Jump to content

Whit Norris

Members
  • Content count

    607
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Whit Norris

  • Rank
    Hero Member
  • Birthday September 9

Profile Information

  • Location
    Atlanta, GA
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Yes
  • About
    Production Sound Mixer

Recent Profile Visitors

1,946 profile views
  1. Stolen Denecke TS3 Slate

    STOLEN DENECKE TS3 ELSerial # 5197 Atlanta, GA 8-7-17
  2. Farewell innovation?

    Including yourself Jeff!
  3. Farewell innovation?

    I'm not a court, judge or jury. I am a member of this sound community for almost three decades. I have supported both Zaxcom and Lectrosonics. I have had Lectro wireless on my cart for almost three decades. Tried Zaxcom wireless early on and had issues. Was to invested with Lectro to make a changes when Zaxcom stepped up the game.. but Zaxcom did they raised the bar with many of their wireless products and offered the sound community many different options and products with wireless digital and recording transmitters that sounded great. Zaxcom recorders have been my main recorders for since the Deva II came out. I still believe the Deva 16 was the best recorders Zaxcom every manufactured and I recorded many major motion pictures on that recorder. Some in our community are on one side or the other concerning this law suit/patten violation because of who they favor, Lectro, Zaxcom, or Sound Devices. We all have our favorites/preferred manufactures. I truly believe that Lectrosonics, Zaxcom and Sound Devices have carried our community into the future with friendly completion. With what is going now saying someone violated my patent... (which I read and don't think so) again I'm not a judge, lawyer or jury. I am disappointed because we sound mixers and audio engineers are the real losers here, not the big guys with their patents that they can not work out.. yes Zaxcom I'm calling you out because Glenn has been after and putting down Lectrosonics for 10 years or more I still don't know why they did not sue you for libel and slander, you threatened others in our community on their opinions on Zaxcom and your products. This has been on the web and websites as well as presentations and so on... now there is a lawsuit/patent violation against Lectro. WE ARE THE REAL LOSERS HERE. Zaxcom and Lectro are going to have to hire lawyers and pay court cost and so on... also the loser pays, this will go on for around 2 years and 2 million dollars or more. But my patent was violated is what we will here ... was it really? I don't think so. Lectro and their lawyers I think they knew what they were doing. So all of this money is being spent on both sides to defend their patents, ideas and so on, why could not some work around work? Thought Lectro did. We the sound community loose out, they are spending all this money defending products, lawsuits and ideas and concepts and we are the ones that suffer. They are now having to spend their money on lawsuits and lawyers instead of R and D for new and better products for our community. This is my opinion, that JW allows me to post. I am not debating it with anyone here. It is here and I'm sure there will be many other opinions, concerns, ideas, and opposite views. Thanks for still having free speech! Whit Norris
  4. Odd mic noise problem with audio samples

