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Tom Wills

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Tom Wills last won the day on March 21

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About Tom Wills

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  • Rig
    M1, Wave, PRO Arm, and Klassen Harness
  • Location
    Philadelphia, PA

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  1. Steadi-to-sticks plates sold. The rest remains!
  2. Since I have some forced downtime, just like everyone else, I’ve gone through some gear that I could use to get rid of. Everything is priced accordingly with global circumstances at the moment. Item 1: SmallHD 702 Bright Monitor (1) This monitor was bought as backup-of-a-backup, and while it has been used, it hasn’t been abused. The back looks almost brand new. It does have a couple of little marks on the screen, but they aren’t visible once powered on. Includes a SmallHD LEMO to LP-E6 dummy battery (which has been disassembled and glued back together to fix a design issue, see pictures). $500 Item 2: SmallHD 702 Bright Monitor (2) This monitor was my primary Steadicam monitor for a few years before I upgraded to the 703, and it shows the use. The outer casing is worn, and some of the “soft rubber” on the plastic parts is worn off completely. There are no marks on the screen (always had a screen protector on it), but it has developed a bit of a bright spot in the middle of it (see picture) Also includes LEMO to LP-E6 dummy battery, also with some marks from the surgery performed on it. $400 Item 3 & 4: Steadicam Dovetail to Tripod Plates These are 2 prototype Steadicam-to-sticks adapters that I made up a couple of years ago. They accept any full-sized Steadicam dovetail, and have 3/8” holes on the base for mounting a tripod quick release plate to. Extremely handy, and because these are my design, I ensured that they lock down extremely tight. No slipping, unlike some of the commercially-produced other ones! They are a little rough (I wasn’t interested in finish, just function), and not without their quirks, but they’ve worked really well. Only selling because I’ve replaced them with newer versions, and figured these could help someone who didn’t have any, rather than having 6 for myself! $100 each Item 5: Steadicam 3/3A parts Here’s something I put together as the start of a project, but don’t have the time to finish. It’s a Model 3 stage and plate, a side-to-side addition (maybe DeRose?), a Model 3 extension post, and a Model 3 gimbal, which I recently gutted, cleaned, and re-lubricated with the same oil I use for my M-1 gimbal. Would be a great start to a sled project, or a running rig! $800 Item 6: Custom 1.5” - 5/8” Dock This came with the rig above (and I’d prefer to sell it with), and is beautifully machined. Some history behind who made this, I’d be happy to share with the buyer. Includes aircraft pin and all the works. Discount available if you want to buy this and the sled parts! $250 Contact me at willsvideo@gmail.com if you’re interested!
  3. Hi Josh, I remember being in your shoes clearly - it was the late summer of 2012, I was on my first feature film, having operated “semi-professionally” for about a year, and on two occasions I had to either put the 85mm up, or do a shot on the 50mm in low mode, and I remember both being seemingly impossible. So, you’re not alone in the difficulty of doing long lens work on Steadicam when starting out! I’d say about 1/4 of my work is tighter than a 50mm. Generally I don’t see many lenses above 135mm (though I have from time to time), although especially when doing anamorphic, 135mm is a pretty typical lens, and I regularly fly 100mm spherical lenses. A 65mm or 75mm is a sweet lens for Steadicam, and if you can get well in-sync with your actors, you can produce some truly beautiful tracking shots. I’d say to get to the point where I was completely unafraid of long lenses took me about 3 years of operating, and probably about 5 years to actually be able to back up my big talk with the skills to really pull it off. I will say that with long lenses, not only is it a technique issue, but it is also a physical feat with your body, and there is a significant component that the quality of your rig plays. When I upgraded my rig after that first feature, one of the biggest things I noticed in going to a new gimbal was that there had been some friction and play in my previous gimbal that just destroyed any chance of precision in long lens operating. Even the slightest friction in your gimbal will translate your body’s movements into the lens, and those errors will become much more pronounced on longer lenses. The same goes for your arm, although to a lesser degree (as the issues will be translational rather than angular). Additionally, having your rig trimmed for the tilt you will be holding is crucial, as is keeping your speed consistent. If you’re holding pressure with your hand to hold tilt, any little twitches and tremors in your hand will get into the frame, and if you’re speeding up and slowing down, any pendular swing of the sled will also get in, unless you’re good enough to keep 100% of it out (which very few are, although I think we all hope to get close!). And biggest of all, relax! I even get called out on this by DPs I’ve worked with for a long time. If I’m tense, that tends to telegraph into the shot, and sometimes I just need to take a deep breath and shake out my hands and try again. I hope that helps and gives you a few things to think about! Best of luck on your adventures!
