Life in Hollywood, below-the-line

Life in Hollywood, below-the-line
Work gloves at the end of the 2006/2007 television season (photo by Richard Blair)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just for the Hell of It -- Week Three

The Eponymous Clamp of Steve Cardellini*

                                            It's a thing of beauty...

This week's JFTHOI includes a link to another of The Anonymous Production Assistant's Crew Call podcasts -- this one with Steve Cardellini, inventor of the Cardellini Clamp.  Steve's namesake clamp is just one of many carefully designed, solidly built, and extremely versatile pieces of grip equipment he currently manufactures for the film and television industry.  You can find them at his website, a link to which lives over there on the right side of the page under "Industry Resources."  The many varieties of Cardellini Clamps are beautiful pieces of equipment in their own right -- to the point where I've been tempted to buy one just to keep around the house as an object 'd art  -- but they work even better than they look.  Cardellini Clamps soon became an essential tool for grips and electricians ever since becoming widely available back in 1992.

I had the pleasure of working with Steve on a few commercials in the SF Bay Area back in the 90's, and found him to be one of the smartest, most helpful grips I've ever met.  Whatever problem we ran into, he came up with a quick and elegant solution. He's a good guy too, and very articulate in this interview explaining exactly what a grip does on film and television shoots.  He also discusses a grip's responsibilities when working in the world of theater -- a very different world indeed.

It's a terrific interview, so check it out.  However much you think you know, you'll learn something new.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with On the Media, a weekly broadcast on pubic radio covering a wide spectrum of subjects relating to all forms of modern media.**  This very good, very smart, and occasionally confrontational show recently ran two pieces dealing with the many changes television has undergone during the past decade. The first --  Dare to Stream  -- discusses the effect internet streaming is having on the industry, while the second -- I Want My Slow TV  -- talks about an odd viewing trend currently making a very deliberate run on Norwegian television.
Very deliberate, the appeal of which is difficult for me to wrap my brain around.  But the  piece is short, to the point, undeniably entertaining, and a lot more interesting than the Norwegian television programming it describes.

Thus it's definitely worth a listen… drumroll please -- just for the hell of it.

* Major props to The Anonymous Production Assistant, who managed to use the word "eponymous" in two recent posts.  I turn towards the East and bow in her honor...

** A link to the home page of On the Media can always be found under the heading "Essential Listening" over on the right side of the page.

4 comments:

D said...

The Cardellini clamp pretty much ended the dominance of the Mafer clamp, which we all know and love. Thanks for this post. I agree that the Cardellini is a beautiful piece of equipment and changed rigging as we know it.

Michael Taylor said...

D --

I thought the Mafer clamp was great until I used my first Cardellini clamp… and never looked back. Nice to hear from you, and thanks for tuning in...

Jesse M. said...

One of the rental houses here in the bay was liquidating old inventory a few years back. I got to see a lot of old mounting gear from the 70's and 80's. Seems like back then grips would just weld baby pins onto anything that could grip onto anything else.

I saw crates full of baby pins welded to vice grips, bar clamps, c-clamps, and in one fascinating case, to a Kant-twist clamp.

I pulled it out and jokingly referred to it as a proto-cardellini. The old timer selling the gear mentioned he knew Steve back in the day, and that Steve developed his clamp after taking some machine shop classes at a local college in his spare time. Anyways that was pretty cool.

Michael Taylor said...

Jesse M. --

True, that -- we used those baby-pin equipped bar clamps, vice grips, and C-clamps all the time. They -- and the Mafer clamp - were all we had for location work. The lightweight, versatile Cardellini Clamp can do much of that work now, but situations still arise where the older technology is the best solution to a problem. It's all a matter of using the right tool for the job… or making-do with whatever you happen to have on hand.