GEN: Panavision Genesis on "Balls of Fury" at DVinfo.net

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Old September 3rd, 2007, 12:14 PM   #1
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GEN: Panavision Genesis on "Balls of Fury"

Thought I would resuscitate these pix from last year now that the movie is out, these are from the prep and on set of "Balls of Fury", on which I was the A camera/Steadicam operator. If you have seen the film you will probably recognize the set shots as being the scene of Randy's first comeback tournament, where he is whooped by "The Hammer", played by Patton Oswalt. There are also a couple of stills from the short-lived series "Andy Barker, P.I." in there as well.

After these two jobs last year, I haven't worked with the Genesis since and it has continued to evolve in its workflow and accessory setup so it is not quite as messy as seen here...!

Happy to answer questions on the production of "Balls" as much as I can.

http://web.mac.com/chupap/Site_2/Genesis.html
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Old February 10th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #2
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Cool, thanks for posting these. I always think behind the scenes clips/photos are neat.
What was the room you were setting up your rig in? Was the scene with the ping pong table at an actual high school?
and the last question
http://web.mac.com/chupap/Site_2/Genesis.html#7
What is the guy in the very back holding?
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Old February 10th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #3
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Hi Eric:

Yes, if you have seen the movie it was the ping-pong tournament with Patton Oswalt winning that tiny little trophy, we shot it at some school (can't remember if it was elementary or high school).

The guy at the back who was our DIT looks to be carrying an onboard HD monitor. We were testing our cable setup to see if we could get RF interference, went walking around Panavision, near microwave ovens and scopes and things like that.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 05:08 AM   #4
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Hi Charles, great picks! That thing looks heavy!

Im a complete newbie to the world of cinematography, so please excuse the dumb question below... ;)

Whilst you are operating the stedicam, how is focus controlled? I cant see a FF.

On a big production like that, with that level of equipment, is there a dedicated 'focus puller' working via remote?

I remember watching the making of The Bourne Ultimatum, where the guy had a shoulder mounted rig (a bit like a spider brace) in the train station. the action was very busy, and constantly moving. I always wondered how they kept focus properly??

Thanks again for the pics
James
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Old February 12th, 2008, 09:52 AM   #5
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Hi James:

In the second picture you can see the back of the lens motors marked "f" and "t" (for focus and t-stop), and the motor driver is the box with the two cables with green strain relief attached; in the fourth picture you can see one of them engaged to the lens. In the 9th picture you can see my AC holding the remote hand unit.

A remote system is used for Steadicam on all but the smallest productions. It's possible to "set and forget" with 1/3" cameras; it's a big stretch but you can do so in a limiting way with 2/3" and 16mm cameras, but no-one is shooting 35mm without a remote system. This is why it's a bit of a conundrum right now for those using 35mm adaptors on their cameras--there is not currently a remote system with the cut-rate prices associated with that level of gear, but several companies are working on it.

Pulling focus for Steadicam is very challenging as you can't lay marks in the same way as a dolly-mounted camera. It used to be a specific skill but now all focus pullers are expected to have it down. Handheld like you describe has traditionally been done with a follow focus and whip but more and more, remote systems like mine are being used as they allow the AC to triangulate his position and the operator to move more freely (I MUCH prefer that setup, myself).
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Old February 15th, 2008, 05:42 PM   #6
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Hi Charles, is that the digital preston thats rigged up on the primo?
man I can't wait til the SSR-1 comes out, its going to be easier for steadicam ops to use the genesis when that comes out!
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Old February 15th, 2008, 05:47 PM   #7
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Yup, Preston.

I will be flying the SSR1 on a feature in a couple of weeks, apparently the first show to get the flash-drive fulltime. Looking forward to it. Greatly reduced weight, power, has built-in downconverter etc. Much better for Steadicam and handheld.
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