We’ve got it all.
I really want to give this to Eric Forand, my gaffer. He’s going to take you through the whole safety process and then we’re going to break it all down in terms of technology and how it goes together.
Let’s say we’re working with large loads on set. Potentially thousands of amps. These are loads than can hurt you if you plug stuff in, in the wrong order, or if you don’t pay attention to what you are doing.
The first safety tip is to not kneel down. Electrics should never kneel! When you kneel down as you’re plugging in a distro box, you make the connection to the box.
If there’s a problem with that connection, then that electricity goes through your arm, through your heart, and to the ground, out through your knee. You never kneel down, you always squat like this. You want to have both soles of both shoes on the ground.
It’s very important that any given circuit is grounded at all times. You never want to plug in a hot before a ground. At this level of distribution, each cable within the circuit is a separate cable – a separate connection. It’s not like plugging a vacuum into a wall and you suddenly can turn on the vacuum. Each cable is a specific color that is standard across the industry. The ground gets plugged in first (green), then the neutral (white), and then the hots. The hots can be plugged in in any order , but it’s easiest if you just go across the box to black, blue, and red.
When you unplug them, the same thing applies, but just in reverse order. Disconnect the hots first, then the neutral, then the ground.
This is so, absolutely, important.
It’s also extremely important that you don’t cross any cables anywhere and plug them into a connection they’re not supposed to be in. If a neutral gets plugged into a hot, you’ve just fried the entire set. That’s not good. Luckily it’s easy because the distro box is color coordinated with the cable colors. It’s pretty hard to mess it up.
Once the neutral is out of the line, everything that is on the set becomes 208, 220 or 240 volts, depending on the different phases. With that neutral cable being dropped, any light that could function at 208V, 220V, or 240V, is not going to have a problem with it. Any tungsten source, however, is going to explode…
This lesson from Shane’s Inner Circle contains over 14 minutes of extensive video content and analysis.