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    How many trips to unload your equipment?
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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    How many trips does it take you to unload your equipment for a typical shoot (assuming you're alone, or, how many people if you're not alone)? Let's say one or two (C-series) camera interview shoot, for example, but you can elaborate for what type of a shoot, equipment, etc.

    I use a foldable cart I got from Amazon and typically need two trips to unload my equipment, sometimes three. First trip is typically camera(s), audio, lenses, sand bags, reflectors, tripod(s). Second trip is lighting and light stands. Third trip may be a Litepanels Gemini and low boy stand if I'm using it. If I'm using a Steadicam Zephyr, that's often its own trip.

    I want to see if I can condense my equipment/bags to get it down to one trip for one or two camera interview type shoots.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    How many trips does it take you to unload your equipment for a typical shoot (assuming you're alone, or, how many people if you're not alone)? Let's say one or two (C-series) camera interview shoot, for example, but you can elaborate for what type of a shoot, equipment, etc.

    I use a foldable cart I got from Amazon and typically need two trips to unload my equipment, sometimes three. First trip is typically camera(s), audio, lenses, sand bags, reflectors, tripod(s). Second trip is lighting and light stands. Third trip may be a Litepanels Gemini and low boy stand if I'm using it. If I'm using a Steadicam Zephyr, that's often its own trip.

    I want to see if I can condense my equipment/bags to get it down to one trip for one or two camera interview type shoots.
    Well, I own Sony cameras, but that shouldn't make too much of a difference. I can usually do it in one trip, sometimes it takes two. Of course, this
    is for interview set ups, if I'm doing interviews and B-Roll it's probably two trips. I've got a pack that holds two camera bodies, 4 or 5 lenses, external
    audio gear, as well as extra batteries and cards and such. That's on my back. I've got one of those foldable LED light panel kits which is small and light..
    that bag also holds a couple light stands and reflector, I'll clip this bag off my backpack with a carabiner. Then a tripod in each hand and a small
    Scorpion light kit in one as well. For B-Roll I might add a Mavic Pro drone which will fit in a tiny bag, maybe a slider or a gimbal which would be another
    bag. Biggest thing for me is getting your lighting kit weight and size down. Nowdays, that's much easier. I still have a DV creator 55 light kit which
    is actually pretty good for lighting up an interview, but it's 50ish pounds in it's hardcore. With the new 'cloth' type LED panels and lights such as the
    Scorpion lights, you can get a good interview light kit, without using much weight or space.


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    One trip. Cameras are in a big bag with glass, lights are in a ThinkTank Production Manager 40. Grip case, crate with sandbags and other stuff. Audio is in a duffel. Tripods are in their cases. It all piles on my RockNRoller cart.


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    Do what you have to do but personally I think more than one trip is messed up. That’s the sign of needing another guy.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    How many trips does it take you to unload your equipment for a typical shoot (assuming you're alone, or, how many people if you're not alone)? Let's say one or two (C-series) camera interview shoot, for example, but you can elaborate for what type of a shoot, equipment, etc.

    I use a foldable cart I got from Amazon and typically need two trips to unload my equipment, sometimes three. First trip is typically camera(s), audio, lenses, sand bags, reflectors, tripod(s). Second trip is lighting and light stands. Third trip may be a Litepanels Gemini and low boy stand if I'm using it. If I'm using a Steadicam Zephyr, that's often its own trip.

    I want to see if I can condense my equipment/bags to get it down to one trip for one or two camera interview type shoots.
    This is where all of your equipment needs to work as a total system. I imagine you have many different types cases - hard, soft, all different sizes etc. Milk crates for example, could be stacked 5-8 high on a lightweight dolly. The equipment in them may not completely fill each milk crate, but you gain the ability to move many at a time. I wouldn't use milk crates for camera equipment, but the principle doesn't change. Assuming you take advantage of stacking, and despite taking up more total volume, a handful of storm iM2600 cases could be easier to move than several different pelicans.

    There's obviously also an argument for carrying more things vs sacrificing space to be able to move faster. If you're not into the method I already described, I'd at least look at getting a more solid cart.

    Three trips isn't bad, and it seems like you're pretty efficient anyway. If I were hiring you and your equipment, I would absolutely be adding an assistant to take full advantage. Talent aside, when you're up against physical limitations, you also often hit a ceiling as far as looks you're capable of creating. (8x8 set up, push on dolly, being spotted, etc.)


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    One trip.

    Been using Magliner carts for years. First, those of people I worked with. Then babysat one while the owner was off living in Europe for a few years; he just came back and reclaimed his cart (with ample warning; no worries). Just bought another one used; like all Magliners, it'll last for ever, is stable when loaded down, and can be easily modified. It's nice to have our/my own working surface, too. My current cart is pretty close to this (ie- a Magliner Gemini Jr with shelf), though with a lower deck to keep bags/cases from slipping. Also, mine's scratched up since it's used. It'll still outlive me.

    maglinerjr.jpg

    I've also used folding hand trucks, including some models that stay in the tilted-back position (ie- have four wheels)...can get a lot of stuff on those, but not as useful (or as heavy) as a Magliner cart.

    But the key thing if I'm working solo (or am solely responsible for my equipment... i.e.- no PA avail), is trying to get everything in one trip. That's REALLY nice as car to location distances keep growing.

    But Eric, you've been around for a while. Do you feel like a cart of some sort won't work for you?
    ----------
    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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    A few days ago, I asked a question on the forum about travelling overseas doing the same type of shoot http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread...t-gear-to-take

    I then re-watched Luke Serveld's video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Aq9KME2kQ

    Luke cut a lot of corners re gear, he had to as he's working solo. He had three small Samsonite roller bags and a backpack

    But, his work looks and sounds great.

    Which has me thinking that if there is no money for an assistant, then the gear has to be scaled back.

    So, for me, three trips is two too many


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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    I've got something like this now. https://www.amazon.com/Timber-Ridge-...4RVZQHG2NCKCY7





    It folds up nice and small. A Magliner could hold more gear, but doesn't fold up small enough to fit happily in my SUV. Any compact folding cart solutions are welcome.


    _______________

    I'm working on slimming down my lighting kit. Three Practlite 802s would take up half as much space as three Litepanel Astras, so that's what I'm currently leaning toward. Then I can store my lighting equipment in a smaller bag. The cloth lights always seem nice at first glance, but seem to require too much setup/rigging, have too wide of a beam spread, and typically aren't as bright. A Practilite or Astra comes out of the bag ready to go.



    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
    Do what you have to do but personally I think more than one trip is messed up. That’s the sign of needing another guy.
    Unless if you mostly work in a busy city like NY, I don't really understand this mentality. A second trip for me is typically another five minutes, times two for breakdown. So, I'm going to charge my client an extra $200 or so for a PA just to save 10 minutes of time. Yeah, I know, they can help with other stuff too, but if they're a PA, particularly not one I work with regularly, their help with general setup would be limited. Anyway, most clients have a limited budget (like, even Avengers has a limited budget). I find if you budget in a PA, that means you get less take home for yourself. And all so I can save 10 minutes. Doesn't make sense to me. I could see if one is past 60 and wants to cut down on the manual labor, but for a young person it just seems lazy to me. Maybe some day I'll create a topic ranting about why one-man-banding is often the best and most profitable way to work.
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 06-08-2018 at 12:31 AM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    I'm working on slimming down my lighting kit. Three Practlite 802s would take up half as much space as three Litepanel Astras, so that's what I'm currently leaning toward. Then I can store my lighting equipment in a smaller bag. The cloth lights always seem nice at first glance, but seem to require too much setup/rigging, have too wide of a beam spread, and typically aren't as bright. A Practilite or Astra comes out of the bag ready to go.


    Depending on how you set them up, they 'can' be used as simply as gaffer's taping them to any available surface. Even if you set them up
    using their included frame and on a light stand, it's usually not any more than 5 minutes to set one up. The one I have (LEDGo VersaTile)
    is plenty bright, (*disclaimer below) but it's got a built in dimmer so I just dial it back. You can also change the color temp via another dial which
    can be nice when you are using some nat light through a window and have to match it. As for too wide of a beam spread, you are right there.
    Used with the diffusion cloth, it's pretty similar to a soft box which can be a nice look. But I would highly recommend getting the 'eggcrate'
    add on so that you can control the light spread better and keep it flagged off parts of your set that you don't want light spilling into!

