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John Perry SOC

Docking bracket that tilts?

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Are there any companies that make a Steadicam docking bracket that will allow you to tilt the sled while it's docked? It seems I am often asked to frame up a shot while the lighting dept tweeks, or the video engineers painting to the chip chart. A bracket that would allow a slight tilt up/down would be great, as opposed to suiting up and holding a static shot for several minutes while they stare at the video monitor.

 

Is this product out there already?

 

 

John

http://www.johnperry.tv

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As far as I am aware there isn't one in regular production, however there are individual unique brackes out there that do pan and tilt. Over here in the UK, Mike Scott has a unique pan and tilt docking bracket that he can still offer shots from when the rig is docked. www.steadi.co.uk

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John,

I have another thing that might help. I have a gorelock docking bracket and a American Grip steadicam stand.

 

The stand has a rocky mountain leg, and the Gorelosk actually locks the sled into the docking bracket. When I worked a studio show and had just the chip chart problem you are talking about [as I always do].

 

On day, I looked at that rockey mountain leg and my gorelock and had a "ahhhhaaaa momment."

 

I put a shot bag on the stand and spun the rockey mountain stand so the leg was in line with the lens. Then I could either tilt the sled up or down depending what way the rockey mountain leg faced.

I could only tilt a few degrees, but it worked out fine every day no matter where they put the chart [again this was a multi cam show in a studio so they put the chart at eye level]

 

 

rich

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John,

 

I believe Jeff Muhlstock modified his Gorelock to do this. I don't have mine in front of me but I know there are two set pins to hold the fork in place. Jeff????

 

Yes, I did a very simple mod to my Gorelock. You can remove the fork and file a channel that the lower set pin meets, I filed a 180 degree groove that alows my fork to tilt. What's important here, is the groove must be smooth and deep enough for the lower set screw to hold the fork in and allow a smooth tilt (some sanding is required). I have safety marks on the fork stud that assures me that nothing is sliding out, periodic checking of the lower safety pin is important as well. I changed out the side set pin that holds the fork, with a Kipp handle, and milled a small set position on the forks post at the 90 degree mark. This handle locks the tilt in any desired position. I will try to post some photos of this mod. It works great for chip charts and the emergency lock off shots. Back in 1994, I worked with CBS on some custom docking stands that where able to tilt and pan for "on air" moves, we used them for the the Olympic prime time shows with Jim Nantz. They where fantastic, but a bit large and over built. I have always felt that it would be priceless to have this function in a dock. As I am not interested in manufacturing, I have some very specific ideas as to how this can be done to the Hill/gorelock device. Photos to come,

 

 

Jeff

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Dear John,

 

If you need to do a lot of this, you can use a bicycle repair stand (similar to the attched photos) - these provide a great deal of adjustment.

 

post-542-1144632585_thumb.jpgpost-542-1144632552_thumb.jpg

 

Good Luck!

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As an alternative, why not just put the sled on the balancing pin and hold it in position. I generally don't leave the set or the camera when setting up a shot, so I am glad to hold the sled place as the DP gets his frame lit. I only suggest this because it seems a safer solution and one that does'nt require modification of the docking stand. A modification that could prove to have pretty awful consequence if not done correctly. If I need to pee, or step off set for another reason, I generally can get the dolly grip to hold the sled, GENTLY, in place until I return.

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Gents--

 

While I love modding a bracket as much, if not more than the next operator, I feel that there are simpler ways to skin this cat.

 

When on a video/multicamera show, I ask around at the truck or engineers, to have the chart set to my camera/sled frame and then ask the others to match this frame position since those camera setups are more easily adjusted.

 

If I come to the chart after the others, I try to get as close as I can and then insert an allen wrench, to make the tilt happen, between the docking collar and the docking fork.

 

I agree that "adjusting" the docking bracket can lead to rather unpleasant consequences.

 

Jamie's idea of "flying" the rig from the balance pin is fine for some short and live evaluations but no one should ever leave this setup unattended.

 

Best,

 

Brant S. Fagan, SOC

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The idea that I've always had but never implemented would be putting the rig on the balance pin and then using a magic arm type of assembly that can easily be set to clamp it in place. Given a heavy-duty enough magic arm and a thoughtfully applied sandbag to the stand, this should be secure enough to walk away from in a pinch, although it's really meant to alleviate having to keep a hand on it.

 

With HD becoming more of a thing I'll probably get around to doing this one of these days.

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Gents--

 

 

I agree that "adjusting" the docking bracket can lead to rather unpleasant consequences.

 

 

Best,

 

Brant S. Fagan, SOC

 

Hey Brant, I have had this mod for about 5 years, never a problem. I know of 3 other ops, that have it as well, its a simple low tech solution to an age old problem. I would hope that Hill will implement the mod into future gorelocks. If machined properly, this is perfectly safe.

 

 

respectfully ,

Jeff

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Jeff--

 

Hey, if you trust it with your new baby, then I'm OK with it too.

 

I was just expressing concerns for those who may choose to try this without implementing the care that comes from years of experience and careful attention to detail.

 

I had the need for this on a CBS pilot, shot with PV HD gear and a DP glued to a monitor looking at the set.

 

You know that I had my dock set up as a tripod for him up until we shot each piece.

 

Best,

 

Brant S. Fagan, SOC

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