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I'm Key Gripping a feature in the coming weeks and we will be needing to make a few fly swatters. I was wondering if anyone out there has any tips or suggestions to watch out for? I haven't personally made one myself but I have seen them made many times and have done a lot of condor/ scissor lift rigging for smaller rags and lights and such.

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here's one i did for a show a while ago . we used a manitou or telescopic forklift , they can handle alot of weight , so wind is not an issue ,you can also tilt the forks up and down quite alot . the only draw back is that they cannot pan . I used a piece of truss on the basket and a diagonal support to the front of the frame to stop it from bending in the wind . IMG_2275.jpg

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here's one i did for a show a while ago . we used a manitou or telescopic forklift , they can handle alot of weight , so wind is not an issue ,you can also tilt the forks up and down quite alot . the only draw back is that they cannot pan . I used a piece of truss on the basket and a diagonal support to the front of the frame to stop it from bending in the wind . IMG_2275.jpg

by the way this is what we call a fly swatter , is this what you had in mind?
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Yup that's exactly what I had in mind! How big of a frame is that? 20x? Do you pretty much just have a bunch of chain vise grips to attach the rail to the basket and then a bunch of cheseboros for all the supports?

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Yup that's exactly what I had in mind! How big of a frame is that? 20x? Do you pretty much just have a bunch of chain vise grips to attach the rail to the basket and then a bunch of cheseboros for all the supports?

 

Working in the film business involves many potentially deadly situations. Rigging a 20 foot square sail surrounded by metal pipes directly over talent and crew is one of them.

 

I hate to be a downer, but if you haven't been properly trained you should NOT attempt this rig. CSATF has courses to teach grips how to safely create fly swatters. If you haven't done your safety courses you have no business driving or rigging a condor. Better yet, find a grip with real experience and bring him/her on for the days you expect to do this rig.

 

A simple oversight could lead to the death of your crewmates - this is not something to learn on the job.

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I have to agree with Matthew, If you have not been trained you probably should not try and build one. when we put a 20x on a condor we are pushing the limits of what they are designed to handle. The CSATF class cover a lot of what we can and can't do with condors, and more importantly covers which condors we can and can't use. The best advice I can give you is to hire a Best Boy who has taken the proper training and ask him to build them for you or have a grip who has been trained come out and build them the days when you need them. I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but its better to be safe then risk killing or harming someone.

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You guys are both completely right, the safety course sounds like a great idea. I just talked with production about sending my best boy to it (unfortunately I will be on a tech scout the day it's offered)

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Josh, I have to agree with Michael and Matthew about whether or not you are qualified to rig something of this nature . If you are not , take the time to do the course and get the appropriate accreditation and Knowledge that is required for such things . Sorry if I sounded irresponsible in offering advice on rigs of this nature .

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I recently did a shot where we had a comparatively tiny 8x8 quarter grid on the edge of a roof, which, with people walking around in the street eight storeys below, scared the hell out of me. The thought of the diffusion and two sturdy C-stands going over the edge was horrifying, and I had people assigned to stand on the, er, stands and hang onto the thing.

 

This, on the other hand...

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  • 2 weeks later...

here's one i did for a show a while ago . we used a manitou or telescopic forklift , they can handle alot of weight , so wind is not an issue ,you can also tilt the forks up and down quite alot . the only draw back is that they cannot pan . I used a piece of truss on the basket and a diagonal support to the front of the frame to stop it from bending in the wind . IMG_2275.jpg

 

is this Local SoCal dunes? Just curious

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is this Local SoCal dunes? Just curious

No not quite , It was just outside of a small town called Swakopmund in Namibia , on the west coast of Southern Africa . I'm in Cape Town and we do a lot of jobs out this way . This was on the set of 'The Prisoner "

these are some of the largest dunes anywhere , here they are again on 'Flight of the Phoenix"/Users/robfischer/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Originals/2003/lone wolf rigs/DSC00432.jpg

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I agree with the comments about not doing this unless you have done it and been trained by someone else. But while the recommendations to take the CSATF are well intended, that only works if you live in Los Angeles and are in the union. As far as i know, non union crew cannot take those classes. This forum has world wide members and contributors. There are plenty of people outside of LA and outside the US, who do have the experience to do such rigs safely everyday.

 

best

 

Tim

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My advice to you would be to step down as a Key and spend more time learning the job of a Grip. This is one of the most basic rigs in Gripping. It is taught at IATSE saftey classes. People can get killed by doing this wrong. If you are not willing to sacrifice your ego here for the sake of your crew and the actor's then consider hiring a rigging key or someone else who knows what they are doing.

 

If you decide to ignore this and try it on your own, please warn the rest of the crew. Please don't gamble with their lives.

 

My two cents...

Edited by John David Miller
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