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#1 michael a brierley

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 01:13 AM

The final shot in the movie I am prepping for calls for a shot of a man finding a winning Lotto ticket in a Dumpster/skip. He scratches the card and after a cut in to see the lucky numbers the camera jibs up. And up. And we see some land with torn down houses and the rubble etc, and then we see the Dubai city skyline in the background. It's a night shoot and I'll have two Musco's to light the derelict land (it's a big area). I was thinking of asking the grips to rig the stabilised Flight head (to iron out bump in the take off) onto a really high/big construction crane (no shortage of them here)- and depending on the power cable we have available here (no wireless) I would like to go at least 100' high. Anyone done this before, rigged a Flight head onto a construction crane?
Thanks,
Michael
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#2 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 06:01 PM

Haven't done it, myself, but I would think you'd have a tough time controlling the sway of the crane cable. There is such a thing called the Strada Crane, which has a 100' arm. Or, why not use a 50' super Techno Crane? On a wide lens, 50' looks really, really high.
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#3 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 07:01 PM

It seems to me that there are two ways to go about doing this, both being the right way.

The first is, as you say, use a construction crane. Has this been done? Yes, I believe it has (although I don?t have any references for you). There are possibly a few things to keep in mind. A Flight head, or any gyrostabilized head, like a Libra, Scorpio, etc. are generally only best for low frequency vibrations, and that?s why they are often seen on camera cranes, even when the base is stationary. When larger movements are involved, such as on a moving vehicle (a car, ATV, etc.) some other kind of vibration isolation is used, such as something from Chapman. These help to get rid of the larger bumps that the servo in the Flight head, etc., can?t hide. Now, if the construction crane is not very smooth (I don?t know), you will see these movements regardless of the stabilized head. It depends on how you want the shot to look. You may not mind it. You must also take into account the sway? winds are much stronger 100 feet up in the air, and keeping the camera in the same place while on the end of a ?string? may be difficult ? or, impossible. Again, it depends on what you want the shot to look like. You may not mind a slight sway. If you do it this way, it might be good to find a crane company that is familiar with production. Dwight Crane in Toronto is one place that specializes in crane lighting and platforms. I?m not sure what?s available in India.

The second way is: why not just use a Strata? It reaches 100 feet easy, and it will probably be much more manageable on the day. And, for the shot you?re talking about, 100 feet is high. Here?s a picture of an XTreme, and it?s only 82 feet high (lens height, underslung):

Posted Image

You will definitely be above the houses with a 100-foot Strata (unless we?re talking larger, 10+ story buildings), and depending on the lens you use, you will see a LOT. A Flight head (or similar) on a Strata crane would ensure a smooth, vibration-less rise, and will also ensure that you can stay dead center on the lotto ticket for the entire move (provided you have a good crane op). And I?m also assuming that it takes less time/manpower to move the base of a Strata than a construction crane, if needed.

-DW

Edited by Daniel Wallens, 12 January 2009 - 07:04 PM.

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#4 michael a brierley

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:55 AM

A Strata crane, in Dubai? No way! We have an oldish 30' Techno and thats it. To reduce the swing/pendulum effect, We were thinking of two sturdy 'guy' ropes which would be pulled through a block and tackle system on either side of the rope cable. I am getting the production to import a Chapman vertical vibration isolator as we have many car rigs, I'll get the grips to add that on. I'll be doing a test in the next two weeks with a small handy cam attached, I'll post some images when we are done. It's the end shot of the movie, and the Dubai skyline is pretty impressive at night, so we want to get the camera high as possible.
Thanks,

Michael
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#5 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:59 PM

I thought they have everything in Dubai!
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#6 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 09:59 AM

hi
we did it once for the movie "amelie", we didn't use aflight head but a construction crane from a crane tuck!
it was a tilted down only shot. but we used 2 KS 12 gyro stabilizer to prevent the rig to swing.
we had also a dedicated barel manifactured by the special effect team to move the cable smoothly.
what you can do to simplfly your power cable problem is to "fly" a batery over the head and mabe the operator himself is you don't have remote control unit.
i think it can work the flight head and a construction crane but there is a need for the "in between" the head and the cable.

i hope it helps
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#7 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 10:03 AM

and yes a forgot..
a steadycamer in belgium has a demo where he hangs himself from construction crane.... i saw an impressiv shot where he was craned down then released a mor classic steadycam movement...
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#8 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 03:13 PM

Here is a pretty good video illustrating an Akela crane stepoff (talked about in earlier threads). The hanger apparatus they have rigged seems somewhat similar to what you might need should you want to suspend an operator.


