So - we have a new player in town.
In fact - quite the reverse. One of my friends uses another second hand shop to borrow a bit of dosh when he’s short - just £20 on his old laptop. He went in on the day they opened to see if their rates were better than where he goes now - and for a twenty quid loan they wanted forty back - the other shop (Stock and Cheques) charge him a FIVER! - As my mum would say that’s just usery.
On top of that, I have some gold to sell. I guessed they’d offer me most as they’ll be wanting to get new customers in, and on the phone they did - they offered me £9.50 a gram on 9ct. Different story in store though - when I went in to sell he weighed it up and offered me £45. I asked what the weight was and he ummed and ahhed a bit until finally admitting it was five grammes. That’s 50p LESS per gram than I was told on the phone. Needeless to say the lying t**t didn’t get my gold.
Looking around the shop the stock is dirty (this is a BRAND NEW SHOP) loads of stuff has “slight fault” written on the price tags and actually - most of the stuff that is decent is almost at full retail price anyway! So why would you shop there? Just go and buy new is my advice. At least you get a guarantee.
So - my assertion is this - beware of the wolf in sheeps clothing. Don’t be fooled by the shiny signs and groovy looking shop - they’ll kick your ass as hard as they can to make a profit out of you.
And here’s someone else who clearly has seen Cash Converters for what they are…
(To quote this poster verbatim) - “I would only ever recommend Cash Converters if you were likely to die if you didn’t get some money, and only if you don’t mind getting peanuts for your stuff only to see it sold on at a vastly inflated price at a later date. Stay away… ”
Well, the old studio has been demolished and I’ve moved. New custom built studio is going up soon and I’m really looking forward to settling back into a working routine.
Funny thing when shifting all the gear - I needed a 7.5 ton truck to get it all shifted and discovered completely by accident that Ballards Removals now do self drive hire. £100 for the day - and very nice people to deal with. Unlike Maun Motors who couldn’t have sounded more dis-interested when I rang them, Rachel at Ballards was very lovely, helpful and accomodating. Matt who was there at 7am when I went to collect it was a good chap too. Very easy going on fuel charge, included a sack barrow, blankets and ties and made it an all round good experience. Even offered to turn out in the evening if I was late back! So - if you need a 7.5 ton truck ring Ballards or check their website. I can HIGHLY recommend them!Comments Off | Permalink
Just in case you’ve not caught it elsewhere - here’s the video we made for Ohasis.
And here’s that link again! - OHASISiNETComments Off | Permalink
Why are (with one possible exception) the staff in Worksop’s main post office so bloody fat and miserable? They sit there glowering at customers - they bark out orders - in a nutshell they’re a bunch of fekking miserable shits. If this is what Post Office Counters think 21st century customers want they should think again!Leave a Comment | Permalink
Well, I’m chuffed to bits with the latest project to come to fruition.
Back in April I filmed the Oasis tribute band Ohasis up at the Glastonferry festival near Warrington. Held in the grounds of the Ferry Tavern, it’s a trib fest that attracts alot of the best bands and a good 2000 strong audience.
A few weeks later, we had a day filming in Nottingham, using the old cattle market as a location, and a terraced street in Snienton.
Here we are few months later, the video has been edited, and I’ve also made them a great new website too. Check out the vid - It’s had great reviews and brilliantly it’s been compared to productions that cost small fortunes to produce.
Go to www.ohasisinet.com and see why I’m so happy with the final result.Comments Off | Permalink
Alot of people have messaged me recently (particularly from eBay) regarding the ProAim pan and tilt head and asking for an honest view of it. The head I’m referring to in this article is THIS ONE.
I have to say that in terms of value for money it’s pretty good. If compared against something as sophisticated as a Varizoom model it probably won’t even come close in terms of quality of functionality. BUT - you have to take into account that it’s probably only about one sixth the price.
When mine arrived, I was keen to open it up, have a look and see exactly what my five hundred quid had bought me.
The whole unit is well packaged in its own custom foam cut case, which is quite sufficient for its needs. One thing you do have to be wary of when packing though is that you dont move the head around my hand. The instructions state that damage can occur to the motors if you do. So make sure that before you power down the head, ensure it’s in the correct position for packing.
The whole unit is powered by a 24v laptop power supply which terminates in a four pin XLR plug. The manual states a lower power supply can be used, but the speed of the head will be affected if you do.
The main control unit has a clamp bracket on the ‘front’ end which I have to say is entirely the wrong place for it. I had to dismantle the box, drill two new holes and move it to the side, where it will clamp to my pan bar or jib and still be facing the correct way. Exiting the control box is a single XLR’d cable of decent length which splits neatly into two - one for the vertical motor, one to the horizontal motor. The cable is decent quality and plenty long enough for my Hague K12 jib.
The joystick control was another area where ‘tweaking’ was required. Once my Z1 was mounted on the head, it drifted off constantly. So - again, inside the box and by moving the pots left and vertical of the control I found the dead spot where no power was being sent to the motors. Irritating but not the end of the world.
Incidentally, mounting of the unit on my jib was a bit of a challenge too. The ProAim’s mount is square. with four slots in which to my mind doesn’t really match up to anything standard tripod or jib wise, so I had to fabricate another plate with four holes matching the ProAim’s ones and mount on my Hague jib that way.
Once the minor irritants were dealt with I have to say I’m pretty happy. The movement is smooth (if somewhat noisy) and fine control of speed is possible - although I think some practice will be required. I can now get the shots I want and it hasn’t cost me a fortune.
Overall - I would recommend the head as a good, budget alternative to the pricey stuff, but if you can afford the Varizoom (or better) you probably wont have to do the tweaking I had to do to get it how I wanted.
I will be taking some pictures shortly to illustrate my points - so keep nipping back and having a look!
EDIT - I’ve had a bill from FedEx for £14.20 which they say is from the taxman for unpaid import duty on the head. I’ve been in touch with DVAccessory (who sold the head to me) and the guy there called Simer has assured me I’ll get this money refunded to me via Paypal. I’ve just this moment emailed him with a copy of the bill, so we’ll see how long the refund takes to arrive.
Edit AGAIN - Pleased to say Simer has emailed me this morning (less than 24hrs from first contact) to let me know my refund is on its way - Top Service I’d say!
IMAGE ONE - View inside the control box. I’ve arrowed the trim controllers on the underside of the joystick control. Careful adjustment of these was required on mine to stop the head ’slewing’ away when it was meant to be at rest.
IMAGE TWO - Another view inside the control box. I found that the arrowed plug became easily detached fromn the PCB when working inside the box. Ensure if you need to access the innards that you check the plug is correctly reseated before assembling the box again.
May 2010 Update.
Right - I’ve had this unit for a while now - and my experiences haven’t been QUITE as good as I would have hoped for…
First of all there is the issue of the gears. The large ones are made of aluminium - and pretty cheap grade ally in my opinion (and that of an engineer friend of mine too). What I’ve discovered - and I freely admit this is my fault to a degree but I believe it reflects a poor quality of design or build.. is that often times at the end of filming, it’s easy to forget to reset the head to its parking point and the temptation is to move it by hand to get it to fit back into its case. The problem is that the gear skip teeth and it burrs the edges so easily - and once burred - the movement is totally knackered. I asked the price of new gears and got an answer of £40 per set. Helpfully - my engineer friend has taken the knackered ones and is having some made out of stainless steel. So - lesson one - DONT move the arms by hand - it will cost you!
Second on my list of gripes is the fact that I identified the ’speed control’ wasn’t really having any effect and every so often the head would rotate off on its own. Only switching off and on again seemed to ‘reset’ it. I took the control box to another mate of mine who designs high grade hi-fi and asked him to take a look. He found the speed control (a 1k pot) had been wired poorly and was burnt out. Further - he took a close look at the circuit board and found splatters of solder all over it. He said the random movement was probably due to stray voltage striking out and screwing with the IC. So - and in fairness to the suppliers, I asked for and recieved a replacemet circuit board fairly quickly and free of charge.
Next - position of the head. I’ve once or twice wanted to use it ‘overhead’ rather than underslung off my jib. The main problem then is that the joystick controls have no ‘reverse switch’. So the joystick has to be mounted upside down. Not ideal.
Overall at this stage my assesment is that the ProAim head is ALMOST good. Just not brilliant. And extreme care has to be exercised in its use.Leave a Comment | Permalink
So - how many others have noticed way so many sellers on eBay these days jack up the price the take by hiking up the postage and packing? Recent case in point, I bought some CD envelopes. 50 for £8.49. Not too bad I thought. £4.99 extra for post and packing. I needed them so I paid. When the parcel arrived, the actual postage charged was £2.70! And as far as ‘packaging’ - just a polythene bag with some parcel tape around it. Hardly another £2.29’s worth - So I left my feelings about it on my feedback - and just got an email from the seller telling me off for alerting everyone else to what I believe is a scam. He cited VAT for the extra amount - well, as far as I’m aware postage doesn’t carry VAT. So I stand by my feedback - and will continue to expose every seller I find on there ripping off customers to make an extra couple of quid.Comments Off | Permalink
Well, I’ve now edited and posted all the Yorkshire Dales Autograss videos and a hell of a lot of fun it was! Just working out all the different classes of cars, the heats and finals and then the open racing - a steep learning curve for sure - but worth it. Many thanks to everyone who’s bought either a download or a DVD from me. I hope they match up to your expectations.
Seeing all those cars tearing around that circuit was brilliant - a great day out in fact - and that’s where they should be! On my way home on the day after, heading between Worksop and Retford, some mad ba**ard in a metallic blue Porsche (what else?) registration number 996A UK (spaced like that) overtook me like an absolute bullet. But here’s the best bit. On a windy ‘B’ road this was, and he did it on double white lines! Not only that, he then tailgated the next car ahead, then did the same again - on a blind brow! I don’t know if it was stolen or what, but that maniac had either stolen it or has a severe case of small penis syndrome. Assuming it wasn’t stolen I have to ask myself why people like that aren’t the ones that die when it all goes wrong? Keep it for a racetrack you nutter!Comments Off | Permalink
It’s been a while since this video has seen the light of day, but I thought it would be good to wheel it out again for your viewing pleasure. The history of this one is that I edited it for a BBC Children In Need concert celebrating the music of the Beatles. Vince Eager asked me to produce a video to show on a huge stage sized screen to open the show, and gave me the track. The BBC provided old black and white Beatles footage. The video went down to rapturous (and I’m not exaggerating) applause on the night, and some time later Roger Scott Craig emailed me out of the blue to congratulate me on my interpretation of his music. I was left feeling exteremely proud by that.
Make sure you turn up the volume - this is a fantastic track and a beautiful homage to the music of The Beatles.
The video is set to start automatically - but Firefox users may experience a slight mismatch in aspect ratio.