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Old March 2nd, 2003, 08:39 AM   #1
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Has a crane/support ever failed you?

Upon replying to the other current Crane thread, I got to thinking about support failure. Has anyone here experienced support failure? That is, a tripod, crane, jib, etc... failing to hold your expensive equipment, causing damage? Does anyone have stories to share?
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Old March 2nd, 2003, 09:15 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Clearwater, FL
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I was doing sound at the Ohio State Fair (years ago) and I saw a crew setting up and testing a crane for a show. I wasn't paying much attention, then I heard a loud crash. I looked up and saw the crane (with a Sony Betacam) had fallen into the seats. Well, better now than later I figured, when fans would have been in the seats. After the show I was talking to a couple of the crew and it was decided that the crane hadn't been anchored properly (gee, no kidding). Those guys were lucky. Safety first.

If I was using a crane today, I would make sure my liability insurance premiums are paid up. It wouldn't take much for someone (crew, cast, audience etc.) to get really hurt. Just because someone works for free or donates labor doesn't mean you can't be sued or owe workman's comp.
Jeff Donald
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Old March 3rd, 2003, 02:51 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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I was using a Promax crane loaned to me by the Art school, but it was with a
crummy tripod that wasn't up to the task of holding the jib arm and the camera.
The jib arm fell off when I went to full tilt down. Luckily I caught the jib &
and my XL1 before it hit the ground.

My advice for using the Promax or other jib rig that doesn't come with
it's own pod or base is to buy a HEAVY DUTY tripod that comes with a
nice big HD plate.

Hitting someone on top of the head could end up costing way more than
even a real jimmy jib rig.
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
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