Rob Weidner

Optimist & Storyteller

Rob Weidner is a storyteller based in Cape Town, South Africa who enjoys empowering others with his creativity and optimism.  Technically, Rob is a freelance focus puller and camera operator focused on feature films and long-form narrative projects, but aside from that, he can also make a mean homemade pizza. To check out what he is up to now, check out his Now page.

Helicopters, New Office, and Uganda

Killer team on the dance movie.  #bringiton

Killer team on the dance movie.  #bringiton

It has taken me about a month too long to get this update out on my site, but for some reason, a writer's block spell has been cast upon me, and I am forcing myself to get my thoughts and experiences down on paper before I head off into the Uganda forest for two weeks.  
I ended the 2016 year working on a super fun, yet small, dance sequel movie in Cape Town that will be released around mid-2017.  

While it did have the potential of being incredibly cheesy and immature, I was impressed with the actors/dancers ability to interpret the script into a well delivered on-screen performance.  For the holiday season, I was able to make it back to Chicago to spend time with friends and family.  A trip to Indianapolis, many to Chicago, and to our cousin's amazingly relaxing house in Michigan City, Indiana, were all highlights spending time with the people I love.  

While away, my business partner in Film Gear South Africa, Rusty Ruthven, and I decided to close down our online store for three weeks to be able to spend quality time with our loved ones over the festive season.  While we at first had apprehension about turning down the possibility of three weeks of income, this break served to be very effective, and the day we "re-opened", the orders started flowing back in, and no one had any complaints.  Just proves that forced breaks/vacations/time off is worth it!

Once back in South Africa, Rusty and I spent most of January getting our new office/workshop in order, doing renovations and also training up our first employee, Stefanie Voss.  Stefanie used to work in the film industry, but last year decided to take a step back and find an alternative path.  Even before we approached Stef to join the Film Gear team, we knew she would be the perfect fit as employee #1.  She has an incredible work ethic, knows the film industry's urgency and technicalities, and has excellent people skills.  The past two months having Stef on board has proved to be incredibly worth it.  It has allowed Rusty and me to spend more time on film sets and getting the word out about the service we are trying to provide, all the while, Stefanie is back at HQ following up on orders, facilitating deliveries, and ensuring the satisfaction of our customers.  Thanks, Stef!

Film wise, I was given the privilege to work with Manoel Ferriera again on a large franchise film here in Cape Town, doing visual effects camera work.  Task number one: collaborate with the inventor of the Libra remote head, Nick Phillips (epic), to create the first 3-camera array to ever be underslung on a Libra Maxi.  To read more on the camera set-up check out my other post here: 3-Camera VFX Array on a Libra Head.

Lastly, for the next two weeks, I will be off to Uganda to film in the forests for Marvel Studios' next film.  This shoot is a continuation from last year's shoot that I was on in October, operating in the Free State and Zambia.  We will be shooting more VFX plate shots as well as shooting pre-visualized scenes that will be composited later with flying objects [and that is about as much as I can tell you all for now].  Very excited to work with Craig Hammack and the ILM team, as he was recently nominated for an Academy Award for best visual effects on Deepwater Horizon.  What an incredible movie and story, paired with a very cool background on the visual effects ( see article: http://www.studiodaily.com/2017/02/vfx-supervisor-craig-hammack-on-deepwater-horizon/ )

What have I been reading lately?  Flow, Extreme Ownership, Tools of Titans
What have I been watching lately? O.J. An American Crime Story, Deepwater Horizon, Billions, Stranger Things, Tales of Light