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No, It Can't Be Done!

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by lieperjp, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    So, today was the last day of our musical, and in the precious spare time before the show I got to talking with the show's producer (really the business director) and the stage crew leader. I have known the producer about six years now. We were talking about rigging and flying things, started with curtains and ended up moving to set pieces. We do not have a fly system.

    What shocked me is that they both seemed to think it was ok to go to the hardware store, pick up some bolts, some pulleys, and some rope/airplane wire and use the trial and error method to get it right. Of course, I brought up the fact that nobody is qualified to do that type of thing here. No one. I just got the response, "Trial and Error is how things have been invented forever. I don't see what's wrong with it." To which I replied, "When you put things in the air, they can fall; when they fall, people will get hurt and most likely die." The response: "Well, we'd do it safely, we wouldn't try to do too much." I pointed out that our ceiling in our Auditorium was not designed to do it, and I was met with the response that "When the stage was redone [the stage area used to be a 300-seat chapel with a gymnasium behind the seats, remodeled in 1970] the celing was dropped and extra supports were put in for the lights, so the celing should support a lot of weight." :shock::mad:

    If I can dig up some pictures of what this group (called Forum) puts together for set pieces, you would see that everything is done half fast and would not be "up to snuff" in a real theatre. :neutral:

    How can I drill into these people that unless you're qualified, DON'T DO IT!?!? Or am I just over reacting? I don't think I am. No matter what I say, he still seems to think it would be ok to try.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  2. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    You might point out to them that in the event that a failure in their rigging occurs that results in injury or death, they can be held personally civilly and criminally liable. Techs have served jail time for causing deaths in their venues through negligence. Ask them if they are willing to take that risk.
     
  3. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    Dude-

    Run, do not walk, away from these people if they EVER actually try ANY of the crap they are talking about.

    WHEN they fahk it up, and WHEN the load comes down (in a time and fashion that they cannot possibly predict), and WHEN a human being is MURDERED as a result of their gross incompetence, lack of due diligence and overwhelming arrogance, then trust me: the lawyers will come for them first. But the lawyers will also come for everyone remotely associated with that building. Including catering. INCLUDING YOU!

    And yes, you CAN go to prison as a tech if you screw up. Just Google "The Station" and "Great White" and "Daniel Biechele" in one search. Actually, let me make it easy for the idiots you are dealing with:
    http://www.pollstar.com/news/viewnews.pl?NewsID=11142



    Seriously, you need to get your safety department on this. And maybe even call Sapsis, JR Clancy or even Dr. Doom. Like, yesterday.[/COLOR]
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  4. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Yup. I have. Mentioned everything in there. When I mentioned the fact that [-]if[/-] when something happens and [-]if[/-] when someone gets [-]injured[/-] killed, either I get a) a brush of, b) we'd be too careful c) It's not likely to happen, risk management, etc. or d)we don't have the budget to hire a professional, we would only do it if we had to in order to make the show work.
     
  5. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    The first thing I'd do is get my concerns down in writing to the building management. And I'd also copy the insurance company if I knew who that was. And anyone else you feel should know. Lastly, if you already have a lawyer, send them a copy. It sounds like they've made up their minds and nothing you can do will dissuade them. At this point all you can do is make it clear it was done despite your strenuous objection. Should they get something up, you may be forced to resign, although I always hate that course of action. You really don't want any part of this.

    Edit:

    Just re-read your post. I didn't realize you're a student. Either way, I'd still express my concerns in writing to a number of people. The bit about resigning was assuming you worked at this venue.
     
  6. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    They haven't decided to do anything yet, however, I just want to prevent anything before it happens, as I am genuinely worried about this, especially as they seem to think that it's ok to attempt it in the first place.
     
  7. cprted

    cprted Active Member

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    When I was in high school, my buddy and I came up with some wild plans of things we could build for our stage. For all the talk and grand plans, we never actually did any of it. I suspect that this is probably along the same vein. In any high school that I have ever had any dealings with, there are strict regulations about what/where/how any kind of installation to school property is to be built, and none of it involves students buying stuff at a hardware store to suspend drops.
     
  8. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    Charc, which other thread? I feel like I'm missing out on something here....
     
  9. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Well, you probably won't be able to stop them if you can't disuade them. I would try writing to Dr. Doom (Randal Davidson) or Jay Glerum who are expert witnesses in rigging deaths to see if they can provide some assistance in changing these peoples minds. I have met both of them and gone through their workshops seeing footage and photographs of some of the grisley deaths they have had to be witnesses for. Under no circumstances should you get some texts on rigging to show them why they are doing it wrong since they may feel that they can use them as step by step guides to doing it right. You could quiz them on some things to make them feel stupid. Ask them about the engineers load limit on the ceiling (where their pick points would be specifically). Ask them about the WLL and what they need to be ready for with a shock load. I'm sure that you could make them feel really stupid and that may help your arguement that only a trained person should ever attempt to do rigging.
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Two options to stop them.

    1) Give a copy of Dr. Doom's book to your college's risk management department. However that will cost you $80.

    2) Give "Whatrigger?" a phone number to call. He'll scare the crap out of them. :twisted:
     
  11. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    I say just take it directly up the ladder...tell the administration what your teachers plan on doing and WHY it is incredibly dangerous to do so. Also take it to your head of Facilities...I bet you they wouldn't be too happy with your teachers taking it upon themselves to modify the structure or put undo stress on their building. They would probably understand the dangers of this better then anyone.

    In quite literally "life or death" situations like this...it's most definitely okay to fight dirty...and in fact I highly recommend it. Anything you can do to stop this from happening...MUST be done. If they still continue then I would take it even further and boycott the theatre, as well as tell everyone you know to stay away from it too...tell the media (TV Stations and Newspapers would have a field day with this)...the building inspector...and all your actor/techie friends. You could very easily get your teacher fired for Gross Negligence and Endangerment and the school itself could get sued too.

    You wont be too popular with the faculty but you'll keep people from quite possibly dying...which is much more important.
     
  12. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Since you are in a college the risk management person is your best route for action. Every college has one and it's that person/department's job to handle things like this. All you have to do is educate that person on how dangerous this sort of thing is.

    As I've said in other threads in the past on this topic: You might get yourself in a lot of hot water over this making your life very unpleasant at school. On the other hand, how will you feel a year from now if someone is killed or badly injured due to bad rigging? Will you be able to sleep at night? Will you blame yourself if you didn't do something to prevent the disaster you knew could happen?
     

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