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Brad Grimmett

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Everything posted by Brad Grimmett

  1. I'm jumping into this super late, but I just wanted to comment on the conversation involving handles. I, like Nico, prefer to hold on to the mattebox. I never use handles. I find holding the mattebox makes me feel much more connected to the camera. It's more responsive and easier to control that way. Of course, having the camera in good balance is a must. I will often have the assistants add a second onboard battery in order to add weight to the back of the camera. A light weight camera is great, but a well balanced camera is much more important, even if it adds weight. Also, good kneepads are an absolute must! There have been so many situations where I need to get lower and I can just drop to my knee, or knees, at full speed. Without kneepads, that's not happening. There was even a shot a couple years ago where I went from running full speed to dropping to my knees and sliding into an over. My kneepads are probably the most important piece of gear I have for handheld.
  2. Please change your user name to your real first and last name. It's a rule on the forum.
  3. It balances fine with the deck on the back, which is the only way I've ever done handheld with it. I'm sure you can figure out something without the deck, but I've never done it that way. I personally don't like handlebars or any of that gack. I generally just hang onto the mattebox and rods with most cameras.
  4. I'll add that ALL steadicam operators will feel the same way.
  5. The Glidecam, or any Steadicam, is not a good idea for car interiors.
  6. Oh jeez. Be careful! He might take that seriously and actually quote 75 pounds.
  7. Nicely done Greg. It's interesting to see Bay's operating compared to the other operators. I think I spotted Mike Watson banging a slate at one point. Do my eyes deceive me?
  8. I'm not an assistant, never have been, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I think one of the most important things a 2nd AC can do is 'go with the flow'. If your 1st likes something done in a non-standard way and there is no harm in it, then do it. If an operator or DP has little quirks with how they do things, just roll with it. Of course, if someone is doing something that puts you in harms way or is dangerous to someone else then you should speak up, but in general that won't be the case. The best thing a 2nd can do is fit in and make everyone else's jobs a little easier. There are very few times a 2nd really needs to take a stand about anything. Learn as much as you can from the people you work with and use common sense and you should be fine.
  9. If you're looking for the standard joke-a-minute bad television, then Louie isn't for you. It's VERY different and original, and certainly not for everyone. There are very few jokes in the show, with the exception of the standup scenes, and I'd hesitate to actually call the show a comedy, especially this season. It's so original that it's hard to label, and I think that's a great thing. It's about life. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's sad, and sometimes it's very contemplative and quiet. It's very artful in my opinion. It's kind of ironic that it's gotten so much press and praise this season since this is clearly the most esoteric season. The first two seasons were much more commercial and comical. The cinematography is very loose and fits the content of the show very nicely. Side note: Louie was tweeting and asking people where to find a specific Ultra Prime earlier this year, which I found very DIY and funny. Just tell your producer to find it! I agree with you James that Archer is funny. Fart jokes, binge drinking, and sexual harassment can be hilarious, but to compare it to Louie is pointless, that would be like comparing Transformers to There Will Be Blood.
  10. The One is much better for handheld. I've done the same thing with the Epic regarding adding weight. The Epic menu is better, but if you're operating off of the eyepiece it's a total pain to go into the menus because you have to disconnect the eyepiece and connect the touchscreen monitor to make any changes, and the touchscreen doesn't always work very well. Forget the Redmote. It's a piece of junk.
  11. Nice to read such great info from Neal and Charles. I was learning to operate a gear head about ten years ago, and ever since then it's become harder and harder to convince production to let me have one. They are definitely more fun, and it's still a much needed skill as more and more remote heads show up on sets.
  12. Haha! Phil, you crack me up. Victor, you should try to talk to some other steadicam operators in your area and see what they are charging so you can have some base of knowledge. Ideally, you'd know rates based on experience, but since you don't you should try to gather as much information as you can about the project and the going rates in your area before agreeing to anything. Check out the Steadicam forum and try to find some helpful info there.
  13. I have to disagree with this. As an operator I think of myself as having two direct bosses, the director and the DP. Sure, on some projects the director doesn't give much input to the operators, but on most projects they give plenty of input directly to operators. It really depends on the director and how visual they are and how specific they are about composition, lens size and camera movement. I worked on two projects (one feature, one pilot) in the last year where the director and I talked about shots much more than the DP and I did. Every project is different.
  14. We just had one on a movie I just finished and we used it a lot. We had the 45-250. What a horrible range! 45mm just isn't wide enough for a zoom in my opinion unless it's something like a 45-90 that's a compact zoom. It's a big lens, so it should be wider than 45mm on the wide end. Other than that it's a nice lens. It seemed brand new so we may have been the first to use that particular lens.
  15. The TV Logic is the new standard it seems. I just finished a film where we had two and now I'm on another movie with two of them. The assistants seem to like them.
  16. We did a straight down shot from about 110ft. We just tilted the bucket a bit to clear the rail, which was a pretty easy solution.
  17. That's a bit like saying that apples will be obsolete once someone discovers a way to exactly replicate the apple taste in an orange.
