Sunday, November 24, 2013

Making a semi trailer bounce on no budget

Ok, so I'm trying to figure out how to, on an indie film budget, rig a tractor trailer to jostle back and forth to simulate it's on the road movement. So far my best bet is I'm just telling them what I'm hoping to do, and since they actually know what the equipment can handle, perhaps they can help me out. And, they rent out the equipment, so it would be a little more realistic than trying to buy something like this.

The other thought I have is to attach a tow truck to the side of the trailer and tug it back and forth with super-heavy duty aircraft cable. I think this would work best, however, the issue is in preventing the potentail human error of pulling it too far and having the set fall on it's side. I don't want any sets tripping over on my watch.

Another idea is to use a jack with a double acting Electric Hydraulic Pump
Something like:
except that it costs $3,783.50

So here are some of the consumer products I've found that we might be able to use to jack it up and drop it down during the takes:

  • Husky Brute Electric Trailer Jack - Drop Leg - A-Frame - 18" Lift - 4,500 lbs

  • Electric jack with powered drive lets you lift and lower your trailer quickly and easily
  • $219.95

Trailer Jack
Drop Leg Jack
Sidewind Jack
13-1/2 Inch Drop Leg
12000 lbs


Online Item #: 0000000033071
SKU: 002965358

  • Min. to max. lift height - 4.5 to 37.24 in.
  • Rated load capacity - 4,660 lbs.
  • May be used to lift, winch, clamp, pull or push
  • ested load capacity of 7,000 lbs. for a safety factor of 150%
  • Made in the USA
  • Weight: Approximately 30 pounds
  • Shipping Dimensions: Approximately 51 x 10 x 5 inches.

More on this research as it develops.

Monday, November 11, 2013

breakaway door research

One of my conundrums for my upcoming projects is breakaway doors and walls. They get busted open all over the place!

So here's some information I'm scrounging from the internet ethos for us. Here's some of the advice I've found so far about doors:

"The one that gets knocked off its hinges can be really easy if it swings upstage--just use loose pin hinges and have someone pull the pins just before the big moment. If it needs toswing downstage, you could use lift-off hinges so the actor just lifts the door slightly to pull it off its hinges. Likely need to modify the hinges so the pins are shorter and leave a bit of extra clearance inside the top of the door frame.

For the other door--what is it supposed to look like? a residential hollow core door? A solid raised-panel door? Probably the easiest and most convincing method would be to build it as a hollow-core door with balsa facing and just reface or rebuild it for each show. You could also build it as a solid door and pre-break parts and insert thin dowels across the breaks to hold the pieces together--that way when the door gets hit the dowels snap and the pieces fall apart. Or you could do a hybrid of the two methods, for instance build a raised panel door where the frame is pre-broken and doweled and build one of the panels from balsa so it can be destroyed each show and a new panel slotted in."

And for breakaway walls, I've found these videos to be pretty helpful:

Also my favorite guys at BFX made a video:

Let's start breaking stuff!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Diamond Ruff Premieres in Hartford CT

Diamond Ruff has premiered! And I'm very proud to say that it looks fantastic. There were plenty of things my three-years-more experienced self would have caught, but for my first big feature film- I'm pretty proud with the work. I have to thank the director, Alec Asten, and the folks at Young Feature Films, like Joe and Kyle Young and Geanetta Bennett for not giving up on the project while they found their way through post production and finished up a fine film. And I also want to give a shout out to all of my art department crew and interns who rocked the heck out of every aspect of this film. From the costumes and custom masks to the 15' tall Trojan horse we built, dismantled, and rebuilt- everything looked fan-freaking-tastic

Diamond Ruff was shot hella indie style a little over three years ago now. And exists today because of a lot of people's blood sweat and tears.  We premiered on November 1st at the Bushnell Theater in Hartford, CT to a huge audience. Fingers crossed the distributors liked it too!