Thursday, April 12, 2012

Full throttle until you see baby Jesus....

So I am always getting in trouble for MLS posting too much info and like normal I got caught...

I will shorten this up and fill you in later when more info and the filming is done...

I have been building camera rigs for a few years for all kinds of TV commercials / movies and one project that has come up over the last year is one for a very major vehicle manufacture for their commercials.

Let me give you the low down on the rig and some of the fun of build it.

The final product will come months from now when I can link to the site.

Anyone that builds stuff knows the hardest part of designing something is where to start and what size to make it.

Lucky I had a left over door from a prototype project for Brita Water Filters that served as a perfect starting point using a nice square frame. I took the sheet metal off of it, that will be recycled in to metal canvases to paint for Ernest ( up coming blog post )  

Next was building some wheels and turning for it. 

Anyone that has been on movie sets knows,
A. it has to drive over power cords
B. it has to have the wheel enclosed because it hits everything
C. it needs to be super versatile 

Made a center sliding rail mount for the boom and some steering arm.

I took a break to go get some licence plates for the MLS rig #1
I needed new plates because of a pit maneuver I pulled on an out of control car on the freeway months back. Saved the couple from getting hurt but spooked them a bit I think. 
So I got new plates before I left last weekend....

Decided to test the rig with Patrick before leaving for LA
See the right angle drill to drive the fast turn acme threads and drive the camera up and down on the boom.
Custom made computer tray and goodies on there as well.

Once in LA like normal I forgot like 20 things on it...
So making the classic Will Call pick up at McMaster..
And a late night help from Blake at Exile cycles...
It was ready.

Yep I am tired...

Blake and Russell are finishing up the Exile Cycles Rockstar Dragster
I did the welding on this one about a month ago...
This thing is one of my favorites..
Someday, I will build an Exile for myself....

On the streets of LA durning a shoot with the rig
One of the weirdest sets I have ever been on...
Had a dude run across the hood of the car while we were filming
and everything else couldn't have went worse, but we got it done.

Melted plastic - Why you ask?

I was so bummed about the 16 hour shoot on saturday that I needed to bail and go back to Oakland.
I decided to leave with no sleep at midnight and drive all the way back up.

As I was climbing the mountain leaving LA in the MLS rig #1, I drove in to a cloud or what I thought was a cloud at the summit.
As I slowed down thru the smoke, I noticed it was from a car that was on fire and there was people in the road trying to get things out of the car.

Knowing that if I wouldn't have slowed down, I would have hit this car...

I yelled at the people in the free way trying to get stuff out of the blazing car..
" get on the shoulder, get on the shoulder!!!!"

I kicked my F150 down in to low and rammed the huge ball of flames in the #2 lane as the people ran to the shoulder...

Pushing it 100 feet proved to be a mission because the car was in park but  to add to the rad factor - the ground was covered in burning gas, which became a flame thrower as the rear tires on my truck burned out across it while pushing the car...

As this madness was happening a fellow big rig driver with a crazy powerful fire extinguisher put out the inferno and that was the end - minutes later the highway patrol rolled up to the fun being over. 

Over all everyone was safe
 - my truck didn't burn - 
my licence plate and truck front end is covered in melted plastic
 and no one died on Easter morning

Job well done...

perfect end to a stressful weekend back at the Skunkworks

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