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Videographer Killed in Accident


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#1 Brian Rose

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 11:56 PM

A student cameraman died filming Notredame's football practice, when the hydraulic "cherrpicker" from which he was shooting toppled over. The article says there were wind gusts of 50 MPH. It's a tragedy, but I can't help thinking he or someone else should've exercised more caution give the conditions. I for one sure has hell wouldn't have positioned myself on an unsecured structure in such windy conditions! I suspect someone's gonna be held liable for this one...

Accident Claims Cameraman

Edited by Brian Rose, 27 October 2010 - 11:56 PM.

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#2 Deniz Coker

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 02:46 AM

Safety first indeed. Not sure if it was someone else's idea or his but if anyone wants to put me in a spot thats as unsafe as that, they can climb the cherry picker and shoot the damn footage themselves. Having said that, I think NYU here banned the use of cherry pickers or other similar "cheats" to getting aerial shots because of a similar incident. I'm going off memory here so I don't recall what the catalyst was. Very sad indeed. Couldn't they instead have positioned the camera in the seats? Total lack of judgment.
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#3 Andre Labous

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 08:51 AM

Here in Florida in 2002 we had a fellow cameraman killed in the same manner. He was shooting golf when they moved the cherry picker while still elevated and it fell over with the same result. It's a reminder that no shot is worth being unsafe. Recently I had a producer for a television doc ask me to shoot from the back of a pick up truck. When I refused they were shocked in that others routinely had done that for them. Safety must always be priority.
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#4 Tom Jensen

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:28 AM

Cherry pickers have instructions and you need to follow them. They are useful tools and if used properly, they are very effective. They have short wheel bases and are very dangerous so you have to take precautions. The sad part is that this kid saw his death coming and probably videotaped it. This was like a falling tree and he was at the top.
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#5 Tom Hepburn

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 12:29 PM

What a shame.

Here in Chicago (4 hours away from South Bend) it was so windy that it was literally stopping people in their tracks. They just gave up trying to move forward and instead chose to hold their ground. It was intermittent at times though. Probably seemed OK for a moment and he thought, it'll be OK.

Feel bad for his family too.
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#6 Brian Rose

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 01:21 PM

Turns out, the guy posted the following messages on twitter just before he was killed:

"Gusts of wind up to 60 mph. Well today will be fun at work. I guess I’ve lived long enough,"

Then a second one shortly before the tower went:

"Holy ---. Holy ---. This is terrifying."

It sound harsh, but this guy really should've known better. He paid a terrible price for not following his instincts, especially on something as trivial as a football practice. If I'm gonna risk life and limb on the job, it's gonna be for the sake of something a bit more significant!
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#7 Mike Lary

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 10:32 PM

It sound harsh, but this guy really should've known better. He paid a terrible price for not following his instincts, especially on something as trivial as a football practice.


But he was only 20 years old. At that age our brains are still developing. Risk-taking is natural behavior. It's the way we're wired. A 20 year old is much more likely to agree to do something risky if they're excited about the work. Knowing better doesn't always override passion and adrenalin. Older adults in supervisory positions should never ask young people to take risks like that. In this case the school and the faculty are ultimately responsible for negligence.
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#8 Tom Jensen

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 01:53 AM

If the guy had time to twit and it was windy before he went up there, you'd think he'd have enough sense to lower the lift at least a little.
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 04:09 PM

I'm sorry if this is insensitive, but, what an idiot! He was twittering up on the "cherrypicker" even! This almost doesn't even qualify as an accident, but a potential Darwin award. . .
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 05:19 PM

I suspect someone's gonna be held liable for this one...


That's a slam dunk. From the pictures, it wasn't a cherry picker, it looks more like a scissor lift. They're cheaper, but only suitable for absolutely level ground, which is why they seldom get used outdoors. They're mainly for changing light bulbs in warehouses.




-- J.S.
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#11 Brian Rose

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 03:24 PM

That's a slam dunk. From the pictures, it wasn't a cherry picker, it looks more like a scissor lift. They're cheaper, but only suitable for absolutely level ground, which is why they seldom get used outdoors. They're mainly for changing light bulbs in warehouses.
-- J.S.


Yes, scissorlift is a better term for it. They're pretty commonly used for football games. At my grad school, they'd film their practices in this manner, and practically stored it on the field they used it so much. Clearly it is not much good in anything other than ideal conditions.
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#12 Kate Wurzbacher

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 10:13 AM

Its really unfortunate, I used to film football and everyone uses those scissor lifts, regardless of weather. There's a really good article about the dangers of filming football and the sorts of things video coordinators get their students to do for good shots.
http://espn.go.com/n...5740321/up-wind
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#13 Tom Jensen

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 10:41 AM

That's a slam dunk. From the pictures, it wasn't a cherry picker, it looks more like a scissor lift. They're cheaper, but only suitable for absolutely level ground, which is why they seldom get used outdoors. They're mainly for changing light bulbs in warehouses.
-- J.S.

They have a very narrow wheel base for that reason. You have to be able to maneuver them through narrow aisles. They have hard wheels meant to be driven over a flat hard surface. They have to extend straight up as well for the same reasons. I haven't been in one for a while but I'm sure the instructions are written right on them.
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