    What pole are you using and what mic are you using?
  5. A very bad day in GA

    Update on Midnight Rider. ‘Midnight Rider’: More Info Revealed In “Willful Safety Violation” Court Filing by Anita Busch October 21, 2016 2:40pm 4 FILM BREAKING NEWS CONTROVERSIAL CRIME LABOR LEGAL SAFETY Courtesy U.S. Department of Labor EXCLUSIVE: New, un-redacted information revealing what specific supervising crew members did (or did not do) on the set of Midnight Rider has been put into a Department of Labor court filing to refute producer Film Allman’s claim that it was not guilty of a “willful safety violation.” The brief asks the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold “in its entirety” the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission decision that slapped Film Allman with the violation and a fine for its actions on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic that led to the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones. Related Sarah Jones Safety Events To Take Place In Los Angeles And Atlanta Again This Year Included in its evidence is full email content from CSX to location manager Charlie Baxter and specific actions of director Randall Miller, first AD Hillary Schwartz, and unit production manager Jay Sedrish on the day of the shoot, and who got the Baxter emails saying for the second time that CSX had denied access to the Doctortown train trestle. That, along with a photo of Miller and other crew members next to the hospital bed on the train trestle, were all put into the filing. Film Allman has not only been fighting OSHA, but Miller and his attorneys are also attempting to blame CSX for liability in civil court as they fight against their own insurer New York Marine, which says it is not responsible for losses due to a criminal act. The actions/inactions of the supervising crew was found to have resulted in Jones’ death and serious injuries to other crewmembers when a train plowed through the set that was on live train tracks. Film Allman, which has twice fought the initial OSHA decision, was set up by filmmaker Miller and his wife, producer Jody Savin, to film Midnight Rider. The company had appealed once before and lost so they appealed again in January. The OSHA ruling slapped the company with a fine for “one willful and one serious safety violation.” A Secretary of Labor attorney noted that oral arguments don’t need to be heard as all evidence is on paper. Only the willful violation is under review, which carries with it a $70,000 fine. (The serious violation carried with it a $4,900 fine which fell out of contention.) In arguing to have the willful violation upheld, the Secretary of Labor attorney stated: “Willful violations are marked by an employer’s plain indifference to employee safety,” and “In the Eleventh Circuit, a willful violation is shown by the employer’s ‘intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, OSHA requirements’,” which, they argue, occurred on the set of Midnight Rider. The Secretary of Labor attorney argues every point of Film Allman’s contention in the brief, stating that not only did the company criminally trespass, but “Film Allman also failed to take virtually every basic safety precaution standard in the film industry.” Film Allman, one principal of which (Miller) spent time in jail for the crime of criminal trespass and felony involuntary manslaughter, has been questioning whether the administrative law judge who denied its first appeal acted properly on three points as outlined by the Labor Secretary: The following strongly worded brief shuts down all of Film Allman’s points while providing detailed actions of supervising crew leading up to the death of Jones and injury of other crew. Read the entire brief here.
  6. Our Industry in remembrance of 9/11

    I found this on my computer that I saved from almost 15 years ago that reminded me of what our industry did to help with 9/11. Proud to be apart of this industry and a IATSE member. My prayers and remembrance on this 15 year anniversary of this terrorist attack on our country. I did have the opportunity to visit ground zero a month after. I still have a heavy heart and a tear when I remember this tragedy and the months that followed. This is worth the read being the 15th Anniversary whether you are in the film industry or not. I'm not even who the author of this article was, but I did save it. Very proud to be a member of our industry and IATSE. Whit A month has passed since the Sept. 11 attacks and within the ruins of the World Trade Center, fire continues to smolder. Network television has resumed normal programming and the U.S. government has begun its retaliation. Looking back, it is important to take a moment and reflect on the mindless destruction of it all, and at the same time recognize the strength of countless, nameless heroes. Among the crew of firefighters, policemen, emergency workers and volunteers at Ground Zero hours after the Twin Towers crumbled was also a group of people that many in New York's film production community have come in contact with while working on a shoot. We're talking about the gaffers, electricians, Teamsters and union members, non-union members, vendors and producers, who all found a way to help out in the effort. As evening approached on New York City Sept. 11, network news reports speculated the rescue efforts at Ground Zero might be delayed because of a shortage of lights and power. Not long after, sources of light gradually came into view on TV. The rescue effort was visible by lights like 18Ks and Maxi-Brutes shining down. Around the world, much of the audience involved in production recognized the lights hovering above the wreckage as the same lights often used in shooting features, commercials and music videos. Unbeknownst to many, as darkness encroached on the site, many were risking their lives to simply light the way for rescue workers. New York film unions, vendors, production companies and individuals volunteered their time, weaving an intricate network of donated services and equipment that helped out the relief efforts. Among these patrons were Luna Lighting, Panavision, Motion Picture Studio Mechanics Local 52, Teamsters Local 817, Feature Systems , Musco Lighting, Paramount Studios, Power Source, Camera Service Center, Kaufman Astoria Studios, Coast to Coast catering, the production team of the NBC series "Third Watch," Ritter Sysco Food Services and countless other generous donors. A key grip, who asked not to be identified, was one of the first individuals to help light the area at Ground Zero. He spoke about the challenge of helping the rescuers and the chaos that ran amuck the first day of relief efforts. He described how Tony Argento, owner of Luna Lighting, began making plans to bring a crew and lighting equipment in as soon as the collapse of the World Trade center took place. Half an hour after World Trade Center Building 7 fell, the team of 15 mostly non-union crew members, was brought into Ground Zero, consisting of grips, electrics, camera assistants, an AD and a producer, along with generator trucks and lighting equipment. These were the individuals who would man the cables and lights that were to illuminate the rescue area. They were also the people who took the risk of lighting precarious locations within the collapsed buildings so rescuers could hopefully find the living. At this point, fires were still breaking out, buildings continued to give way, the air was filled with ash and the three hundred people who were intended to organize the emergency had been killed when they rushed to the World Trade Center and suddenly, both towers collapsed. The people who were meant to take charge were no longer there and a lot of people were very confused about what to do. The team proceeded and was split up into two groups: one to serve the South Tower and one to take care of the North Tower. Our key grip was on the team designated for the South Tower. "They asked us to light a peripheral area at Broadway and Church," he said. "We lit that and I walked down the hill towards the Trade Center to see what was actually happening at the site. It was very, very, very dark. All of the firemen were working off headlights on their helmets." The two teams reorganized and realized they needed to get closer. Large, bulky construction lights that had been set up by the city were too clunky to reach into the small spaces rescuers were going in and out of. "The area was just a mess of gnarled debris and a mess of firehoses," the key grip explained. "There were crushed emergency vehicles. There wasn't any way to get anything in that was larger than a light stand. If you trudged your way in with a light stand, put a light on top and ran a cable, you could get so much closer. That's what we ended up doing. Similar activity was going on at the North Site. We also ended up lighting some triage spaces, as did they, but they had the unfortunate task of lighting the morgue area, which was one of the most horrible experiences that any of us had down there. It was truly horrible." The crew worked through the night, installing lights wherever they were needed. The next day, more people and equipment started to arrive to add to the exhausted crew of 15 and the entire equipment stock of Luna Lighting. Eventually in the next following days, the effort would gradually become more and more coordinated, but initially the situation was one fueled by pure reaction and instinct. "The first night was spent trying to respond to the apparent need for light in various places, but really without any direction from the fire department," the key grip said. "Tony really put his whole business on the line in order to help out and he did so without anyone asking him to. There was no organized call from anyone." One of the most instrumental organizations to arrive in the following days was Local 52, the union that covers electric, grip, property, medics, nurses and other crafts. Secretary and treasurer of Local 52 John R. Ford noted, "The membership of Local 52 responded swiftly to the call. When the office opened the morning after the tragedy, the phone was ringing, and it didn't stop the entire day. Vendors called saying the city was using their generators and equipment, and could the Local send people with it? There has never been a shortage, with about 25 grips and electricians at Ground Zero every night since. In addition, dozens of members of all the crafts have been working at the various staging areas as well as assisting the Salvation Army and the Red Cross." Ford explained that from the very first day the Local ran the operation like they ran a movie shoot, with the office staff (Bob Stocklin, Carmen Maldonado, Irma Vando, Gary Brink and Tommy Hill) desperately trying to keep track of who was on or off the job. Ford said, "If you needed a night off, [you'd ] either replace yourself with a buddy, or call the union and we would get someone for you." Similar to how deals are made in the industry on a normal day, word spread quickly by word of mouth. Bob Bailin, CEO and president of grip and lighting rental house Feature Systems, explained, "As soon as we were notified by Local 52, we sent equipment down to the area so that the rescuers could find their way. We were just one of a number of companies that sent gear down." With Feature Systems general manager Jay Karasick working as the central clearinghouse for coordinating their people and equipment to Ground Zero, the rental house donated generators and Maxi-Brute lights. Bailin explained that the Maxi-Brutes could be easily moved while, at the same time, they are able to emit large amounts of light. "The crew was being asked by the rescuers to move the equipment into areas so they could see down into voids and could dig that way," he said. "One of our generators was also being used to light up small, mobile lights for medical stations and whatever else was necessary." In the case of Camera Service Center (CSC), the company had already established a relationship with the New York Mayor's Office from a previous misfortune when scaffolding on the Conde Nast bulding nearly collapsed in 1998. The company donated a generator truck loaded with distribution cables, stands and Ruby 7 lights. Glenn Vanderlinden, the lighting and grip supervisor over at CSC, spoke highly of the Local 52 and 817's ability to gather a large amount of people and equipment. "Those are the two groups who really made all the phone calls and got the additional lights and people." JournalE photo essaysAllen Stearns, owner of Coast to Coast catering, became involved by submitting his company's name to the American Red Cross. He received a call from Charles Carrol, a producer from "Third Watch," telling him that the firemen, police and other rescue workers were working around the clock with no hot food. Stearns gathered his team comprised of Maria Stearns, P.J. Haines, Greg Power, Rich Elmiger, in addition to Ray Kidd of Ritter Sysco Food Services and many others to make preparations. "'Third Watch' has a close affiliation with the firefighters and I believe they wanted to show their support and help out in any way they could," he said. "That evening we got a police escort into Ground Zero and we stayed there for four days, 24 hours a day, serving hot food." Ritter Sysco Food Services along with area restaurants like Cosmo's and Arthur's Landing supplied the food that was given out and worked together with Coast to Coast to make sure that a home-cooked meal would be ready out of the hot trucks parked nearly 100 feet away from the World Trade Center. Getting a good meal out may seem like a small thing, but to many of the relief workers who worked until exhaustion, it was a welcomed offering in comparison to a cold sandwich. "We served over 7,000 meals over those four days," said Kidd. The towering lights seen on televisions across the world at the World Trade Center and Pentagon sites were Musco Lights brought in from nearby areas. For Musco employees, the effort was a deeply personal one: the company's Web site manager, Frank Kminek, lost his sister Mari-Rae, who was a passenger aboard the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon. The Musco Web site lists with pride the following crew members as operators of their lighting trucks: Justin Clayton, Brent Jack, Mike Fee, Gene Fynaardt, Chad Jaquay, John Kennelly, Scott Larson and Don McLaughlin. Operating the generators, hooking up the lights and moving them into place was one matter; transporting the equipment to the location was another. This would take the coordination of the rental houses to provide the equipment, and the Teamsters Local 817 to drive the trucks down to Ground Zero and other designated relief stations. "Local 52 and Local 817 were instrumental in getting and transporting the eqiupment down there and having the manpower to take care of the cables and lights," said Bailin. Jim Leavey, recording secretary of Local 817, recounted the outpouring of help given by his members and professional colleagues. "I called the union hall, knowing that we had the capabilities of what was going to be needed. I spoke to Tom O'Donnel Sr., who is the national vice president of the Teamsters and he said, 'Jimmy, whatever it takes.' At that point, we got the word out to our guys about volunteering and we were inundated with phone calls. More and more camera houses got involved. I don't think there was a vendor here in New York that was not involved." Said Scott Fleischer, vice president of Panavision, "Everybody had heard on television that they needed generators, lighting equipment and trucks, so we coordinated with Local 52, Local 817 and FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency[." Fleischer also described the necessity for smaller lights once the rescue was underway. "As the rescuers made their way further and deeper into the site, we donated some belt battery Sun Guns and Pocket Pars. These lights are small and the rescuers can go down into small spaces with them." Fleischer made a special acknowledgement to the men who worked with the Panavision equipment. "The guys who drove our trucks down there were Richard Kornak, Chris Kornak and Joe Featherstone. The electricians Jay Fortune and James "Mugsy" Malone have been running my generators. All of the drivers and all of these electricians down there have been working around the clock. We're just doing everything that we can do." The importance of an able and willing crew was also echoed by Bailin. "The equipment was there, but it's really the crew who just dropped what they were doing and ran down there," he said. "They reported to work everyday at Ground Zero, basically at 4 p.m. and worked 12-14 hour shifts. They are the guys who really deserve the credit." At the same time the unions were gearing up, hundreds and hundreds of non-union members of the film community found other ways to help out, whether through giving blood, volunteering with the Red Cross, Salvation Army, their local churces or temples, or through groups set up at Jacob Javitz Convention Center, where FEMA was located. Getting volunteers was not a problem, but finding tasks for them was. Many volunteers sat helplessly at the sidelines with good intentions, eager to do something -- anything -- to aid during the crisis. Of the many people we contacted for this article, no one was completely comfortable with accepting recognition for themselves or their company. Some people did not want to be included at all, perhaps still too traumatized by the events. Some people simply wanted to move on. However, everyone seemed to prefer placing the recognition on the film community of New York as a whole for the tremendous relief effort. Said Leavey, "I got the same answer from everybody: 'Whatever it takes.' Our guys got the keys to the camera houses if we needed additional equipment or the houses would open the houses up. They were right there, and boom, we would get what we needed. I would have to say, we had an excess of well over $4 million in equipment just on a phone call. It was outstanding the way everybody pulled together." "We're in a competitive industry in New York," said Vanderlinden. "All that was put aside and everyone worked together. I was down there and it was a real strong showing of the film industry. Instead of stepping on each others' feet, everyone just stepped in line." Although the call for help was answered generously by many of these companies, individuals and organizations, the overall feeling for many remains bittersweet. "We were happy to do what we did and that we could help somebody. I wish to hell we didn't have to do it at all, but it's something the union is all about: giving and sharing, not just with our members," Leavey said. It's just been very emotional...But the film community in New York has really galvanized together to help in any way we can," said Fleischer. "The area of Ground Zero was very familiar to us," said Stearns, whose company had often catered many films, TV shows and commercials in and around the vicinity of the World Trade Center. "To see the area like it was, we felt pretty helpless. But we felt like at least we were there, serving a purpose and helping somebody. As horrible as it was out there, there were thousands of people trying to help out, just trying to do the right thing." It was as basic as providing light or filling an empty stomach, but it was a plea for help that the collective filmmakers in New York answered, with no questions asked. The motivation for all the crew members, vendors and unions, was not for any special attention or self-promotion, but out of sincere concern. Hundred of reports point out that there was more than enough help, that many well-intentioned people stood by powerless, eager to do anything that was needed. Many people who risked the most and gave more than could be asked for are still relunctant to be named, feeling uneasy about the recognition. The recognition is not what matters, but the fact that people did step forward to help out should not go unnoticed either. Inevitably, everyone continues to deal with the pain and loss. For many of those involved, the best way to reward them for their actions seems to be to keep them working and help the process of rebuilding their great city. "It's been an incredible effort, but that's what we do." Bailin said. "It's fairly simple and miniscule in light of the tragedy that has happened. You do whatever you can. The film community has come together and we're open for business. We're ready to go and we want to keep the New York economy going. The only way to beat the bad guys is to keep our economy alive."
  7. Anyone working the Olympics this year?

    Is anyone going to be working the Olympics this year? Thanks, Whit
  8. Anyone working the Olympics this year?

    Is anyone going to be working the Olympics this year? Thanks, Whit
  9. Very sad news today

    Very sorry to hear of Peter's loss. Prayers to him and his family.
  10. NEW: iPower AA batteries. Li-poly rechargeable.

    The limit of 4 batteries would mean you could not use them in a TC slate. Whit
  11. New Steadicam at Cinegear

    Here is a new Steadicam... worth checking out.. The second video is the best!
  12. Panavision DXL 8K Camera Unveiled at ASC Clubhouse

    The real question about the camera is it quiet and does it have any fans? Are there overheating issues? Whit
  13. Cuban Stowaways

    Well it is official we had 3 Cuban stowaways on our equipment ship from Cuba. It has delayed our equipment return. Getty Images 405422 07: Several Cubans wait for a bus under the flying flags of the United States and Cuban, a scene without precedent in the last 43 years of communist rule in the Las Guasimas section of Havana, Cuba. Carter is on a six-day visit to Cuba and is the first American president to visit the communist island since Fidel Castro took power in 1959. (Photo by Jorge Rey/Getty Images) Three Cubans were found hiding in a cargo ship traveling from Cuba to South Florida. The cargo ship was transporting movie equipment for the film "Fast and Furious 8," from Cuba to Port Everglades. http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/3-Cubans-Stowaway-in-Cargo-Ship-Transporting-Movie-Equipment-379534631.html
  14. New Portable Cart

    Hey Robert most of the components are from my main rig. Just trying to be more portable for the first weeks working out of the country. Hey Paulo, We have not weighed it yet but will soon. The Meon Life is well vented, the Venues and monitors are very the same as in my larger cart and case which I have not had any issues in the past.
  15. New Portable Cart

    Just finished a new portable cart for working out of the country for several weeks. We built it at Trew Atlanta and the gang was awesome. There is a patch panel in the back along with a Comtek and Lectro transmitter in the rear. Wanted to remote the X3 so I can sit it on top of the case, my lap or where I need it. A lot of sound horsepower in a small case. This is my new portable set up. I can go on a golf cart, gator, or up a few flight of stairs. Also what is not seen are all of the audio inputs are 25 pin connectors that are "break away" and the X3 can go in a a bag and be hooked up. The package is being shipped out and will have more pictures later of it in action.
×