The shot started looking down into the alley against the brick wall and then slid into an over the shoulder looking down. The fun part about this rig was the surprise, no one knew we would be doing this shot until it was up and then we threw it all together in just a few minutes.
Santa Monica Pier Rollercoaster
When I got the call for this, I pretty much said I would do the job for free. Growing up loving roller coasters this was a dream job for me. The hardest thing about this rig was that we had an extremely limited time to do it, as the production paid per hour for the coaster. Big props to Kelly Herrin for helping me nail the design during crunch time.
Underslung Hood Mount
This is from a Chevy spec spot where the a Camaro is the "bull" fighting with a traditional matador. This rig was for a shot from the car's point of view with the front of the hood in frame. The actual rig is a very traditional hood mount raised up high enough that the camera could be mounted by it's top rail to get the lens as close to the hood as possible.
Low Driver's Side Hostess Tray
From the same Chevy spec spot, this rig was used to get the wheel as it kicked up dirt doing donuts in the bull fighting ring. This shot never made the final cut as it was done well past sundown, and it's a good thing too. I was very rushed to get the rig on and get the shot and I didn't have the time I wanted to test it out. Looking at slow mo footage from a GoPro mounted to the rig, I could see it bouncing all over the place. It was pretty solid, but need a little more bracing and strapping. Live and learn.
High Rear Vespa Mount
This was for a Funny or Die spoof of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trailer. Pretty straight forward rig. All 5/8" thread together rail from Modern.
Passenger Side Hostess Tray
This rig was for a pilot, pretty straight forward suction cup and 5/8" setup.
Flashing Yellow Light Rig
This was a spur of the moment rig, but made very easy by a nice sturdy roof rack. Biggest problems with this rig was using the dish leveling head sandwhiched between two pieces of speedrail, the lock down lever kept hitting either the speedrail or the cheeseboro holding the cheeseplate. Shot looked great though, hopefully it will make the final cut.
Suction Cup Hoodmount
This is just about the most basic hood mount you can do. It's included here just for completeness.
Ducati Rear Rig
This was for a spec spot for a motorcycle customising shop. This rig was pretty darn solid. Using speedrail/baby body starters on the frame was the key. The big suction on the back of the bike was actually just used as a pad to take the weight of the rig, the real control was the two smaller suctions on either side.
Ducati Front Rig
This one wasn't as big of a success. While the rear rig worked wonders and didn't bounce very much/if at all, the front rig was very bouncy. I put part of that down to the fact that the front of a motorcycle absorbes most of the bumps on the road, but also my pick points weren't the best. This rig was a spur of the moment idea, so I did what I could with what I had. I detached the power for the headlight so it wouldn't heat up and interfere with the suction. All in all it was definitely a learning experience.
Service Van Side Mount
It's hard to get a better surface to mount to than a big broad flat side of a service van. This rig was partially my equipment and partially Gustavo Petersen's.
This mount was actually completely unexpected. It was a very low budget job that I had no clue was doing a hood mount. They had the big suction cup and were going to go with that, but I threw on two extra suctions to bite the top of the camera and take some of the play out of it. It's the little things that make things work right.
Murcielago Hood Mount
It's a prety basic hood mount... I know, but it's such a pretty car!
Scissor Door Special
This looks like a normal hostess tray style mount, but after getting this shot while driving, we pulled the suction cup on the windshield and the 5/8" attached to it.... and opened the door. The doors on this hot car open in the scissor style(hinging upwards from the front end). The shot was shooting the artist(music video) in the driver's seat, then camera swings up with the door, and back down and there is a beautiful lady sitting in the passenger seat.
VW Hostess Tray
Santa Monica Pier Rollercoaster Detail
Just a look at the inside of the car. Those are speedrail starters bolted to the drain holes in the bottom of the car.
Skate Wheel Trough Dolly
We were doing the whole B-Unit thing and we didn't have a real dolly, and wouldn't you know it, the doorway dolly was too high. Ha! Who needs a doorway dolly anyway!
The worst slider I've ever built
DP brought this slider carriage to the shoot and didn't know what to do for rails. Thankfully the wheels were adjustable so it fit the classic 8x8 double ear gobo gag.
Underslung 5/8" Slider
This was the test setup outside Modern. The job was a concert where the DP wanted a moving master, but the club wouldn't allow any kind of jib base or equipment on the floor.
Underslung 5/8" Slider In Action
This was us installing the slider before the concert. The operator would stand under the rig and reach up and operate with the pan bar.
Overhead 5/8" Slider Detail
Detail shot of the slider setup.
Over the Railing
Sometimes your DP's sleight frame comes in handy. The shot was following someone down the last few steps into the basement. A riser and offset got us up and over, drop a seat in the offset and you're ready to start giving rides!
