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Rigging a condor


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#1 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 04:10 AM

Hello all,
I am well aware that it depends on exactly what you are rigging, but I was wondering if you fine folks could offer any sound advice on how to rig various lights, anywhere from a 2.5 to say a nine-light or an 18K. General rules and practices to specific tips, tricks and tidbits would help a lot.

Cheers,
:)
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 04:46 AM

I'm not a key grip, so don't bet the farm on my advice. But based on my experience...

There are a couple ways, depending on what you're rigging. One is a "candlestick" (condor pipe mount), basically a junior stand without the legs. You secure this to the basket with chain-vice grips. Another is a "condor mount" (bracket) which is kind of like a horizontal bracket that spans the top rail of the basket and has two junior receivers.

You secure the cables to the arm with a series of fasteners (usually line or even tape) that allow the cable to "swag" when the arm is collapsed, but with enough slack to let the arm extend all the way. Don't forget to bring a long enough line up with you to retrieve items from the ground (gel frames, water, etc.). Tips for "condor duty" probably could warrant their own thread...

But again, I'm not a key grip. I'll gladly defer to any corrections or additions anyone wants to offer. Safety in Condors is important.
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#3 Shane Bartlett

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:31 AM

There's a section on this, with illustrations, in The Set Lighting Technician's Handbook. However, it is pretty much as Michael described.
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#4 robert duke

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:49 AM

Rigging a condor is hazardous. Be Aware of the load limits of the condor you are rigging on. According to the manufacturer's rigging onto a condor is illegal. Local 80 has gotten together with the manufacturers and come up with special allowances. only certain models are riggable and only trained local 80 members are allowed to rig condors. That being said we all do it, have done it and will continue to do it. just be aware of what you are doing.

1 make sure the condor mount is in good working order. I frequently find the receiver know is stripped or bent. DO NOT USE A JUNIOR RISER AS A CANDLESTICK. they are not rated for that kind of rigging and WILL bend.
2 make sure everything is safetied. chainvices should be secured ( i like using zip ties, tape works fine) Lamps should have a cable safety, bardoors should be safetied, gel frames, flags, etc. take a moment before you go up and look at every piece of gear rigged and make sure it is safe.
3 safety yourself. I know they are uncomfortable but wear that damn harness and clip into the approved anchor point.
4 Go all the way up on one section before you use the next. some condors have a lock out function that requires you to use all of one before moving on to the next function.
5 take an extra radio battery, furni pad, apple box, snacks, empty bottle of water, and a long rope.
6 when you come down for lunch, drop your rope and have a ground person tie a sand bag to the rope, pull tension on the rope and tie it off. this will mark your exact vertical and horizontal position for when you come back.
7 when ever you are moving have a ground person watchout for hidden dangers.
8 dont tower. ( drive with the boom up) there are too many ways to die in those things.
9 dont climb the arm ( i know tempting but just dont)
10 slow and gentle movements are best with lights attached. theres nothing more frightening than a 10k snapping its bale.
11 watch your weight limits, it is very easy to over weight those baskets. dont forget to include yourself as part of that weight. all the lights, cable applebox heater, laptop, lights, add up quick.
12 take a couple nice books, read them.
13 be safe.

Robert Duke
local 80
local 492
local 900
key grip
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#5 Rik Andino

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 01:53 AM

Safety in Condors is important.


Safety in Condors is extremely important.
It's not something for the inexperienced.

Mike Nash & Rob Duke pretty much hit the nail on the head.
Rigging on a condor is not that complicated you just must always makes sure of three things
1) that everything is safe and secured
2) that you don't exceed the weight limit
3) that everything is properly set up for the shot cause tweaking with a condor is a long overdrawn complicated process.

Anyways learn from a "trained" ;) professional (mostly someone who's done it several times before)
It's not legal for most of us to do many of the things we do on set...
So I can;t really advice much else about several things like rigging a condor
But all I can say is try to learn from the best person you can.
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Aerial Filmworks

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Technodolly

Willys Widgets

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rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam