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Myths, Rumors, Urband Legends


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#1 Charles Haine

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 04:07 PM

For years now, I've heard (and, occaisionlly, told myself) a few cinematography urban legends, so I figured that I would throw them out there and see if anybody could confirm or deny them, or had any good ones of their own.

1. A panavision camera was dumped from a submersible while making TITANIC, and was picked up by a diver, making it the only Panavsision on earth not owned by Panavision, since they had claimed the insurance and thus it was under salvage rights.
-if this one is true, it's only half-true, since the camera's used on the submersibles where Panavised 2-perf IICs, and thus aren't really "Panavision" camera's the way a Golden is. I also once talked to someone at Panavision who said they had two of them in a closet (I was trying to get them for a short I was doing), which would imply that Panavision converted three camera's for TITANIC, which seems excessive.

2. That Gordon Willis's AC, Gary Mohler (whom i've imbded, never found anyone with that name) could split his eyes so that one eye looked at the focus ring, one at the actor.
- how would he have depth perception with only one eye on the actors? still, maybe he used a lot of marks, and was checking with one eye how far they were off?

though I'm guessing they are false, just figured I would see if anybody else had ever heard similar stories, or heard good urban legends of their own.

Even if they aren't true, it's fun to tell them to PAs during lunch.

chuck
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#2 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 05:02 PM

My left eye is tungsten balanced and my right is daylight :D
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#3 Matt Pacini

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 06:23 PM

A friend of a friend (you can see how this one is going!) supposedly worked at Panavision, and lifted spare parts from repairs until he had enough to assemble one at home.

I'll believe it when I see it!
Can you imagine how paranoid you would be using that camera if it was yours?
Or trying to explain why you couldn't send it in for service if it broke on a shoot?

Anyone establish whether it was an urban legend about the camera dropping into a vat of chocolate on the Willy Wonka film?


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#4 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 06:33 PM

The chocolate incident was true; I saw the camera when I was at Panavision just after it happened.

I highly doubt that your friend would be able to do what he says. They don't even have parts like that around. There are no empty shell GII bodies (or whatever body he chooses) readily available. The manufacturing area is where a lot of parts are, but that area is off limits, and the whole building is under heavy surveillance.

Plus, what would he do for lenses?

So your notion that it is myth is most likely true.



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#5 Rik Andino

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 09:10 PM

Can you imagine how paranoid you would be using that camera if it was yours?
Or trying to explain why you couldn't send it in for service if it broke on a shoot?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Well if he could make a camera or at least assemble it
I'm sure he can fix it...can't he?

And I'm sure he'd worked on shoots where no-one would ask about the camera...
So he wouldn't have any problems with paranoia

But the only problem is that the feats almost impossible to accomplish...


Consequently
Did anyone here the one of the DP who could control the clouds and the sun...
Apparently he was a devout religious freak
Who had a very close connection with his God or gods. :)
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#6 J. Lamar King

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 08:40 PM

The chocolate incident was true; I saw the camera when I was at Panavision just after it happened.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I read in an article that a lens was ruined in that incident and it cost $500,000. I was thinking maybe it meant to say $50,000. Or the total of everything lost was $500,000. How much is one of those PV lenses worth anyway?
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#7 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 12:29 AM

I've heard that George Lucas once stole a Panavision Gate. The story goes that he asked the camera assistant to take it out so he could examine it, and he never gave it back!

Of course this could be a variant on the old joke:
Judge to police officer: "You saw the man in the act of stealing a gate, why didn't you stop him?"

Cop: "Well, we was afraid he might take offence" ("a fence" geddit? Oh never mind... :P
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#8 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 02:30 AM

The check's in the mail.
We can fix it in post.
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#9 Max Jacoby

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 03:10 AM

I read in an article that a lens was ruined in that incident and it cost $500,000.  I was thinking maybe it meant to say $50,000.  Or the total of everything lost was $500,000.  How much is one of those PV lenses worth anyway?

