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Safe boxes for cameras in stunts?


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#1 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:10 PM

I'm putting an inexpensive video camera inside a hockey net Saturday night for a project for a fundraiser
but it made me wonder if there are companies that make protective enclosures. I'm using a homemade
contraption and when I've seen barriers before they've been built by grips. I've looked on vendors' websites but
haven't seen anything along these lines. I've never used an Eyemo but I've read that those have often
been put in stunt vehicles. An Eyemo costs more than the camera I'm using for sure. Do stunt cameras, I guess
you would call them, get put into any protective containers?
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:17 PM

but in between is there now such a thing as
a viewfinder that unsqueezes the image?


Yes, if you have the right viewfinder. Usually it's a lever on the side of the extension that flips in an optical element.
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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:25 PM

Yes, if you have the right viewfinder. Usually it's a lever on the side of the extension that flips in an optical element.



Thanks, Michael!

If anybody is wondering about Michael's seemingly telepathic response to another question, as I typed my original question here somebody next to me saw and gave me the answer. I decided to ask a
different question but I guess while I was deleting the first and typing this one, the first question was posted.

Just goes to show how fast you can get help on here.
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#4 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 08:22 PM

Do stunt cameras, I guess
you would call them, get put into any protective containers?

Yep, they're called crash housings. I honestly haven't paid much attention to what they're made of or where they've been rented from in the past, but most rental houses could probably point you in the right direction.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:16 AM

I believe the material is called lexan. It's clear like glass and you can shoot through it, if it is not all scratched up. When used properly, lexan is bulletproof.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 02:51 AM

I believe the material is called lexan. It's clear like glass and you can shoot through it, if it is not all scratched up. When used properly, lexan is bulletproof.

Yeah, it's some kind of plexi in the front (maybe lexan (lexan is just GE's version of plexi)), but I don't know what the rest of the housing is made of.
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#7 Hal Smith

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 08:10 AM

Yeah, it's some kind of plexi in the front (maybe lexan (lexan is just GE's version of plexi)), but I don't know what the rest of the housing is made of.

Sorry Brad, Lexan is not Plexiglas. Lexan is a polycarbonate plastic and much stronger than Plexiglas which is an acrylic plastic.
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#8 robert duke

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 09:14 AM

The Typical crash housing is made from 1/2 inch aluminum, with 1/4" lexan in front of the lens. you could cheaply make one from 1/8- 1/4 inch aluminum for different cameras and uses. they just bolt together and the camera just bolts to the housing. the housing usually has multiple holes that are tapped for rigging.

Any machine shop can make you one. it doesnt have to be air tight nor water tight. just sturdy.
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#9 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 11:09 AM

That's great, everybody, thanks! I mentioned your replies to a guy I'm doing a job for and he can hook me up
with some Lexan and get it cut and everything. I'll go get the other materials and build a box as Robert described.

Thanks again.
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 12:23 PM

For crash cameras and housings, the first place to try would be Clairmont Camera. They have probably the best machine shop of any rental company, and routinely modify Eyemo's, old Arri's, etc. They build custom crash/burn housings. In fact for anything unusual like that, I'd ask Clairmont first.




-- J.S.
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#11 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:04 PM

Sorry Brad, Lexan is not Plexiglas. Lexan is a polycarbonate plastic and much stronger than Plexiglas which is an acrylic plastic.

Thanks for the correction Hal. Didn't mean to state un-truths.
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#12 Chris Keth

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 12:05 AM

To add one little thing about lexan: polycarbonate is the same material that is used for safety glasses. if you've ever tried to break safety glasses or have had them save your eyes, you know how freakishly strong it is.
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#13 Michael Nash

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 12:34 AM

Just for the record, and so no one gets hurt, plexiglass/perspex is NOT the same thing as Lexan. I saw someone make this mistake on a film set with what could have been deadly results. Production was supposed to purchase a piece of Lexan as a shield for the camera operator and assistant during a scene with closeup (blank) gunfire. *Someone* in production bought plexiglass instead. The actor fired a shotgun loaded with a "blank" round about three feet away from the lens, directly at the focus puller. The blank round blew a hole the size of a golf ball right through the plexi; fortunately the AC escaped injury. However, he promptly walked off the set...

Plexiglass/Perspex (acrylic) shatters. Lexan (polycarbonate) does not. Plexi is not Lexan!!
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#14 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 04:20 AM

Just for the record, and so no one gets hurt, plexiglass/perspex is NOT the same thing as Lexan. I saw someone make this mistake on a film set with what could have been deadly results. Production was supposed to purchase a piece of Lexan as a shield for the camera operator and assistant during a scene with closeup (blank) gunfire. *Someone* in production bought plexiglass instead. The actor fired a shotgun loaded with a "blank" round about three feet away from the lens, directly at the focus puller. The blank round blew a hole the size of a golf ball right through the plexi; fortunately the AC escaped injury. However, he promptly walked off the set...

Plexiglass/Perspex (acrylic) shatters. Lexan (polycarbonate) does not. Plexi is not Lexan!!




I was in Lowe's last night getting parts for the crash box and I was struck at how Lexan was relatively only
slightly more expensive than Plexiglass. It may be ten times stronger but it's not ten times more expensive.
I wouldn't have know how much more important it is to use Lexan for this purpose without all your responses.
Thanks again.
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#15 Hal Smith

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 10:29 AM

I wouldn't have know how much more important it is to use Lexan for this purpose without all your responses.
Thanks again.

Ain't community great! You should also thank Tim Tyler, David Mullen, and the others who created this Forum.

Additional comment from the frau: "I guess it takes a village to make a movie". Nice quote, when I get tired of my "Some is good......" signature I just may change it to that line.
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#16 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 12:27 PM

Ain't community great! You should also thank Tim Tyler, David Mullen, and the others who created this Forum.

Additional comment from the frau: "I guess it takes a village to make a movie". Nice quote, when I get tired of my "Some is good......" signature I just may change it to that line.



Some Cinematography.com is good, more Cinematography.com is better, too much Cinematography.com is just right.


I am indeed grateful to Tim, David and everybody involved with this great forum. I have received tremendous help
from folks on here. Thanks!
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Rig Wheels Passport

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Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc