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OUCH!!! Broken lens on ARRI M18


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#1 Lucas Griego

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 01:33 AM

OUCH!!!

I'm the gaffer on a very small crew of a small budget feature film being shot here in Hong Kong. As such, I have to wear a lot of hats and have a motley crew of 4 grips with almost no experience... everything from never having set up a C-stand to not knowing how to roll up stingers. But whatever, the show must go on... it means I have to bust ass all the more on set/location.

So today I get a call from the rental house saying that the ARRI M18 light was returned last night turned up with a cracked safety lens and some damage to the housing. Groan....

I pride myself on returning rented items in the same condition I got them... and I always treat my gear with respect and I try to instill that same type of craftsmanship in the guys working for me. But unfortunately on this production since most don't have any experience there is a larger margin for errors. Well it finally caught up with me today. I suspect that the lens cracked either when someone was taking lights off stands and they set the lamp down on the barn doors instead of the built in feet... or they packed it up in the truck wrong - most likely lens side down in the cart... on top of the grip box. :(

I called ARRI directly to see about a replacement part so I'm waiting to hear from them. She said they don't keep replacement parts here in Hong Kong and it'd have to come most likely from Germany. Which creates a further problem as its a popular item at the rental house and if its broken it cant be rented which means his business gets hurt. At the same time it's probably too small cost wise to be covered with the production insurance. But I'm not entirely sure.

ok... so here's a list of questions no particular order:

1) I'm guessing the glass is a high temp glass and not just random regular pane glass. Anyone?

2) Are these types of issues covered on production insurance policies? Wouldn't the deductible on an insurance policy be way to high to make sense trying to cover it as such anyhow?

3) Anyone ever had something like this replaced by ARRI. I'm assuming they are very switched on and have a good system in place for dealing with what is a minor issue for them MAJOR issue for me.


Anyhow... at the end of the day I'm ultimately responsible for the lighting gear... of course... the one single time I didn't actually pack the lights into the truck myself, live and in person... this happens. I should have known. :(
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#2 aapo lettinen

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 06:28 AM

1) I'm guessing the glass is a high temp glass and not just random regular pane glass. Anyone?

manual says TWO L4.37623.E uv-protection lenses per fixture

"Note: Both the M18 and AS18 Fixtures require 2 L4.37623.E UV Protection Glass; confirm quantity needed when order is placed."


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#3 aapo lettinen

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 06:35 AM

http://www.arri.com/...m18.html#_blank

( @ download section )
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#4 Lucas Griego

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:40 AM

Thanks for the replies so far. Yep got on the phone with the local ARRI agent here in town... and unlike most of the agents in HK for such items... they were prompt and courteous. Mind = blown. I now have a bit of faith in humanity. The tech told me it's relatively easy to remount the replacement lens. He's going to check on the time to ship it from Germany. So I'll get that sorted and then head down to the rental house and fix it. Their in-house tech could do it I'm sure but I really want to keep a good relationship with them. It's so irritating that the one single time I don't personally pack out the lights and... BOOM! the broken lens happens on my watch. ugh.

Will post up the outcome and costs.
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#5 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 08:07 PM

It is a UV blocking safety glass. I would get in contact with other dealers, perhaps Barbizon in Australia to see if they can't do something for you. Should only be looking at arround US$70 for the glass.
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#6 Lucas Griego

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 06:53 AM

Hi Matt, Thanks for the heads up on that. I just got the quotation back from the ARRI agent here in Hong Kong. They quoted it out at:

€128. Euros
(= 158.563 USD/1,229.62 HKD)

So yeah more than I really want to pay if I can find it cheaper and Australia would be closer to ship from than Germany. Still waiting to hear back if they have it in stock here in HK or I've got then pay additionally for shipping to HK from Germany.

Will give Barbizon Aus. a Google and see if I can come up with something. I'll post up what I find.
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#7 Phil Thompson

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 12:45 PM

You obviously didnt train the guys. its not their fault. It's yours.

either
a) use experienced crew
B) train inexperienced crew how to pack lights.



...seriously some people are just morons.
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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:13 PM

Anyhow... at the end of the day I'm ultimately responsible for the lighting gear... of course... the one single time I didn't actually pack the lights into the truck myself, live and in person... this happens. I should have known. :(


Really impressed to see someone writing something like this! I've had discussions where it's been like "but it wasn't my fault", "but it was your responsibility" (repeat ad nauseum).

Great to see someone who understands the concept of responsibility and who is working hard to put things right.

love

Freya
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#9 Lucas Griego

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 09:17 AM

You obviously didnt train the guys. its not their fault. It's yours.

either
a) use experienced crew
B) train inexperienced crew how to pack lights.



...seriously some people are just morons.


Yeah unfortunately I've found this to be an all too common a problem on smaller feature films. Lack of budget means lack of properly trained grips - often it seems first time film makers consider grips little more than unskilled labor. Sad that. It means I have to wear more hats than one and sometimes things slip through the cracks... it's not only handling lights but bagging C-stands and all the other seemingly basic skills that you nee don set. In the end I didn't have to pay for it out of my own pocket for which I was thankful... but your point is taken and now on the next one I will do a complete as possible run through before the starting day about the bleedin' basics of handling lights.

The rental house got a quote from Jebsen which is a big distributor/agent of all types of equipment in HK. The finished price with shipping as well and the rental house tech doing the install (no charge there) was 225 Euros. Not cheap - but wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The prod. company will pay for the days the light was non rentable... so the end cost was obviously more than just the price to ship and replace the part. Of which my grips got an earful about.
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#10 timHealy

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:35 AM

Sometimes a cake is just a cake and sometimes lighting gear just breaks. Stop blaming yourself and unless you saw someone on your crew do something unprofessional, stop blaming them. Your crew won't work better for you if you don't have their backs.

There are so many ways that the gear breaks it becomes uncontrollable. Sometimes a good technician makes a mistake. Sometimes a part was installed incorrectly. Sometimes a part was made incorrectly, sometimes it's packed incorrectly, sometimes gear is dropped, sometimes it has been transported improperly, sometimes the truck carring the equipment hit a pothole in the road.

They way complicated lighting gear that has mechanical, optical, and electronics parts gets used and abused sometimes I'm amazed that the stuff works at all by the time it gets to your job.

Sometimes shite happens.

Best

Tim
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#11 Justin W. King

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:02 PM

You obviously didnt train the guys. its not their fault. It's yours.

either
a) use experienced crew
B) train inexperienced crew how to pack lights.



...seriously some people are just morons.


That's not right either. It's not their fault or his fault. Stuff happens. If a crew is not payed what they should be, you have a hard time getting skilled labor, you get what you pay for. The line producer took the risk of paying less to get inexperienced crew, and that accident (if it really was their fault) is part of the consequences of such decisions. Unless you checked in the equipment yourself, how do you know that it was broken if you didn't check your equipment in? Ultimately it is the producer's responsibility, they hired the crew, and they signed the rental agreement, they also have insurance. I hope you are not planning on buying a new part, because the shop deals with that stuff usually. They would charge it to missing and damaged, or do they not have that in Hong Kong? And then the production company would use their expensive insurance policy and pay for it.

If it broke, why didn't you just send it in to be repaired or replaced? It sounds to me like you made the entire situation awkward for you and your crew. I hate when stuff of mine gets broken too, but stuff will get broken under your watch for the rest of your life, no matter what the production's budget is. As long as everyone is safe, you should be happy and thankful. People matter more than lights.

Edited by Justin W. King, 18 September 2012 - 02:05 PM.

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