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Dean Smollar

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Dean Smollar last won the day on September 17

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About Dean Smollar

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 04/20/1987

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  • Rig
    GPI Pro
  • Location
    Los Angeles, CA

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  1. I just completed 6 weeks of production, but some of my working conditions were unique to our production, and most likely not going to be duplicated by any other shows. For example, there was no negotiation regarding PPE. If you were an on set position (the red wristband zone), you were required to wear the provided KN95 masks and face shields, no exceptions. We had health and safety compliance staff all over production enforcing these rules, and our director was the most stringent enforcer of all. He would yell at anyone he saw with their mask below their nose, or the wrong mask, and don't even think about sneezing or coughing anywhere NEAR set. He himself was wearing a $3000 helmet with a hose connecting to a filter on his hip (sound is gonna have a field day in post). As such, I had to get used to 12 hour days, all steadicam, with a KN95 mask and face shield. I had to learn how to breathe in them, and find little moments in between setups to catch my breath off set. There was no choice. After a while, I realized the key was swapping them out for new ones more frequently as I was sweating, as they become a serious problem when the slightest bit wet. I had to abandon wearing my glasses, because I couldn't deal with them fogging up. I recommend contacts or just forgoing glasses altogether. EAR SAVERS ARE A MUST-HAVE. I cannot stress this enough. For face shields, I found that wearing them at an angle, up on top of my forehead a bit, worked perfectly for steadicam. That way, when i look down at my monitor, it protects my head fully while not obstructing the view of my steadi monitor. Using a hat or sweat band as a guide for the face shield band helped a lot. I also developed an order of operations for everything I had to wear on my head: Mask first, then sweat band, then face shield, then Comm headset. Hand sanitizer was overflowing, all over the lot. You could get a handful whenever you wanted, no matter where you were. When your EP is a germophobe, hand washing stations will be everywhere. Also, as far as who can or cannot touch my rig, there were no issues. It was an already established rule on our set that only the 1st AC could touch my camera and only my designated grip could help touch my rig. This was a minor hindrance for the 2nd AC's and some of the camera utilities, but they were overwhelmed with other responsibilities so it ended up working out fine for us. I had a personal Steadicam Grip named Zavier who stuck to me like glue all day, helping me move my rig when I asked, holding a pogo between shots, and spotting me all day. I was his only responsibility.
  2. I'm having a problem on my current job with my monitor, and I have no idea why it's happening. I have a Marshall V-LCD70XP-3GSDI that I've been using since 2010. I'm currently flying a Red MX, which I have flown many, many times in the past. However, for some reason, my monitor won't recognize the SDI signal coming out of the camera from any of the SDI ports. However, it DOES work when I loop the signal from the camera through my Switronix Recon Ultra into my monitor. The signal works just fine going directly into production's 17" monitor when I'm on sticks; why would mine be any different? I have never had this problem before, and I've never seen or heard of it either. What could be causing it?
  3. I respect the idea, and it's nice to hear that people are trying to come up with new ideas, but I don't think auto-focusing is the answer. There are two kinds of focus pulls: Proactive and Reactive. The best looking pulls are almost always the proactive ones (sometimes reactive pulls get lucky, and top quality AC's can adjust on the fly). An auto-focusing machine would need to read & measure the distance to an object, then pull to that distance, creating a delay like we already see in cameras with auto-focus functions. Even if they refine the technology I don't see how there wouldn't still be some form of delay; I see this device playing a never ending game of catch-up, and I feel like more shots would be ruined by the machine than by a halfway decent 1st. But let's say, for the sake of argument, that this product works as advertised; I'm sure the people building it are talented At the end of the day, it still seems like they're creating a solution for a problem that doesn't exist in the world it's being marketed for. Are you working with a crappy AC who can't focus worth a damn? Then you're probably not making a rate that could afford you a $30-40k follow focus. Are you working on a show with people who know their stuff? Then why would you need a robot to do your job? Freedom of control is a key element in the artistry of this business. Maybe this would be super useful for motion control, or for situations where everything else is automated/preprogrammed, like the Bot and Dolly system.
  4. Tom, Is there anything specifically about the Pro gimbal that you dislike? What brought about idea of switching to a different gimbal?
  5. Conventions almost always have a No Real Weapons policy when it comes to cosplay, so if you're intending on wearing it at cons you might not want to make it out of the MG42 even though it's accurate. I agree with most everyone here that you're better off saving money by buying a knockoff from ebay than a real arm. Have fun!
  6. Eric brought his plate to the SOC breakfast meeting. It was beefy, but still pretty sexy. You know, Ron's type.
  7. The built in SD card recorder not being activated yet is a disappointment. Is there a timetable on the activation?
  8. Thanks for the info Rob! A few questions: -How did you mount it to your monitor arm/what yoke did you use? -what screen protection accessories did you use, if any? -Could you give us your impression of some of the additional software/hardware functions (if you used them of course)?: -Digital level -built in SD card recorder -cross conversion
  9. question for John, I have an IDX E-HL9 that needs checking on, do you also work on those?
  10. I'm curious about the limitations in regards to resizing a Klassen vest (i.e. buying a used vest, losing/gaining a significant amount of weight). How much variation is acceptable in terms of waist size or height? I read on the site that in terms of weight, within 15-20 lbs. will still provide the same fit. What can be done with a variation greater than that?
  11. any used PRO Vests out there?
  12. Bought tickets for the Hunger Games double feature next Thursday. Anyone else who's interested should look up which AMC theaters near you are participating

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