Shooting on the highway at

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old June 4th, 2005, 02:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
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Shooting on the highway

Hi, While this has something to be for a wedding I decided to posted here cause my question is not exactly wedding related. Employees and friends from the local Harley Davidson company (around 25) will be going from the brides house all the way to the church (not sure if the bride will also be on a Harley). The thing is I need to shoot all the route from point A to point B thru the highway. Getting the cyclist, the cycles... I would like some advice on how to do this kind of shooting. Important here is the this company is also looking for someone to do some ads and I would like to do this the best I can cause this Harley D cuts will be used as a demo for them. Closeups from the wheels (while running), the logos, all that Harley this and that. Any advice, any suggestions will be apreciated.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 02:49 PM   #2
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Find someone with a sun-roof in their car that's willing to let you stand on the passenger side (do be polite and slip your shoes off first). A sun-roof will be better for shooting than the back of a pickup or the back of a bike because the relatively small opening will give you something to brace against. Be careful moving the cam up through the sun-roof and back down, that is the most likely point to ding the cam.

Get shots from in front of the group: keeping pace, being passed, and you pulling away them.

Get shots from beside the group: keeping pace and you stationary as you track (whip-pan) the lead riders passing you (get out of the car and shoot this as a low shot - its quite impressive).

See if there is an overpass along the route. Pre-drive the route and look for key positions allong the way.
Fear No Weevil!
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Old June 4th, 2005, 03:34 PM   #3
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Thanks Patrick for such great ideas. I was planning from the back of a SUV but now I like more the sunroof idea. I'm not sure we can stop no where as bcause we also need to get to the church asap, this will be all on realtime, no time to loose, hey is a wedding and I'm more worried for the Harleys, LOL. If I could find an extra cameraman will be great also.

One more thing, I'm going to try (for the first time) shooting in 24p, 16:9 anything I should be aware of?

Thanks again.

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Old June 4th, 2005, 03:49 PM   #4
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First of all, you might want to check with the local Hiway and County offices, and find out what is legally required. You don't want to risk tickets or jail over shooting out of a sunroof, or the back of a truck. And, with that many bikes, the police will be watching.

That said, as a sort of cheap legal disclaimer, the back of a truck would be perfect. You might want to lay down some thick foam, and using tie down straps, anchor your tripod to the sides. You then have 3 unobstructed angles to shoot, and some wind deflection. Just because you have the tripod strapped, do not take your hands from it! If you are lucky, you can find a pick up with rear facing seats in the bed.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 07:03 PM   #5
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Thanks Keith,
About the legal aspect I was just asking myself about it, thanks for the reminder. I won't take my hands off it, I promise, unless we're all going down )hope not...

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Old June 5th, 2005, 08:02 AM   #6
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Nice job to get.I think you see 2 factors here...1- visual for HD 2- it is a wedding. Find out exactly what the bride is doing.Are helmets required in your state?As previously mentioned ,check out the entire route ,try to find a nice sweeping corner.I would set up at least 3 camerapersons.The mobile camera is only 1 .Also consider a minivan with sliding doors on each side.You will need an assistant to help you not fall out and tie off the camera but it allows low angle shots compared to the higher angle sunroof.How about 1 stationary on the sweeping curve.How about a wide shot to show the whole group.You could do some cutaways before the ride even the day before if need be.
The point is what storyline do want for the eg. rough group of bikers out cuttin up the road.... then upon arrival , a beautiful bride and her groom hop of a hog...kinda like "You who doesn't want a Harley-Davidson?"
.......................... "I can't think of anyone either"
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Old June 6th, 2005, 10:02 AM   #7
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If you can get a van it might be better than an SUV; it will be a little smoother. You can prop open the doors and shoot out the back when leading the procession, and then you can move and shoot out the side with the side door open and let them pass you, etc. One shot I like to do of vehicles on the road is to hold the camera out, about a foot off the pavement, zoomed way back to wide angle, using a wide angle adapter if you have one, and let the cars pass as I'm in the lane to the left.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 06:26 PM   #8
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i personally am not a fan of pick-up trucks because the rear springs are always too stiff, so that they can carry a large amount of weight. this makes the back of a pickup a very bouncy place to be...

about 4-6 large bags of cement will help to stabilize the back of a pick-up some, and letting a large amount of air out of the tires is a good idea if you don't plan on going any faster than 40mph or so, this will let the soft rubber sidewalls absorb a lot of the high speed vibrations, the added weight will help with the medium speed bounces and hopefully let the camera "float" a little better, that combined with the image stabilized lens oughtta give you pretty good results.

also, if you have really good hands i would do it handheld from the truck and let my body absorb even more movement. the floor of a pick-up, especially on uneven surfaces flexes all over the place while you drive down the road.

and, the wider an angle you are shooting at the less noticeable camera shake is.

and, the deeper an f-stop you can run the less of a concern focus will be on moving objects, so you might not want to use both nd filters.

if you need an extra camera and are in SoCal give me an e-mail :)

Jon Bickford, Trepany Films
San Pedro, CA
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