  4. I’m clearing out some rarely used gear to make room for some new acquisitions, so my backup Wave needs a new home! I picked this up last year, and it’s only been used a handful of times, and only gently, as it is my backup unit. It comes with the case, but with no other accessories, although if you need a dovetail or something to fit it, I could probably dig out one of my spares to sweeten the deal. Asking $5000 USD. Looking for a quick sale, ideally on the east coast! Email me for more info - willsvideo@gmail.com
  5. I’ve been making these “Blue Plate” Camera Riser Plates since the beginning of this year, and they’ve been incredibly helpful to me and to many other operators who’ve added them to their kit. They help raise the camera, either for clearance purposes, or for balancing the camera top-to-bottom in the Wave. I recently ordered a new batch of them from a new machine shop, and while they work just the same, the surface finish isn’t quite as beautiful as the ones I have sold previously (see the detailed photo below), so I’m going to let this batch go at a “scratch and dent” discount. I’m offering a set of 2 of these riser plates for $100 off the original asking price. That’s $250 for 2 of these plates, and 10 screws (5 short, 5 long) for stacking either one or two of these plates in between your camera and dovetail. I can accept Credit Cards via Quickbooks invoice, or PayPal or Venmo. Email me at willsvideo@gmail.com if you’re interested, and enjoy the discount while it lasts!
  6. These are not fuse holders, these are circuit breakers. They are specifically Klixon brand circuit breakers (or at least that looks identical from the outside, and considering that PRO uses Klixon, it’s likely that Jerry Hill used the same). Those should be the Klixon 7277-2-10.
  7. I've been holding off on saying much, as I know many who've gone the Volt route who I don't want to discourage, but I've had a very different experience than many with the Volt and the Wave. My experience with the Volt was that while it did offer some immediate advantages over the Wave (like its size and weight, and also the added bonus of having a rig that is neutrally balanced and thus can be moved around without any pendulum effects), it significantly changed my operating, and not for the better. I do a lot of tilting in my operating (something I wasn't aware of until I switched to the Volt), and the M1V electronics altered the way tilt felt, which required a lot of retraining, and additionally, I always saw a little pan wobble at the beginning and ends of tilts, no matter how much I turned the tilt strength down. There was also the issue (that I'm hoping eventually gets fixed) of the M1V tilting on a diagonal, and not in a straight vertical line, amongst a few other things that I found over my year and a half with the device. The work I did with the Volt was simply not as clean or good as the work I could do with the Wave, so I have since moved back to the Wave and sold my Volt. I urge each operator who is moving towards any augmented stabilization technology to try using both (and make sure they are both set up correctly, as many do not balance the Wave correctly), and see what they prefer, and most importantly, to analyze the footage critically.
