely. Some Condors come with very small platforms and therefore aren't very usable for lighting.
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 02:56 AM

WOW! that was fast, thanks Dave. I've seen them for sale in a variety of places and relatively speaking, they're not that bad, between 1000, 1500 up to 5, 6 grand for a used one in good working condition. If they're used a lot for night shots, It might be worth picking 1 or 2 up sometime down the line. Is there any particular reason Condors are used as opposed to say a JLG, MEC or a Grove? B)
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 04:16 AM

Rent, don't buy. You'll have different needs depending on the shoot and location. For one thing, it's usually easier to rent one close to the location you're shooting and have it delivered by the rental company than it is to warehouse, maintain, and truck the thing yourself.

I don't know if Condor is a brand name that's been misappropriated, but the one I just used last week was a JLG. Like David says there are different heights and bucket sizes, with different weight capacities. Here we had two 12K HMI's plus the operator, which pretty much maxed out the weight limit for this 80ft. unit. We really needed one with a higher weight capacity and height.

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#5 timHealy

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 03:50 PM

Condors are referred to as Aerial work platforms. And Condor is a manufacturer just as JLG and Grove are.

But very seriously, don't bother using one unless you know someone or a manufacturer that can teach you how to use one and have experience rigging them. They are and can be very dangerous pieces of equipment if you are not familiar with them. That includes scissor lifts and small single man lifts as well.

Be smart.

Best

Tim

PS I agree. Don't buy one. Rent them from someone who is in that business and knows how to operate and service them.
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#6 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 08:43 PM

Very cool pictures, Mike, thanks. The only reason I was considering buying is we are getting ready to shoot a film done 99 percent at night in the desert and are going to be using Dinos and Condors for most of the shoot plus as an independent writer, director and producer, I planned to shoot most everything I do locally much like John Waters did with Baltimore. There are also financial reasons for filming in our area, PLUS we're gonna need a manlift anyway If I can get into a better studio with high ceilings (one of my MAJOR goals). On a side note, safety is ALWAYS one of my first considerations but construction is not something I'm unfamiliar with and experienced operators for this type of equipment are a dime a dozen around here. These are my thoughts anyway. B) They have one HIGHER than 80 FEET, GOOD GOD!!!!

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 05 July 2007 - 08:46 PM.

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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 09:48 PM

Yes, JLG makes a 135 footer, not that I've ever used it. Construction experience is good for what it is, but for lighting you really should have qualified grips and electricians to rig and operate the device. There are certain ways to rig the cabling (don't forget that cable adds to the weight as you go up), and certain tricks the operators use to stay safe and comfortable for hours at a time.
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#8 timHealy

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 09:57 PM

They have one HIGHER than 80 FEET, GOOD GOD!!!!


The largest lift I know of is a truck mounted 210 foot machine but have never used it. Similiar to the truck mounted 150 and 170 foot machines which I have used alot. All by Condor.

best

Tim
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#9 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:20 PM

The largest lift I know of is a truck mounted 210 foot machine but have never used it. Similiar to the truck mounted 150 and 170 foot machines which I have used alot. All by Condor.

best

Tim


OH poop, how cool it that! Actually Mel, my DOP, does have experience with this sorta equipment, but once he's rigged it, I figured someone else could run it, cause I figure he's gonna be kinda busy, you know how sets get. I, myself have done quite a bit of grip work but never got the chance to use a Condor though. B)
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#10 Sean Cox

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 05:54 PM

I realise this is an old post but I am in pre-production of a film at the moment that will require an 'aerial work platform' and a lighting rig to imitate moonlight above a wooded area.

It's part of an ambitious project and none of the crew members have had any experience with this kind of set-up other than our University, Greenwich, is often a film set (twice a month) and we often see similar set-ups, for a beginner with this kind of project, what would you recommend?

 

Extra info: filming in an area in the UK where no films have ever been made and its a bit of a novelty.

Some rough terrain and at least 400ft to the nearest power supply if we get the location we would like.  

 

Currently we are looking at a 60ft high platform holding a single 12k Arri HMI Fresnel.

 

Any advice will be hugely appreciated


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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 08:27 PM

Simplest solution is to find the highest hill in the background and put the HMI on it, or on some parallels on the hill and then shoot at the base of the hill in backlight.  You'll need a generator to power the HMI.  If these are woods, then luckily in the winter there shouldn't be leaves on trees to block all of that light. But I don't know if you will get lucky with a nearby hilltop right at the base of the trees, close not distant.


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#12 Sean Cox

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 08:58 PM

Thanks David, Locations are still to be decided and so every bit of information will be added to the requirements. We might be able to put a hmi on a building near to the area but I am unsure whether the light would be bright enough when it reaches the set.

