Saturday, June 23, 2007

IA 695 meeting and discussions

Went to the quarterly union meeting today and was saddened by the turnout.  We didn't make quorum, so it ending up being an informal gathering.  No business could be conducted.  Though we had lively discussion on a few subjects for over 2 hours.  One interesting thing was a brief mention on the looming contract negotiations between the Producers and the Writers Guild. The possibility of strike being the most feared outcome of those negotiations.  Several members feel that it is all talk and they will come to an agreement, while others are shouting "save your money, we're going down".  I'm trying not to buy into the fear of strike movement at this point, as I see that many productions are going on business as usual.  The fear was that production companies would start to stockpile shows in order to have a backlog of material when and if the strike happens.  In years past, this has created a 'de-facto" strike, as the strike never happened...the backlog of shows caused a long pause in production.  The end result was the same thing, many folks didn't work because of the backlog.  It seems to me that this is not happening this time, which could be good if the parties reach an agreement.  If they go on strike, the whole town will feel the heat.  I for one hope everyone holds their head up and comes to an agreement.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bag Rigs

I don't really do the run and gun video shoots very often, and the reality gigs are not for me. But occasional documentaries, interviews and the odd day call are interesting for me. I've always had a bag ready for these sort of things, but lately I've wanted to upgrade it to a more useful rig. With the guidance of a few mixers who do this sort of thing on a regular basis, I went for the Petrol PEGZ1 bag rather than the old stand by Porta Brace. The end result was a nice and comfortable bag rig, that can be modified to do whatever I need to do.

In video mode, this rig contains:
Sound Devices 442
2 Lectro 411 receivers
2 Lectro 200 transmitters for camera hop
1 Comtek M216 transmitter
Remote Audio BDS power distribution with NP1
Transmitters, Lav mics and accessories.

My plans are to use this same bag as my mini rig for recording when needed. I will replace the contents of the upper pocket, the receivers and transmitters, with a Sound Devices 744T. This will be my rig for insert cars, tops of buildings, the occasional bus and train type of shots. Anywhere that the cart can't make the trip.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Day calls and rechargeables

Starting to get quite a few day calls for coming up. I actually quite like doing commercials and day calls, as it allows me to meet so many more people. Last week it was toy commercials, this week it is dog trainers and 2nd unit on a big feature. We don't start back on Jericho till mid/late July, so it's good to keep the income going.

I'm going to try some rechargeable batteries this coming season. The new iPower Lithium rechargeable systems have been getting good reports. I'm going to try them on my wireless boom and IFB rigs, as well as my standard UM400 belt packs. Not sure what I'm going to do with my SM packs yet. The SM's and my slates use AA's, so I'm doing some more investigation. I'm trying to limit the big footprint of a bunch of plastic battery chargers and wall wart power supplies. I hate that... More reports to come on this.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jericho Lives!

It was amazing. Close to 25 tons of peanuts, endless phone calls and emails to the network. The largest fan and viewer revolt in TV history worked. Jericho will return to CBS sometime this fall season with at least 7 new episodes. The network will watch this VERY closely, so hopefully the fans will turn out. If there is success, perhaps a season 3. A long shot at best, but that's what the show is all about, survival. Cheers to all the fans who stuck with and supported us.

Thank you to

On the work front, some more days of National Treasure 2, Book of Secrets as they are nearing the end of their schedule. 2nd unit is picking up the leftover bits and pieces. I rather enjoy that sort of thing. Lots of stunt work though, waiting around, etc. All good...


Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Been a bit of a slow summer, but things are picking up a bit. Did some 2nd unit work over on National Treasure 2, Book of Secrets, a couple of commercials and the NFL Rookie Premiere for the NFL Network.

The campaign to save Jericho is now called the biggest viewer revolt in television history. Check out to see the up to date pound count of nuts sent to CBS. It's absolutely awesome to see the fan support of our show. We only wish that CBS would acknowlege the fans, but that seems a long shot. Keep this up! They have to listen eventually!

Really feeling the need to get a bigger vehicle to haul all my gear around. Doing the day call routine has required using my GMC Safrari van. I bought the thing way back in '99, when I had a few cases and a small sound things have changed. If I don't end up on a series for the coming season, I am considering a Sprinter van. I will have more than enough room in the Sprinter, and not have to fold my cart down for load. Not to mention the ability to stand up when I load and unload the equipment. My good friend Frank Menges has tricked out a Sprinter quite well for a sound package...very interesting.

Updated the website yesterday. It was looking a little old and Windows Front Page like, as that's how it was created. I've since moved over to the Mac camp, and used Freeway Express to quickly create a simple and effective site. Freeway is a really easy program...after the 3 tutorials you can get right down to business.