  8. I designed these plates out of a frustrating need that kept popping up at camera preps - cameras often needed just a little extra height, either to balance properly on the Wave 1, or, as with the Alexa Mini and some Panavision builds, needed a little extra height so that some part of the camera or lens support would clear my dovetail. I’ve resorted to using washers in between the camera and the dovetail occasionally, but no more! These spacer plates are 3”x5” and 1/4” thick, and weigh 0.15 pounds (.06 kilo). They’re still quite strong, however, because of their design. And the slots are long enough to fit almost any camera hole pattern. If you use the Wave, you’ll be even more pleased with how these work. Balancing the camera vertically can sometimes be a chore - moving motors, adding tons of weight to a Noga arm, etc... Now, if you’re faced with a very bottom heavy camera, use one (or even two!) of these between the camera and the dovetail, and you can use a lot less weight on the Noga, and have a stiffer, simpler build. I made these to be a simple Swiss-Army-Knife type gadget, and small enough to fit in your usual AKS case to be there when you need them! Includes 3/8” socket head extra-long screws, for easy and secure tie down of cameras on the riser. $175 each. Email me to purchase - willsvideo@gmail.com
  9. I’m selling a used, but decent condition Technovision Geared Head. In the time I’ve owned it, about 6 months, it has never been on a job, only been used for my own personal training. Sadly space in my storage unit has gotten tight, and as this is something that I haven’t used on set, I have to let it go. The head is in reasonably good shape for its age. The previous owner I believe had it rebuilt, but if you were going to use this on set as a “daily driver” head, I’d probably have it tuned up again. Both handwheels have a tiny bit of backlash in them, but it is quite minor. I replaced both of the bubble levels in the head as well, so they look fresh and work well. Included in the kit is: - Technovision Head - 2 Handwheels - Low Speed Reducer Gearboxes (add an extra-slow gear for really long lens moves) - Mitchell Nut - Bonus - old ARRI Bridgeplate for mounting cameras on the integral ARRI dovetails of the head I also can include a Mitchell Hi-Hat to sweeten the deal for a local buyer. The case has seen better days, and is quite heavy (around 80 pounds), so I’d like to sell it locally rather than ship it cross-country again. Ideally looking for someone within a few hours of the NYC area who could use a practice head to teach themselves wheels. Having this head was quite useful for me in honing my skills on the wheels, and I can imagine it’d be quite helpful for you as well! Asking $5000. Paid $6000 in August of last year. Email me for more info. willsvideo@gmail.com
  10. Hi Mark, The big question is - are you balancing the camera's vertical CG in the Wave? As in, can you unlock the Wave (when powered down), roll the camera to either side, and have it stay there without issue? It should be balanced so that the camera is totally neutral inside the roll cage of the Wave. If it is "bottom heavy" (aka seeks the center) in the Wave, it becomes almost impossible to operate as any deviation from absolute level will cause the rig to want to fall further and further off level. The method Larry McConkey figured out early on, and that I also use (and many other ops) is using a set of small counterweights on a Noga arm to raise the CG and be able to adjust it precisely to where it needs to be. I am also working on the design of riser plates that will allow you to raise a camera's CG with a very light, small plate, rather than the heavy and often too-tall Wave Rider, to limit how much weight is needed.
  11. The simple answer is to swap out the post in the low mode bracket and add in one with the hole in the correct location for the Tiffen handle. The Tiffen handle's hole placement is fine by me, and I've had no issues with my low mode brackets actually having both holes (one for the Tiffen hole placement, one for the PRO). Seems far easier to me (and easier to swap out if something should fail) than drilling on the rather expensive Tiffen gimbal handle.
  12. Trying to get this Bartech system out of my shop to free up space for new gear, so I’ve sweetened the kit quite a bit. Included in this kit: Bartech Hand Unit with Iris Slider ($1900 new) Bartech Hand Unit (almost brand new - $800 new) 2x Bartech Digital Receivers ($800 each new) Bartech Analog Receiver (brand new - had as a backup) RedRock Micro “Torque” motor with custom Preston-compatible gear (Rarely used - $700 new) 3 Motor Cables 3 P Tap to Bartech Receiver cables Bartech to ARRI R/S Run Cable Bartech to Red Epic Run Cable 4x Rechargeable 9v Batteries 9V Charger Tons of marking strips Pelican Case This was a system Larry McConkey and I used on the MoVI, but it hasn’t been used since we moved to a WCU-4 system. I’ve added a motor, Pelican case, batteries, and a bunch of other extras to ensure a quick sale. Price for the whole kit - $2750 Contact me if you're interested. willsvideo@gmail.com Also available - one more Bartech Hand Unit and BFD Digital Receiver with a couple of cables for $1300.
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