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Mark Karavite

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Everything posted by Mark Karavite

  1. Just did another Alexa shoot last week. We took a rubber eyepiece off an Arri film camera (honestly I don't know if they grabbed it from a 435 or Arricam) and the issue was still there, but much better. I hope they don't fix this problem with a set screw. With constantly switching diopter between DP's, Directors & mine, a set screw would be a hassle, and a poor fix. Arri has known about this problem since at least October of 2010, but still no fix. Disappointing!
  2. Were all the focus pulls in that video performed on the zip tie lens gears?? Seems like a no brainer to throw these into your kit. I'll buy a set just because I think it's the cheapest thing I've ever bought for Steadicam. WINNING!!
  3. I have a rule that, if I'm going to work for free, it's only going to be for a charitable cause where my efforts will go to help someone less fortunate. No matter how much they cry poor, I don't catagorize Producers as in need of charitable contributions, although I have met more than one who are mentally challenged. There's a big difference between need & greed.
  4. Hello friends, Does anyone know how the heater on a MK-V Hummingbird LCD is powered? I was shooting frigid exteriors in Chicago the other week, and my LCD was freezing up and the image greatly suffered. I knew the MK-V had a built in heater, but obviously it wasn't working. I managed to limp by with a locations heater pounding the monitor whenever I was docked, but not ideal. I contacted MK-V about the issue. The first email response said I needed to power the monitor from a 4 pin DC input, not the PRO connector, in order to power the heater. I questioned (to myself at first) whether powering the monitor from both the 4 pin and the PRO connector would possibly cause damage by feeding the monitor 2 power sources at once. I need to use the PRO connector, because my electronic level / frameline generator feeds video to the monitor from the PRO connector. I spoke directly with Howard about this power question, and he was unable to answer my question. Before I tear into the monitor with my engineer to diagnose the issue, I thought I'd pick the substantial braintrust here on the forum, hoping to shorten the learning curve. I'm not posting this as a statement to MK-V's customer service. There have been ample conversations here on that subject, so I'd rather avoid going down that road on this thread. Any helpful experience with MK-V Hummingbird heaters would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Mark Karavite, SOC
  5. When shooting in cold weather, I always have one of locations portable heaters at my docking station. My LCD is always being warmed by the heater (and I scam some heat myself). Even in the coldest weather, always having heat while docked combined with never turning the monitor off works.
  6. Dear Matthias, I would like to order your Alexa plate. Please contact me direct @ mkaravite@comcast.net. Thanks, Mark
  7. Items #2, AB 2702 Charger & #5, ^, Dionic 90 batteries have sold. All other items still available.
  8. I have the following items for sale: 1) Anton Bauer T2 2 position simultaneous charger: Excellent condition & latest software for all battery chemistries. $700 2) Anton Bauer 2702 Quad charger: Very good condition. Upgraded to latest software by Anton Bauer & will charge all battery chemistries. This charger has DDM diagnostic module and port for XM-2004 expansion module for 4 additional charging stations. $900 3) Anton Bauer XM-2004 Expansion Module: Excellent condition. This expansion module adds 4 additional charging stations to a compatible 2702 charger. This expansion module will charge all Anton Bauer batteries EXCEPT Dionic series batteries. $450. 4) 8 Anton Bauer Proformer Batteries: 5 newly recelled and 3 that need recelling. $250 for all 8. ** I can package items 2, 3 & 4 for $1350, giving you 8 Proformer Batteries and 8 charging stations. 5) 6 Anton Bauer Dionic 90 Batteries: Very good condition. Average 125 cycles, all hold charge & perform very well. $100 each / $500 for all 6. 6) Preston HU2 Battery Charger: Excellent condition, just serviced at Preston. $250 includes charger plus 2 HU2 batteries (1 needs recell & 1 needs new ears). Please email me direct at mkaravite@comcast.net or call at 248-705-4500 with inquiries. Thanks, Mark
  9. Hey fellow Ops. I'm shooting my first show with Alexa, and there's a nagging (non Steadicam) problem both I and the other operator are experiencing with the eyepiece. The eyecup spins the diopter, causing the viewfinder to constantly go out of focus. The diopter needs to be tighter & the eyecup needs to be looser. There aren't any visible adjustments on the eyepiece to correct this. There are a lot of tough focus pulls on Master Primes nearly wide open on this show, and it's tough to help the AC look for focus when the diopter goes out of focus if you move your head just the littlest bit during a shot. Has anyone else had this problem & possibly have a fix for it. Thanks, Mark
  10. Hey Charles, I had never thought of that, but a great idea to have P Tap power from the sled. I'll give Terry a shout for that cable. Please email me directly at mkaravite@comcast.net with ordering info for the cable from PRO sled - decimator. I'm going to start by carrying a Dionic on the back of the camera anyway. It's so light, I like the extra weight there. Plus, our UPM is so cheap, he nixed my order for 9 Dionic 90's to run the camera on Steadicam. The 1st AC managed to acquire 4, so I'm running the camera from the on board Dionic. As a matter of principal, I've always had the rental house provide batteries for these power hungry digital cameras. I've managed to get long life out of my current Dionics, because they only run film cameras. Panavision seems like one of the only rental houses that doesn't balk at providing ample battery power for Steadicam Ops. Sorry about the battery rant. Shoot me an email. Thanks, Mark
  11. Ramon, I'd rent you mine, but it's on a job until Thanksgiving. Try these guys & tell them you're a friend of mine, they both own tons of Preston gear: Jorge Sanchez 626-278-5252 Monster Remotes Lee Kazista 646-330-5133 I hope things are well for you in Atlanta. Mark
  12. Hey Jeff, I've owned Walters vehicle mount for years & I think it's the best hard mount out there. The big difference is that Walter's hard mount gives you adjustability up and down while the rig is on the arm. This makes it very easy to trim where the sled floats while on a rickshaw, car mount, etc... In addition to a mitchell base, the Klassen vehicle mount also comes with a nicely designed speed rail mount that is adjustable for different angles of speedrail. Ken is right, just go to the source & get a new one from Klassen. You will be very happy with it.
  13. Hey BJ, I just prepped an Alexa for the first time today for a show starting Monday. All the above comments are correct. On the camera I'm using, the Anton Bauer plate didn't have a P Tap, so AKS power was scarce. The rental house had a plate that sandwiched between the battery and the AB gold mount that had 4 P tap outlets. I wedged some velcro in between the plates to take out the slop. I need a P Tap for my Decimator for the downconvert. I'm gong to start by flying a Dionic on the back of the camera. It will power the camera as well as the P Tap. It's still very light, even with a battery on board. I considered putting the Arri baseplate between the camera and the donkey box to have more mass, but I'll try it like this for now. There are 2 Arri 3 Pin RS connectors on the camera, so those are available for Preston stop/start & one other AKS. I believe the camera is a native 24v camera, but you can feed it 12v or 24v. The camera upconverts the voltage to 24v when fed 12v. I assume the RS connectors would have 24v AKS power available no matter what voltage you feed the camera (because of the upconverted voltage). Does anyone know this for sure? I also plan on shooting with the camera upside down for low mode and flip the image in post. It's a bit of a hassle for video village, but better than having vibration through a poorly mounted dovetail on the handle.
  14. Try talking to Richard Berger. I haven't done any financing with his company, but he contacted me directly regarding equipment financing & he might be a good alternative to a bank. We all know bank's lending policies have been turned upside down the last couple years. My bank of 18 years put me through the ringer on a $50K loan a couple years ago, when they used to lend up to $1/2 million without breaking a sweat. Rich's info: Rich Berger Direct Source Capital 714-241-5900 x221 888-994-6347 rberger@directsourcecap.com Again, I've never done a deal with this company, but it's worth a phone call. The next equipment purchase I do, I'll give them a shot at the financing. Best regards, Mark
  15. For those of you who don't know Fred Davis, he's not only the best cable man in the business, but a stellar dude on top of it. His above & beyond dedication to the Steadicam community is tops. I'm SO glad to hear Fred is back in the saddle & I feel like going on set today & breaking a few cables so I can feel that warm & fuzzy PCS/Chrysalis feeling. Looking forward to speaking soon brother!
  16. Nick, I'm also looking to put a gyro package together. I seem to be needing them more & more these days. Buzz Moyer was kind enough to let me use his gyro package for a 2nd unit vehicle rig. Buzz has the $400 Kenyon inverter, and it worked flawlessly. It's smaller than the PRO, & I was able to velcro it to the back of my monitor when I wanted to fly it. I imagine the PRO unit is much beefier & will last longer. The PRO also has an Anton Bauer mount, so you can run gyro shore power easily with a battery. I think I'm going to go with the Kenyon inverter & K-4 gyros. For the limited times I need gyros, I can't justify $10K for a gyro package when I can get away cheaper, and it still works. Maybe someone can chime in on any specific advantages to the PRO inverter.