Thank you anyway, I shall look into it

 

Sean


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#13 Guy Holt

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 08:20 PM

I realise this is an old post but I am in pre-production of a film at the moment that will require an 'aerial work platform' and a lighting rig to imitate moonlight above a wooded area... Currently we are looking at a 60ft high platform holding a single 12k Arri HMI Fresnel....Any advice will be hugely appreciated

 

There are several ways of rigging lights onto or under the basket of a condor depending on the light and application. The preferred means of rigging onto the basket is to use the condor bracket below.

 

Condor_Rig_Sm.jpg

 

There have been several developments in the use of aerial lifts since this thread ended that you should be aware of. The first is that the lift manufacturers are finally supporting their use in motion picture production. The upside to this development is that they now provide them painted black (see picture below) and they have endorsed the rigging of lights on their baskets, which is a good thing except that in doing so the manufacturers have set strict weight restrictions that vary depending on the height and reach of the basket and how far off the basket pivot point the light is rigged (see representative illustration below.)

 

Condor_Limitations_Sm.jpg

 

When rigging lights with a condor bracket on the front rail of a condor basket (as pictured above), the endorsements are in fact so restrictive that electric trailers now carry shipping scales to weigh the equipment and only the smallest guys on a crew qualify for “condor duty.”  Quite often the lifts have to be sent up unmanned, and the lights focused from the ground by panning and tilting the basket with the ground controls because there is not sufficient capacity in the basket for an operator. For this reason, Arri has incorporated their new MAX reflector technology into a new power class of HMI light: the M90.

 

 

M90-60-Small.jpg

 

 

(The light generated by the CAD designed Max Reflector of the new M90/60 is incredibly bright and sharp.)

 

Utilizing a new 9 kW HMI lamp, the unique MAX reflector of the M90 creates diverging parallel rays to produce a crisp light with even distribution through a wide spot/flood range. The result is a lens-less open face fixture with a quality of light close to that of a Fresnel. The elimination of spread lenses like those used on HMI Pars, makes the ARRI MAX reflector lamp heads comparable to par configurations of even a higher wattage. In fact, the M90 is brighter than some 18K Fresnels on the market, yet weighs 67lbs less. Weighing only 87lbs, verses the 154lbs of a their 18k Fresnel, two M90s can be rigged into a condor basket and operated by a technician where only one 18k Fresnel could before.

 

M90_Ballast_Small.jpg

(The Active Line Filtration (ALF) of the new ARRI EB 6000/9000 ballast makes it an incredibly efficient and clean load.)

 

To power the new M90 head, ARRI has engineered a dual wattage ballast. The EB 6000/9000 will operate either the traditional 6kw SE globe in the M90 head, or the new 9kw SE globe, on supply voltages ranging from 195-250V. With Active Line Filtration (ARRI's system of Power Factor Correction) built in, the EB 6000/9000 ballast is incredibly efficient and generates virtually no harmonic noise - enabling it to reliably operate on portable gas generators like Honda's new Digital AVR 10kw EB10000 (pictured below.)

 

Not only does the MAX reflector of this head provide more output, but it is also incredibly versatile. When you don't need the punch of a 18kw Fresnel, you can swap the 9kw globe for a 6kw globe making more power available to run additional lights on an EB10000. For example, you save 27 Amps when you swap out a 9kw bulb for a 6kw bulb. The 27 Amps you save by burning the smaller 6kw globe will power quite a few more lights when you consider that both the ARRI L7 LED Fresnel and Kino Flo Parabeam 400 use approximately 2 Amps. In fact, such versatility now enables the operation on a portable generator, like Honda’s new EB10000, of just about all the lights needed to shoot a night exterior on a digital cinema camera.  This combination of smaller, brighter, more efficient lights, with more sensitive digital cameras, and new more powerful portable generators makes it now possible to achieve remarkable results on a tight budget.

 

 

 

EB10000_w-Trans_&_Caddy_Sm.jpg

 

(Our modified Honda EB10000 with Voltage Select 84A Transformer/Distro and  14 Gallon Fuel Caddy.)

 

One of the biggest hurdles to obtaining good production values in low budget digital cinema productions is the high cost of the blimped studio generators required to power large HMIs. Not only are blimped generators expensive to rent, but they also come with hidden costs. Since rental trucks like those from Ryder or Penske are not equipped to tow, you quite often have to hire the rental house's grip truck to tow them. And, since most rental houses require that one of their employees drive their trucks (for insurance reasons), the production has to hire a driver at roughly $575/10hrs - which is probably more than anyone else on a typical indie crew is getting paid. All of this makes the use of an 18k Fresnel in a condor very expensive. Powering a M90 with a Honda EB10000 will not only save Sean a lot of money but also save him from having to run out 400ft of feeder cable over rough terrain.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, Lighting and Grip Equipment Rental & Sales in  Boston


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#14 Guy Holt

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 08:20 PM

 


Edited by Guy Holt, 26 December 2013 - 08:21 PM.

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