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Patrick Lavalley

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About Patrick Lavalley

  • Birthday 02/04/1987

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  • Occupation
    2nd Assistant Camera
  • Location
    Portland, Oregon

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  1. Ill be flying to the east coast later this month to prep and shoot a show out of NY. I am wondering what the best method of getting my kit across the country will be. Everything is pretty contained and in pelican cases, but there is quite a bit of stuff Ill want to bring. Has anyone had their kit shipped directly to a rental house? I would love to do this so I can avoid having to haul my gear from the airport. I doubt Ill try to bring my carts- I think it will be too much hassle. Any input would be appreciated.
  2. Practically speaking, after playing around with a friends PD-E, I think it's got better range/response time. I still like my PD-42 though.
  3. I'll also note that a combination run/stop + power cable for your MDR is really nice to have since it keeps things uncluttered. I think this is only possible with MDR3's and the new MDR4's. I think media blackout might make a similar option for the MDR2 that powers the MDR off of a single 3 pin port, but has a sort of Y split at the other end for R/S and Power.
  4. On the last show I did, we had a simple report form with the following info tracked for every shot/take Scene Take Clip # Lens Filter Special remarks At the top, for every report, we would also note the ASA and color temp, and make not of any mid-roll changes to these settings in "remarks". Since our show used several different lenses, it was important to note the lens series being used - we had ultraprimes, optimo zooms, and a lens baby kit. When we were on a zoom, I would do my best to track the focal length and lens being used for that particular take. If it was an inconsistent range, I would often write "VAR" which stood for "various". It's best to try and be as accurate as possible, and we often would refer back to the notes when matching shots on second unit or for inserts. It can be hard at times, especially in the rain, but once you develop good habits it gets easier. Easier still if you've got a stellar script supervisor. One of the hardest parts for me was not being able to see the camera or monitors between every take, and I had a 1st that would often roll too early, and then cut, adding extra clips to the card that I had a hard time accounting for.
  5. I went to a pelican case two seasons ago. It's been great. I find that if you're using clip-on 4x5 matte boxes and filters, you can get away with it. However, I find it too small when dealing with 6x6 filters and studio matte boxes/hard mattes/eyebrows. Also, it doesn't offer much room for expansion, say for instance if you need to remove an onboard monitor and stash it. I carried the following in my 1510/trekpack for 2 seasons of a show. Can of air 4x5 ND .3, .6, .9, 1.2, 1.5, 1.8 4x5 rotating polarizer tray 4x5 flat (1) Dionic HCX Small pelican with SxS cards Heden Motor, microforce, cable Pancro Alexa Mini EVF LMB-25 eyebrow and hard mattes Camera reports (in lid) Spare slate pen, eyepiece chamois, crescent wrench, stubby screwdriver (in lid) I had enough room leftover to be able to keep the Denecke timecode slate in the lid as well. It was great having a waterproof case that I could sit on, set the camera on, etc. I also put velcro on the outside for my tape mark board.
  6. Check out some of the military equipment companies for good low profile padded gun belts. First Spear and HSGI are two excellent manufacturers http://www.highspeedgear.com/hsgi/slim-slotted-33SPB.html http://www.first-spear.com/product.php?productid=17888&cat=284&page=1 As for the belt pouch, I've been using a lindcraft small AC pouch for a long time. Recently, I began to use a chest-mounted pack from Hill People Gear. I work in the rain a lot, and the chest pouch is much easier to wear under or over rain gear- I usually wear it under to keep all my stuff dry. http://hillpeoplegear.com/Products/tabid/762/CategoryID/1/ProductID/5/Default.aspx
  7. Just finished up a months-long series with an Alexa Mini as our handheld camera. We used a wooden D-Box for power distro and it worked great. Make sure you don't overload the ports, and keep a few spare fuses handy.
  8. I started out using a Husky open top tool tote from home depot http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-17-in-Open-Tool-Tote-with-Rotating-Handle-GP-44118AN13/204703616 It served me well for awhile, but eventually I wanted something more rugged and weatherproof, at which point I upgraded to a Modular 51 small set bag. It allowed me to carry most of what I needed, and served me well for a long time. It's held up to a ton of abuse, and holds the basics. It appears as though Modular 51 is out of business, however similar bags can be purchased from fikenca.com Eventually, I found myself on a show that put us in the rain and mud a lot, so I opted to go full on with a Pelican 1510 case with trekpak dividers. This is my current setup and I like it, however it doesn't offer much room for expansion. It does, however, keep everything nice and dry and protected.
  9. Using another piece of velcro or cloth tape to pull up the leftover adhesive works well too when removing the velcro- it will remove the bulk of the gooey stuff and make cleanup easier (fewer chemicals). This technique also works well for getting the velcro goo off of scissors. I use a hair dryer to head up velcro before applying. Also, it helps to round sharp corners so they don't snag and start to pull off.
  10. Wooden Camera also has a really good looking power plate: http://woodencamera.com/D-Box-Alexa-Mini-Gold-Mount.html
  11. I carry a Leatherman Pocket Clip (out of production) but it's mostly for the pliers, My other favorite multi tool is the leatherman wave. My experience with multitools has been that they are a compromise on most things, and therefore, I tend to carry the right tools in my set bag. I carry a stubby flat blade for tie-down screws, a double ended flat/phillips jewelers screwdriver, a 6" crescent wrench, 3mm allen driver for Alexa jobs, and usually a set of allen wrenches in metric and standard, though not always. It's a fine line between being prepared for every possible contingency and therefore being overloaded, and being prepared for the most often encountered scenarios. The more you carry, the slower and more weighed down you are, and the more toll it takes on your body. Also, different 1st AC's will want you to carry different things (if you're a 2nd) and different jobs will require more or less of you. Experience will hone your kit. It should be noted that I am talking about what I carry on my person/in my set bag. I have a more extensive kit on the camera cart and on the camera truck for bigger and more involved needs.
  12. Thank you David! That's really interesting, particularly the power distro modules. A question for you too- are you a fan of the internal ND's?
  13. In my experience this is particularly important with big heavy zooms like the Optimo 24-290. When we're pushing carts a long way, or over bumpy terrain I always remove the lens. I figure it can't hurt, and eliminates the chances of extra damage should a cart tip, which I have seen happen. I also have a theory that it's just more gentle on the mount and everything else. While there may be valid points against it, and certain circumstances that warrant otherwise, in my opinion it doesn't take much effort and makes you look like a pro.
  14. Great suggestion, and one we've been discussing. We've actually got a talented machinist up here in Portland (http://www.pocketgrip.com) that could do the work, I'll just need to do a little brainstorming. This is one of those instances where a purpose-made item will be much nicer than a bolted together unit from various brackets. I'll be working with our steadicam operator on the design most likely. It's got to be somewhat light, as well as have very little play. The other option is to just draw index marks on the rods and physically remove the plate each time, but that prospect seems pretty cumbersome, and if it isn't put back exactly in the right place it could affect the balance of the rig.
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