  17. Thanks for the info. Geez, if I just looked to the right of my screen, the answer was right in front of me. I am ordering the Omnishot today. I like Cramped Attics gear, but Omnishot doesn't require any special mount. Plus it looks cool, which is important to some (like me). Best, Mark
  18. I have 2 bad HU2 batteries. 1 has broken ears ($100 fix & 3 weeks from Preston), and 1 needs to be recelled ($125 from Preston). I'm considering switching to the Sony M style batteries instead of being subject to $450 for replacements batteries, or above stated repair costs. The price isn't bad, but the turnaround is the problem. I know Cramped Attic has a mount for the M Style batteries. A couple of questions: 1) Does anyone who has Cramped Attic's mod have feedback about running time, mounting slickness, etc... 2) Are there any other options other than Cramped Attic? Thanks, Mark
  19. I searched the video out on Youtube, and Oh My God! Whatever they pay those guys, it's not enough. I'd wear a base jumpers parachute just to avoid climbing back down. These dudes are just friggin' CRAZY!!
  20. I used an epoxy designed for both metal and plastic. It doesn't affect the level of the level, and you can get it off later without damaging your surface. I was afraid super glue might leave a mess.
  21. Hey David, Glad to hear that monitor has worked well for you. Portia is a sweet girl. What show did you work on with her? Send me the pix at mkaravite@comcast.net. I'd like to see that!
  22. Dear Aaron, There is much good advice here. I would add the following comments. Regarding your budget for purchasing a rig, it's tough to know everything you'll need when you haven't been operating Steadicam before. Make sure you have everything you need on your list before acquiring financing. If you miss something you need, you'll likely have to pay cash for it later, which can put a pinch on cash flow. I have a spreadsheet from the last rig I built which has every item, down to the cable. I'd be happy to send it to you. You certainly won't buy everything on that list, but it will show you what to consider. Roughly, if you plan on spending $50K, in addition to a business plan, a bank will look for you to have around 20% minimum cash into the deal, so you'd need $10K - $15K cash on average. Say you put $15K down, and your loan is for $35K. Try to find a bank that will amortize a business loan over 5 years (instead of 3). You're payments will be lower, and you can always pay extra principle if things are going well. On a $35K loan at prime interest rate, you could expect to pay around $700 / month. Now that is less than 1 day's rental at normal rates. On my first loan, I showed my bank how many days a month I was already doing Steadicam (renting a rig) vs. how many days a month I needed to work the equipment to pay the note (which was 1). Now banks are very tight these days with their lending practices, so you may have a harder time. All the more reason to have a solid business plan. I did my first Steadicam loan 2 decades ago, and I am still with the same bank, and the same loan officer. I've done several equipment loans and real estate deals with the same guy. It pays to look closely at the bank you start with, make sure they're a good fit & establish a track record with them. Subsequent deals will be much easier to finance. Email me at mkaravite@comcast.net if you want to look at my equipment purchase spreadsheet. And by all means, make sure you love this craft before you take the plunge.
  23. I'm pretty sure we have this all figured out, but I thought I'd poll guys here and see if there was any valuable input. FYI, I have a bit of a Frankenrig including: PRO DB3 PRO Upper J Box XCS 2" Telescoping post with PRO connectors XCS Gimbal MK-V Nexus battery base w/ both AB & V mount battery mounts Here's my problem. Although MK-V told me the Nexus base would be completely PRO compatible, not so. The AUX power on the PRO upper J Box is not hot, and MK-V had no fix for me. This becomes problematic when you try to power a Genesis (or F35) with the VTR on board. I don't normally carry the VTR, but for the occasional off speed shot. Phil Cremer of Panavision Toronto has a mod that solves this problem. The idea is to route the 3rd battery directly into the Nexus base & connect it to the post cable's AUX power lines that are currently unused. Since I don't plan on buying an AR, we were going to swap out the 5 pin AR connector (on the front of the Nexus battery base) for a 4 pin battery connector. When I'm shooting Genesis, I simply plug that 3rd battery into this spare battery input on the Nexus base, and boom, the AUX power is now fed directly from the 3rd battery. I use a normal Genesis PRO Y power cable, and problem solved. I know it sounds pretty straight forward. If anyone has a thought on why this might be a bad idea, I'd love to hear your reasons. Also, if anyone has already done this mod (or other ones with Phil Cremer), it'd be great to hear about your results.
  24. It wasn't a Steadicam job, but I shot a commercial (one long :25 second dolly move) where we did 99 takes. The poor actor had the worst day of his professional career. By take #40, the guy couldn't even say his own name. We kept going, broke for lunch, came back, tweeked, gave him a drink & tried just about everything. When we finished take 99, we still didn't really have it, but the Director REFUSED to do 100 takes, so we wrapped. I think they used take 4. I did a long walk & talk Steadicam move on Youth in Revolt where the Director wasn't getting exactly what he wanted from the performance, so we did about 30 takes. The Director was such a sweetheart, he apologized afterwards, thanking me for hanging in there and nailing it when he got what he wanted from the actors. He's the kind of guy you'd be happy to do 50 takes for.
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