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#9 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 01:10 AM

I?m not sure what?s available in India.

The second way is: why not just use a Strata? It reaches 100 feet easy, and it will probably be much more manageable on the day. And, for the shot you?re talking about, 100 feet is high. Here?s a picture of an XTreme, and it?s only 82 feet high (lens height, underslung):



-DW
[/quote]

Dan .... Dubai is NOT in India. It is in the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East !!!!

I also think the Strada is the way to go, but if not available you can easily build a stabiliser rig to do the shot off a construction crane. If you feel like flying me out from Bombay I could do it :lol:

It involves building a 4 pronged trapeze and running 5 cables to the remote head. I would be really concerned about the head control cable and how you plan to reel it in as the cables get wound in.

I've done this shot with the rollovision wireless head.

Regards
Sanjay Sami

P.S. You can get a Strada in India - www.thegripworks.com
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#10 michael a brierley

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 03:26 AM

Thanks everyone for all for the insight. We are going to shoot a test next week with the Flight Head and a construction crane- I'll aim my grips at this thread.
As I said, we do not have a Strata crane here in Dubai, and sorry Sanjay, although I would love to, flying one out from India isn't really an option (I reckon those crane weights weigh a ton!) Nice site: www.thegripworks.com, and right on our doorstep. Will certainly bear you guys in mind for any future projects.
Best,

Michael B
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#11 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 12:16 PM

To Sanjay & michael:
Oh my goodness! I am sorry!! Honestly, I really did know that, but somehow wasn't thinking at that moment. Many apologies to all regarding my geographical blunder :)
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#12 chris bangma

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 04:37 PM

Shots like this have been done many times with the Libra, and is quite easy to do. The head can be suspended off of a cable from the crane, and then pulled up for the shot. The easiest way to do this is with some steel cable, a few pulleys, and a car or truck to act as your winch. You attach the head to two 2 meter pieces of speedrail, then place the batteries at the ends of the speedrail. This should be a fast and easy way to get the shot.
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#13 Steve McBride

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 08:56 PM

It seems like you have the budget to do what people have suggested. If you can't get the 100' crane, stabalizing a construction crane would probably be best.

Or just do something in post with an animation.

http://www.videocopi...als/earth_zoom/
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#14 michael a brierley

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 07:21 AM

Tested the crane today. Put a 435 with a 15.5: 40 mm zoom lens onto a construction crane (forget the exact size- but the grips told me the camera was over 100' up at top height) We used the Flight Head which stabilized the camera very nicely and up it it went, nice and smooth. It's going to be a great shot, we recorded it on Mini DV to show the director and producer- now to run some film through the camera.
Michael B

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#15 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:43 AM

seems nice, michael.
Could you post any pics/closeups of the actual camera mount in the speed rail box truss? I'd also like to see a little higher in the first pic, where the speed rail leads to at the top.

:)
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#16 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:58 PM

Well done,
Looks like your Grips cracked the problem. I spoke to Anthony from Filmequip who phoned me a few days ago. Have got to send him a few pics, but am away right now, will get it to him in a day or two.

Regards

Sanjay Sami
www.thegripworks.com
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#17 michael a brierley

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 04:14 PM

Sorry Daniel, no wider shots - Andy Gribble the Key Grip took the pics and he didn't zoom back enough to see that the ally pipe was actually strapped to the crane hooks (there are two of them, crane hooks @ some ungodly weight to stabilize the cable in case of excess wind). Anyway, the movement works really well and the crane operator can boom it up as fast as we need to. Its going to be a great shot thanks to grips Andy and Tigger.

Best,
Michael B
www.cityoflifemovie.com
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#18 michael a brierley

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 04:47 PM

seems nice, michael.
Could you post any pics/closeups of the actual camera mount in the speed rail box truss? I'd also like to see a little higher in the first pic, where the speed rail leads to at the top.

:)

Hi Daniel,
Hope this reads okay, zoomed into one of the pics Andy shot, not good at downsizing images!
Michael

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