  18. On a feature in North Carolina a couple weeks ago I did two different shots from a 135 ft. condor. One shot was at full stick and the other was at about 110 feet. That condor was rated two ways-500lbs and 1000lbs. At 500lbs it will do pretty much anything you want. We were under 500lbs, so we were pretty much unrestricted. If you go over 500lbs you won't be able to arm out or move the bucket much and you probably won't be able to get anywhere near 135ft up. I went up with a grip who drove the condor. I suggest you do the same since it's likely that you have a lot less experience driving a condor than a grip or electic. I highly doubt you'll need your 1st in the bucket with you to pull focus from that height. With two people and a camera you'll be under 500lbs unless one of you is particularly heavy. Safety: Make sure you have a fall harness, not just a safety harness. There is a big difference. The majority of the time the condor will come with two fall harnesses. The grips will be able to safety the sticks and camera very easily-most likely with ratchet straps. The shots I did were very easy. We had good grips and I felt very safe. We even did a couple shots while going up and down on the arm. Condors are very smooth for the most part, just not when they're starting or stopping. They are also very stable even at over 100ft, even with a little wind. I may think of some other things for you to consider, but that's a good start. Good luck! It's fun up there.
  19. If I had to guess I'd say that I've worked with about 60 female camera assistants, 1 of which I knew was gay, and about 40 of which I knew were straight. As unlikely as you may find it, this is a much more common scenario than yours.
  20. Just because a student says his teacher isn't good, doesn't make it true.
  21. About 10 or 12 years ago when I was working in FL, a DP from LA was shooting a commercial in Orlando, and when he interviewed loaders he asked a loader friend of mine if she had ever flashed a mag. She said she hadn't. He told her he couldn't hire her and would never hire a loader who had never flashed a mag since it's something that will happen to every loader but will only happen once, and he didn't want it to happen on his job. At the time I thought the guy was a jerk since my friend had loaded on hundreds of commercials and was a consummate pro, but it really does make sense. It's not something that happens twice, but it definitely happens. Whether it happens to everyone is debatable of course, but mistakes are made all the time in every position. It always seemed weird to me that so many entry level positions are in charge of so many things that can ruin a job. A loader loads and unloads all the film and then a PA takes it all to the lab every day. Reminds me of "Hijacking Hollywood".
  22. I've shot with Arri 3's, SR1's, and even a CP16 that used this method. In most cases the actual eyepiece wasn't actually removed though. There was a little camera that was similar to a lipstick camera or small security camera attached to the eyepiece. It sticks out of the eyepiece about 3 or 4 inches. The image from these cameras was terrible and dark. I even used one that was meant for 16mm, but the camera had been converted to S16mm, so I couldn't see some of the image on the right side of the frame. It wasn't ideal, but a lot of fantastic work was done with this type of equipment. Garrett Brown's original steadicam used a fiberoptic cable that ran directly to one of his eyes. He used that system when he shot the original steadicam demo, and probably some commercial work, but I'm not sure exactly what. Here's an article and a couple photos from those days: http://www.icgmagazine.com/wordpress/2008/07/18/stead-as-she-goes/ It's hard to find photos of the setup I described, but there are some out there somewhere. Hopefully you get the idea.
  23. Not trying to be disagreeable Phil, but... I've worked on films (shooting 35mm film) where the cameras were literally free. Accessories weren't, and lenses weren't in some cases, but the actual camera bodies were. When you consider what Alexas or Epics or even Reds are renting for, this is a significant savings. Probably somewhere between $2000 and $5000 a week minimum for a two camera show. That's a very rough estimate I know, but even $2000/week adds up fast. One of these films was 2 perf and while I don't know the exact budget comparisons the producers did, I do know that being able to shoot 2 perf and get the cameras for free was the exact incentive the producers needed to be convinced to shoot film instead of digital. That's a pretty great option in my opinion! BTW, one of the shows with the free cameras carried 5 camera bodies (four 3 perf and one 4 perf). The other two free camera shows both carried two bodies. There are rental houses willing to make these deals on film cameras, and people should be aware of that. Rental houses want to keep their film cameras working. Of course, this is in Los Angeles, and it's certainly different in different markets and parts of the world.
  24. My experience is the same as Greg's. Whether I get a prep day or not, I generally go in for a couple hours with my rig and build everything and make sure all is well and working. Especially with cameras like the Red, there are different configurations, so it's nice to work with the 1st and figure out the config that will work best for both of us. It's also a good time to calibrate the lenses into my Preston if they're not already in there. Some conventional operators like their ground glass marked a certain way, or other little things, so they'll stop in and say hello and work that stuff out. Other than that there isn't much for an operator to do. But if they want to give you a prep day, take it! It can't hurt.
  25. I've spoken to a couple people that worked on Spiderman and none of them were raving about the camera, at least not to me. They had dozens of bodies and they were constantly (on a daily basis) having to have new firmware written in order to make them work the way they wanted. Some had firmware X and some had Y and some had Z, and on and on, and it was a royal pain for the camera dept. Of course, I wasn't there. I'm just repeating what I was told. I've only used the Epic once and that was just for tests for a TV show (which is now shooting Epic). At the time you couldn't have a monitor and the eyepiece at the same time...not a good first impression for me, and in my opinion that alone was proof that they shouldn't have released the camera yet. There were other issues as well of course, like lenses not covering 5k. But what do I know...I just pan and tilt. I've used the Red and the Red MX hundreds of times, and it's a perfectly fine camera now. I'm sure the same will be true about the Epic, or maybe it already is, I don't know. I've never understood or cared for the over hyped marketing that's always come out of Red. It's very annoying. Who here has EVER heard any DP say, "No, really... this is the best footage I have ever seen from any camera. Ever." And to hear them say it about their own work? Seems hard to believe. OK, I'll step down off my soapbox now.
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