The latest 35mm cameras with a lens and all sorts of accessories are easily $500.000
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#10 Stephen Williams

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 04:17 AM

2.  That Gordon Willis's AC, Gary Mohler (whom i've imbded, never found anyone with that name) could split his eyes so that one eye looked at the focus ring, one at the actor.
- how would he have depth perception with only one eye on the actors?  still, maybe he used a lot of marks, and was checking with one eye how far they were off?

chuck

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I can believe that.
I don't have binocular vision. Its very useful looking through the camera and being able to see what the gaffer is doing! One learns to judge distance by slight focus changes in the eye!

Stephen
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#11 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 08:26 AM

The chocolate story is true - I visited the set at Pinewood just weeks after it had happened and everyone talked about it.

As for the Panavision camera salvaged - well, I remember a classified ad in AC, no less, where a Panavision camera was sold - claimed to be a insurance write-off. But this was years before Titanic was made, so the basis of the story could very well be true.
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#12 Thomas Cousin

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 08:42 AM

"2. That Gordon Willis's AC, Gary Mohler (whom i've imbded, never found anyone with that name) could split his eyes so that one eye looked at the focus ring, one at the actor."



i don't know of course anything about this story, and so don't know if it's true or not.
But only the thought of a camera assistant by the camera with his eyes completely going ways appart is making me laugh a lot. i try to figure it out and the vision is so funny !
plus, maybe it's useful for the focus puller, but what about the talents trying to concentrate in front of a man making strange things with his eyes !! :unsure: :D

anyway, i LOVE urban legends !

bye

thomas

Edited by Thomas Cousin, 04 June 2005 - 08:46 AM.

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#13 Sam Wells

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 09:25 AM

The chocolate incident was true; I saw the camera when I was at Panavision just after it happened.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Saw it ? Hey I took a bite out of it ! ba bump !

well you said you wanted myth.....

There used to be stories like the home-built Panaflex about auto workers, you know, you'd hear about some guy who worked for GM, he smuggled enough parts out the plant to build a Corvette in his garage....

-Sam
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#14 Charles Haine

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 11:50 AM

I don't know why all these myths seem to be Panavision based, but here is another that I've heard about three different DPs:

John Smith, ASC, was such a notorious functional drunk on set that Panavision built him the special Pana-Bar, a tripod mounted mini-bar (presumably between the head and the ACs box), awarded to him by his loving crew, who could only stand to work with him when he'd had a few.

Anybody heard that one? Anybody seen a Panbar?

chuck
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#15 Gareth Munden

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 12:32 PM

[quote name='Kevin_Zanit' date='Jun 2 2005, 03:33 PM']
The chocolate incident was true; I saw the camera when I was at Panavision just after it happened.



It is true , I was there !!!. It was on a wire and ....... well you can guess the rest .
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#16 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 03:28 PM

Anybody heard that one?  Anybody seen a Panbar?

chuck

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I don't know about Panavision making one, but I've seen plenty of dolly mounted cupholders. I doubt anyone would make something designed for a bottle of liquor that mounted by the camera. I think insurance companies and producers might have a bit of a problem with that.
And I don't think it's very cool to spread rumors on the internet that someone may have had a drinking problem, especially if it's hearsay.

Edited by grimmett, 04 June 2005 - 03:30 PM.

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#17 Charles Haine

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 07:20 PM

And I don't think it's very cool to spread rumors on the internet that someone may have had a drinking problem, especially if it's hearsay.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hence "John Smith, ASC," which I intended to be anonymous. Is there actually a John Smith in the ASC? If so, I sincerely apologize, I did not realize.
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#18 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 05:03 PM

Hence "John Smith, ASC,"  which I intended to be anonymous.  Is there actually a John Smith in the ASC?  If so, I sincerely apologize, I did not realize.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I guess you're one step ahead of me. I didn't realize that it was a fake name, I didn't even think about it to be honest. My bad.
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#19 Matt Pacini

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 05:33 PM

I wonder what sort of extra charge there is for sending back a Panavision camera coated with chocolate?

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