This is a private forum for Technodolly operators and techs. Please email Garritt[at]PacificMotion[dot]net for a user account.

To add an avatar image to your profile, visit

Welcome Guest 

Show/Hide Header

Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.

Pages: [1]
Author Topic: "Wizards" Disney Production
Posts: 14
Post "Wizards" Disney Production
on: November 30, 2012, 13:25

Rob and I did a recent job for Disney in which we had to double the lead female actor for scenes in which she fights her evil self. We shot for 4 days at Santa Clarita studios in Santa Clarita, CA. Here are some notes and highlights from the job.

The VFX supervisor had worked with Anthony's technodolly in New York and really liked the rig, so he specifically asked for it and knew most of its capabilities.

Every shot had dialog, so the quiet operation of the Technodolly made these shots possible. In four days we shot approximately 60 different shots (each had an A-side, a B-side, and clean plates), on 2 stages, on 3 sets, with 3 separate setups, each with track. The second setup involved 40' of track (with the cable chain), on 3' high steeldeck. In each location, we used track mainly to position the rig, then shot as many as 25-30 different shots (each with at least 3 sides). The ability to record live moves, and program quick moves with a few keyframes made this very fast schedule possible. The majority (75%) of our shots were recorded live and repeated for B-sides and background plates.

For each shot, we shot a pass with the actress as her "good" self (and other actors on set) fighting with or exchanging dialog with her stand-in or stunt double. Usually, immediately following the master A-side, we would clear the set and shoot a clean pass for a background plate. Then the actress would change and return for B-sides as her evil self. In several shots, the actress would "flash" (essentially teleport) to a different location on the set. This would require additional passes to get her in all her locations. In at least one shot the actress will be visible in 3 locations in the same shot.

First the good
- The crew loved the rig! It was quiet, fast, flexible, and repeated perfectly. We had a very good video assist guy on set who was able to comp shots throughout the shoot, so the director and vfx supervisor could see the results. They were very pleased. The crew was used to working with a Technojib on set, so they liked the ability to just record a live move and then have it repeat. Only when a very fast move, or a precise camera path were needed, did we keyframe moves. In one instance the director wanted a shot to boom up (with the telescope fully extended) from about 3' to about 12' high, with about a 45 degree turn, as fast as it could happen. in this shot the lens had to stop about 2" from a piece of speed rail. In 30 seconds, we sampled the starting keyframe and the end keyframe. They looked at the move and it was perfect - AND FAST - the director was THRILLED!

The rig worked with only a few minor hiccups for 4 days straight. This really increased my confidence in it.

The few bad points - A longer arm would have been helpful. Throughout the shoot we needed more reach. Horst was able to visit the set, and when the director met him he said two things - he loved the rig and he wanted a longer arm. This is not necessarily a shortcomming of the Technodolly - The size is very good for many shots. Rather it is an opportunity for growth. A larger future rig would really be great.

At one point the computer was shut down with the Technodolly software still running, and when it was restarted, the rig would not start up. I troubleshot for a bit before I realized that the software had been corrupted (the rig would start if the computer was off, but if the computer was on it would fire the brakes immediately). I replaced the hard drive with the backup and made it through the rest of the shoot without any issues. When I got back to the shop I updated the software on the original hard drive and everything worked again. Weird problem, but this is why we carry spares

In one location we had to move back and forth past a very close set wall. This required pulling the monitors in on the side of the Technodolly. While we had the monitors pulled in, we were asked to raise the arm all the way up, and the weight handle hit the video monitor and shattered it. Big Bummer! I include this only as a warning. Watch out if your monitors are not all the way out.

The crew called the Technodolly "Motion Control" throughout the shoot. This is not a bad thing, but we have noticed that although we don't propagate the idea, crews think of the Technodolly as a motion control rig. That means that they have certain expectations about the capabilities of the rig. While the grips were very happy to help us move the "Technocrane" around the set and help set up track, the director expected to be able to get "motion control" shots that the Technodolly could not do easily. This led to a few instances of disapointment. Overall, the technodolly is pretty set friendly, and isn't as intimidating as our noisier motion control rigs, directors still expect a level of precision and programmablity that the Technodolly does not always provide.


Pages: [1]
Mingle Forum by cartpauj
Version: 1.0.34 ; Page loaded in: 0.005 seconds.