The Underslung Slider
Originally designed to allow rails to be supported midway and still allow the wheels to pass, this was the rigs maiden voyage. The rails that we slide on were seen in frame blending into all of the other pipes overhead.
Overhead Slider Through a Window
This is actually on the opposite side of the building as the last picture but about 3 years later. Camera was looking down sliding past an actor that was starting to crawl out of a window that art had built on the edge of the roof.
Overhead Slider Across Alley
Here you can see the rails crossing the alley and hooking up over the building's parapet.
This was a rig that was supposed to work a lot more than it did. A few custom pieces from Modern and some hand upholstering of arm rests by myself made this rig pretty versatile. In fact we used the pieces later for a butt dolly.
Already had these caster brackets from the speedrail wheelchair so we put them to good use making our operators a little more comfortable. Not as nice as a real butt dolly, but it did the trick.
This was for the POV of someone on a gurney. We used my little Multi-Cart with a high hat bolted on to it. Little sucker worked pretty well.
It's a little hard to tell from this picture, but the actor is actually standing on the high hat being pulled with the camera. It was a gurney POV without the footsteps for a little surrealism.
Multi-Cart Improv Dolly #2
This was the second time this little guy saw service as a dolly and he didn't disappoint.
Splitting the Uprights
Production had rented a really nice skate dolly, but didn't know how to operate it when the shot was going through the legs of a dozen or so dancers. A piece of rope through a 20 foot piece of speedrail solved that issue.
No Gobo Head's? No Problem
Once again in a situation with less gear than I needed, I had to put up a 8x8 goal post without any gobo heads... no problem!
Recessed Lighting Adapter Micro Grid
Nothing huge here, but a good use of the often touted but little used Recessed Lighting Adapter. Gaffer wanted the light as close to the wall as possible and suggested a menace arm(which seems to be the answer to all rigging problems in a gaffer's mind).
Poor Man's Junior Beaver Board
Finding myself on a poorly stocked stage where I "would have anything I could possibly need" I found it was lacking any sort of low junior stand or junior plates. a little bit of futzing around with the few odds and ends they did have and we came up with this monstrosity.
The tape might have been enough, but the tile was covered with some kitchen residue and the 5/8" spreader really helped the tubes stay up there.
20' x 60' Greenscreen
This was outside at Hollywood Park Casino. It went up quickly and easily, and was rock solid all day.
Actually not the first time I've seen platypus' used to support someone's arms, that was way back on Growing Out. Either way, once it became clear that our model would be standing with her arms behind her head for longer than a few minutes, we rushed into action to relieve some of the stress.
The Arm "Chair"
I have to say that I can't take credit for this, I may have come up with it... but I don't remember.
This was used on a feature called, Growing Out, and this was the arm that was... "Growing Out" of the ground. The problem was, to keep the arm looking moist and healthy, it was kept coated with glycerin, which would have been fine if it weren't for the sand surrounding the arm. Sand sticks to glycerin, wiping it off irritates skin, so you have a guy underneath the stage with his arm sticking up through a hole in the stage for up to 6 hours at a time and nowhere to rest it. A beaver board, a little duvytene and voila!
On a tech scout for a Chevy spec commercial in a bull fighting ring, I came to the challenge of blacking out the entrance to the ring. Building a speedrail frame to hang the rags from was easy enough, but getting a low profile way to secure the frame to the tops of the 3" square stock steel that came up every 4 feet wasn't quite as easy. But once I saw that the steel was a standard fence post sized stock, a quick trip to Industrial Metal Supply netted me 4 caps that are normally welded to the tops of said posts. A few minutes with a drill press and a few more bolting the caps to half cheeseboros and I was all set.
After seeing the chaps using an applebox as a stand in for our canine actor, I decided to make a few improvements on a plain old applebox. Jake Cross put the finishing touches on Rusty when he placed an open walkie under him and had me bark over the walkie, scaring the crap out of the people standing close by.
The Drink Spiller
This isn't really a camera rig per se, it's a rig designed to keep a flat surface level with camera while camera dutched a full 90 degrees. The effect was 3 clear bottles of paint, sitting on a white surface against a white backdrop, then the camera would start tilting making the paint start to pour out of the bottles, but appear like they had never moved because the background stayed the same. YouTube You also might notice the camera is rigged sideways on the head to do the dutching as we didn't have a dutch head.
The Drink Spiller in Action
Trophy Head Rig
This was for the Ke$ha music video for the song Blow. Art department had the trophy mounting board, but didn't have a way to get his head in it, or to surround it with greenscreen. A little 5/8" and some flat 5/8" flanges and we were in business. See it in action here http://youtu.be/CFWX0hWCbng?t=3m57s
Trophy Head Rig
Same rig, just from behind so you can see how it works.