Jump to content


Photo

Has anybody done a "crane" shot with a cherry picker?


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor
  • Sustaining Members
  • 860 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Posted 04 August 2007 - 08:59 PM

I have a couple of friends who have cherry pickers for tree work and I've gone for
ride in them. They'd be willing to show up on a Saturday for an hour on thsi low budget
project if I wanted to get a really high to low "crane" shot. It's tempting but it seems
that there's too much sway to the bucket. OSHA wise it seems okay as long as it's just
a camera and tripod but I'm wondering if anybody has done this or found ways to make
it work well. Thanks.
  • 0

#2 rik carter

rik carter
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 51 posts
  • Director
  • Hollywood

Posted 04 August 2007 - 09:05 PM

I've done it. It's not easy for the very reason you mention - there is a lot of movement and it's very slow.
But I'm glad I gave it a try. You should try it regardless of what other people have done.

Edited by rik carter, 04 August 2007 - 09:06 PM.

  • 0

#3 Josh Fritts

Josh Fritts
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 04 August 2007 - 09:11 PM

I have a couple of friends who have cherry pickers for tree work and I've gone for
ride in them. They'd be willing to show up on a Saturday for an hour on thsi low budget
project if I wanted to get a really high to low "crane" shot. It's tempting but it seems
that there's too much sway to the bucket. OSHA wise it seems okay as long as it's just
a camera and tripod but I'm wondering if anybody has done this or found ways to make
it work well. Thanks.



We did it on a film that I gaffed about 2 years ago, called Three Priest. The shot was unusable right at the beginning of the move and right at the end, but it was pretty smooth through the middle.

Here is a link to the trailer:

http://www.gumspirit...reepriests.html

It is at the beginning of the trailer and its the shot that slowly booms down on the house where Wes Studi and Micheal Parks are fixing the roof.

Hopefully this helps,

Josh
  • 0

#4 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3066 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 04 August 2007 - 09:31 PM

The bigger the cherry picker or scissor lift is, the smoother it will be. That said,, the start and stop will always be unusable.
  • 0

#5 Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor
  • Sustaining Members
  • 860 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Posted 04 August 2007 - 11:57 PM

I've done it. It's not easy for the very reason you mention - there is a lot of movement and it's very slow.
But I'm glad I gave it a try. You should try it regardless of what other people have done.




Thanks, Rik.


" You should try it regardless of what other people have done."

That is a really cool philosophy. I think that I will indeed.
  • 0

#6 Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor
  • Sustaining Members
  • 860 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Posted 05 August 2007 - 12:04 AM

We did it on a film that I gaffed about 2 years ago, called Three Priest. The shot was unusable right at the beginning of the move and right at the end, but it was pretty smooth through the middle.

Here is a link to the trailer:

http://www.gumspirit...reepriests.html

It is at the beginning of the trailer and its the shot that slowly booms down on the house where Wes Studi and Micheal Parks are fixing the roof.

Hopefully this helps,

Josh


Definitely helps! Thanks, Josh.

Even that quick glimpse shows what a beautiful move the middle of the shot can be. Plus, if you start
higher than you need, you can cut in when things stabilize and at least the "beginning" of the shot is
now useable. I wouldn't have thought of that without your comments and trailer. Also, I thought that
I might overcrank a bit for smoothness but seeing the guys working on the roof at normal speed, it
seems that the boom down becomes pretty smooth once it gets going, and that shot had some serious
height.

Cool cast. Olivia Hussey...glad to see her. What a great Juliet.
  • 0

#7 Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor
  • Sustaining Members
  • 860 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Posted 05 August 2007 - 12:08 AM

The bigger the cherry picker or scissor lift is, the smoother it will be. That said,, the start and stop will always be unusable.



Thank you, Stuart.


The tree guys have outriggers, unlike say a phone company cherrypicker, so the size/smootness note is
encouraging.

I'm glad that I asked. The consensus here about the beginning and ending of the shot is really helping
my planning.
  • 0

#8 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 05 August 2007 - 03:19 AM

I've done those shots while flying my steadicam. I once did one on an 80 ft crane. Yikes! But it worked pretty well. I don't think steadicam is needed, but it probably smooths out a few bumps.
  • 0

#9 Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor
  • Sustaining Members
  • 860 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Posted 05 August 2007 - 11:06 AM

I've done those shots while flying my steadicam. I once did one on an 80 ft crane. Yikes! But it worked pretty well. I don't think steadicam is needed, but it probably smooths out a few bumps.




80 feet!

Brad, did you find that your rig helped at all on the beginning and ending of the moves? Thanks.
  • 0

#10 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 05 August 2007 - 02:31 PM

80 feet!

Brad, did you find that your rig helped at all on the beginning and ending of the moves? Thanks.