    *Disclaimer......I'm just lighting simple one or two person interviews, so if you are doing more than this, yeah, it probably won't be bright
    enough.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    Unless if you mostly work in a busy city like NY, I don't really understand this mentality. A second trip for me is typically another five minutes, times two for breakdown. So, I'm going to charge my client an extra $200 or so for a PA just to save 10 minutes of time. Yeah, I know, they can help with other stuff too, but if they're a PA, particularly not one I work with regularly, their help with general setup would be limited. Anyway, most clients have a limited budget (like, even Avengers has a limited budget). I find if you budget in a PA, that means you get less take home for yourself. And all so I can save 10 minutes. Doesn't make sense to me. I could see if one is past 60 and wants to cut down on the manual labor, but for a young person it just seems lazy to me. Maybe some day I'll create a topic ranting about why one-man-banding is often the best and most profitable way to work.
    Yup, I have the same experience even though I'm not in a big city. Most of the time, I'm working on mid priced budget work.
    Stuff where I 'could' afford a PA maybe, but the client isn't going to pay me anything extra to hire one. So if I make that extra
    10 minute trip, I make an extra $250. Worth it to me! Even on one of my larger budgeted jobs, where I was traveling to 4 different
    locations by jet, and creating a series (4 separate videos) I did it all by myself. Gear is getting smaller and lighter every year and
    I can deal with a little extra gear lugging. It's nothing compared to when I worked at the TV station and had a big
    shoulder mount BetaSX cam, heavy tripod, big backpack with 30 pounds of batteries, 7 or 8 extra tapes, a 50 pound
    light kit, a wireless mic kit bag and so on.


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    Eric

    I think part of being a good operator is having a skill in moving gear.

    Understand the above quote about stacking and also consider the quote about always one move and maybe get more people. I agree this is not true for the arrive at single location, setup for the day routine. You can do that alone if there is security and good parking. (Working in London we assume we have to dump kit on the sidewalk, leave it attended and then park - minium two folk)

    Im not really going to answer your question because you need to be able to work it out as part of your skillset. Failing operators are the ones that own a jib, slider and ronin but never have time to use any of them becuase of the setup time!

    Very quickly an SUV is going to top out. I consider my van with neat rows of boxes a major part of my production offer - without the van my gear has to be packed in such non tesalating and inaccesable manner as to not be accessable - operator fail!

    Since I started working with a regular AC who knows the van it has all gelled. Basically jobs where he is not hired I use 1 panel, sticks camera and lenses.

    Want more? rent me and my A/C-Grip-Bcam Operator-Boom swinging wizard

    I guess there are stages.. and you need to understand your specific assignment and match your kit/loading to it.
    'Shark pool' - I need to hang all my gear off me while shooting
    Move and shoot - Im allowed to put something down while shooting
    One trolly
    Trolly unload
    etc.

    Sharkpool I might have the camera on the shoulder and a bag of lenses on my body. No sticks.
    Moove and shoot, camera bag of lenses, sticks, bag allowed on the ground while rolling.
    1 trolly: I havke a small cart and would expect to be able to move this, possibly with sticks over my shoulder

    whatever!

    Some notes on my way.

    Small jobs are usually soft bags/backpacks
    Larger jobs are usually Really useful boxes.. which stack (unlike pelis)
    My grip is in Euroboxes - also stacking
    I then have kit longer than a Eurobox - eg sticks or Cstands - Im notr really smooth with these now.

    Carts seem to have classes ..
    Typically 'small enough for elevator' or 'Long enough for sticks' - the two are mutually exclusive. (know your location!)

    My cart is about 1m*60 and small enough for elavator, but then sticks have to be managed seperately.

    You can see a pic here, the handle folds flat. On is a really useful box, but I can stack about 4 RUB high, https://twitter.com/sammorganmoore/s...00503536324608
    Last edited by morgan_moore; 06-08-2018 at 02:53 AM.


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