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Re: Pedestal-style camera

On Tue, 21 Oct 1997 17:07:51 -0700, you wrote:
>I'm hoping someone will enlighten me on a term (and/or technique) I'm not 
>familiar with. In an interview published in the Sept '97 issue of 
>Variety's On Production, Ed Lammi, of Columbia Tri Star said, "...our 
>position on half-hours is, if you want to shoot 35, it's on pedestals. 
>And if for any reason you insist on shooting on dollies, then it has to 
>be Super 16." I get the general idea of what he's talking about, but 
>perhaps one of my hollywood colleagues can tell me why a studio would 
>insist that a half-hour show be shot stationary (if I interpret 
>correctly) on 35 and only use S16 if they want to move the camera? 
>Spence Burton
>Film Services Manager
>Henninger Media Services
More than likely, it's the money. 

While pedestals do have decent mobility in the hands of the right camera
operator (video sitcoms are almost universally shot on peds that do quite a
bit of moving about during a scene), shooting on a dolly usually requires
at least one additional person (sometimes even two if it's a union show),
and results in generally smother "on-air" camera movement.

So they get the extra crew for the dolly, but have to make up for it
financially with the lower camera/stock/transfer costs.

As an editorial aside, I have worked on the production of many episodic
shows, and it always helps me to understand the majors' thought processes
when I keep in mind that:

-The actual physical cost of shooting a half hour (equipment, crew, stock,
post) is normally less than 10% of the total cost of the show.  But it's
that 10% where ALL the financial grinding takes place. The rest of the
budget goes to talent, the creative production team, and many above the
line parasites who usually don't even show up after the first season.

-The people making these types of decisions are almost always bean counters
with very little if any actual on-set experience (coming to the set for
lunch doesn't count), coupled with the aesthetic sensibilities of a rock.

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC

The Ultimate in ULTIMATTE compositing.  
For details, visit http://www.bluescreen.com

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