Maybe a little, but the intention was always to cut into the shot after the start of the move and be out of it before the end, so I wasn't that worried about trying to be perfect at the beginning or end.
  • 0

#11 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11939 posts
  • Other

Posted 05 August 2007 - 04:20 PM

Hi,

In my experience of two, they are usually smoother and go faster going down rather than up.

On many types there's a lurch in the middle as the centre hinge finished collapsing.

It's a lot of work for a third-rate effect, in my opinion. The best substitute for a technocrane is a Jimmy Jib which, assuming you just want a basic crane establish or something, is 90% of the same thing for 30% of the money. There are limits to the cameras you can put on them and you need to give the operator more slack than a technocrane crew (there's only one of him, doing everything) but the results can be very comparable.

Phil
  • 0

#12 Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor
  • Sustaining Members
  • 860 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Posted 06 August 2007 - 01:17 AM

Maybe a little, but the intention was always to cut into the shot after the start of the move and be out of it before the end, so I wasn't that worried about trying to be perfect at the beginning or end.


I think that's what I'd most likely be doing with this approach, thanks. The trailer Josh linked to showed
the middle of a move and it looked great.
  • 0

#13 Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor
  • Sustaining Members
  • 860 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Posted 06 August 2007 - 01:29 AM

Hi,

In my experience of two, they are usually smoother and go faster going down rather than up.

On many types there's a lurch in the middle as the centre hinge finished collapsing.

It's a lot of work for a third-rate effect, in my opinion. The best substitute for a technocrane is a Jimmy Jib which, assuming you just want a basic crane establish or something, is 90% of the same thing for 30% of the money. There are limits to the cameras you can put on them and you need to give the operator more slack than a technocrane crew (there's only one of him, doing everything) but the results can be very comparable.

Phil



Thanks, Phil.

Fortunately, in Final Cut Pro it's easy to reverse a shot so that you could make a crane down look
like it's going up (although the shot would have to be without people or make them walk
backwards!)

About the money, I generally agree with you, except that for some quick shots on low budget
personal projects my friends would probably help out if I didn't make them wait for a thousand
takes, plus a cherry picker could get me a starting height a lot higher than the Jimmy Jibs which I
could afford.

I tested out the Glidecam Camcrane 200 at Glidecam's headquarters the other day. It will hold a
30 lb. camera at 6' extension and a 25 lb. camera at 8' extension which gives a lens height of 10'.
B&H Photo is selling them for $429.00 and they're worth it. I'm a little tight this week or I would
have grabbed one. They mount on a tripod with a 3/8" stud (not included) and you'd want a fluid
head to tilt the camera while you boom but you could definitely split up a sturdy old Bogen 3066
or something like that and do quite well, I think.
  • 0

#14 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 06 August 2007 - 03:41 AM

I've done it hand-held (Betacam) and everything but the starts and stops is silky smooth. With the right kind of boom you can do lateral movements as well as up/down smoothly, with the same caveats.

Of course the truck makes noise so you can't really use the audio from that take.
  • 0

#15 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5070 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 06 August 2007 - 04:10 AM

For a craning shot I tend to usually only use the higher arm for the lift, rather than both. Although you do get limited in how low you can go compared to also using the lower arm. With the bigger units you can also do horizontal sweeps.

The stops and starts are usually the problem and seem to depend on how well maintained and large the rig is and the skill of its operator. I've seen some pretty complex shots done by a good operator. However, they're not fast craning shots and you always have the engine noise over moving shots.
  • 0

#16 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 August 2007 - 05:17 PM

I've done it hand-held (Betacam) and everything but the starts and stops is silky smooth.

Probably just as smooth as with steadicam to be honest.
  • 0

#17 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 06 August 2007 - 07:37 PM

I've done those shots while flying my steadicam. I once did one on an 80 ft crane.

With at assistant to unhook your harness and open the gate, you could do that crane down to the ground, then step off and continue the steadicam shot. I think I've seen that somewhere.



-- J.S.
  • 0

#18 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 07 August 2007 - 03:20 PM

With at assistant to unhook your harness and open the gate, you could do that crane down to the ground, then step off and continue the steadicam shot. I think I've seen that somewhere.
-- J.S.

I've done this before off of a camera crane, but it would be tough off of a cherry picker. Cherry pickers slow down and get very bumpy at the end of the move when going down, which would make the move much tougher. Plus, the platform on cherry pickers is generally pretty high, which would mean building some kind of ramp or platform to walk off onto. Also, cherry pickers generally have a solid railing all the way around them that can't be opened, which would probably make the move impossible. If the latter of the three problems could be remedied then it would probably be possible, but at that point, considering the time and effort involved to make it work right, you may as well just get a real crane and do it the correct way. In the long run it would probably save production time and money.
  • 0


Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Opal

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Tai Audio

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

CineLab

Visual Products

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly