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Crew that is very sad to hear. I never worked with him either but I have had many friends that did. Hal brought so much to the industry. He performed almost every type of stunt that was ever filmed. He was the highest paid stuntman of all time. He founded Stunts Unlimited, created the Shot Maker insert car as well as many other devices and rigs to do stunts. Hal raced in the outlaw race across the country called the "Cannonball Run" which he went on to make a movie about. He tried to break the land speed record several times. Hal brought sponsors and advertising to NASCAR that helped the sport become what it is today. He owned the Skoal Bandit Team. 


A very sad day for Hollywood he made so many actors and stars larger than life with all of his stunts.




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I did have a chance to work with Hal Needham back in the mid-80s.  It was a commercial shoot on the UCLA campus. 

As our producer was fond of playing with the latest-greatest, we had one of Hal's ShotMakers at our disposal, and he came out to supervise. 


It was borne out of his thinking out of the box - The truck was awesome, an his enthusiasm for making the shot work matched the awesome-inity.  


Here is a short clip of his groundbreaking invention.  If I am not mistaken, the only, barely-slightly-similar mobile arm around back then was the Chapman Titan, and there was no opportunity to do anything but fly a camera with it - and certainly not at the speeds allowed by the Shotmaker, if it was even driveable at all. 




Does anyone know if these are still being used / popular out on the west coast?



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  • 1 month later...

My father, Stanley Merle Deichen, "Big Red Cloud", passed away Tuesday night. He was in the hospital for minor surgery, developed complications, and died suddenly after showing some improvement.


I got a call from my stepmom saying my dad asked that I come to the hospital right away so he could ask my advice about dialysis. I indeed rushed, as my father has never sought my council on a single issue ever. I instinctively knew that he was scared and that something was wrong. He was getting an X-ray when I arrived, and not ten minutes later we were being told he had suffered sudden cardiac arrest. I was only able to say goodbye to his unrecognizable body, the man I love as my father had already gone.


Even though I'm 48, I still need him.


Love you Dad,

Little Red Cloud


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Sorry that you have lost him. Treasure the time you had with him. I have lost (strange way to say it, really) both my parents. My dad had been unwell for some time, I was seeing him every few days, so I felt I had a chance to say goodbye. My mum was hit by a car while she was taking her early morning walk, something she really enjoyed. So I struggled with the sudden loss. It took years before I got out of the mental habit of thinking "I'll call mum after work to talk to her about 'this thing' that happened during my day".

Nothing I can say that will really make it any easier for you - time, though, will help.

Take it easy and talk about how you are feeling.


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My heart is with you, Steven.  My dad's has been gone twenty years, but rarely a week goes by I don't have a moment when I realize something he taught me just shaped my thought or action.  That's been his legacy for me, and it sounds like yours will be awaiting you as well.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

Brother Steven,


I'm sorry to hear about your loss and can sympathize with you as I'm sitting here next to my father in his final days. My Father was my best friend, my best man at my wedding, and my son is named after him. I know how difficult it must be for you and wish you all the best!! 


I've always dreaded when this day would come and so I'm not sure what's better, having him pass away quickly or watching him fade away. I hope your Father was at peace in his final moments and that your family remains strong. 

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