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Old May 29th, 2003, 10:05 PM   #1
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Car shot, safe and doable

I wanted to do some parodies of those awful Honda commericials where people discuss stupid topics because they don't have to think about their driving.

Is there a way to do a shot, with a wide view of the front of a car, with the passenger and driver visible and talking to each other, with no budget?

We should have wireless mics available, as well as a truck of some sort to pull the car along, and from the back of which we could shoot.

How stupid of an idea is this? I'm not getting paid, so I definitely don't want to die in the process. If there were money involved, it might at least be worth it.
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Old May 29th, 2003, 10:21 PM   #2
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No real advice here, just the obvious:

A rudimentary operatorless rig is doable with available hardware, but without a specialized shock-absorbing rig your shot will only be as smooth as your ride.

But you could give it a shot, with an apple box, some ratchet straps, and some duct tape.

Whatever your cinematographic method, it could scarcely be more irresponsible than the ads themselves...
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Old May 29th, 2003, 10:25 PM   #3
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I did a shot recently with my camera extended about 3ft out the side of a car window, on its $20 tripod, while doing about 55MPH on the highway... :)
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Old May 29th, 2003, 11:00 PM   #4
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I was thinking more along the lines of 15 or less mph, in a quiet residential area.
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Old May 30th, 2003, 07:19 AM   #5
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"I'm not getting paid, so I definitely don't want to die in the process."

Would getting paid make dying any easier? Whatever happened to 'Safety First'? I have seen many unique ideas, and ways to get around expensive alternatives. But there are times when any form of safety procedure goes out the window. Be safe, and work safe, for yourself and others around you.
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Old May 30th, 2003, 07:29 AM   #6
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There are these things called softracks, they are made for holding ski's on the roof of a car, but they are not permenent.

I have seen them adapted to hold on over the bonnet using the front wheel guards as the point of securing them.

They are totally padded and designed not to damage the car.

They are about $50 to buy.

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Old May 30th, 2003, 08:25 AM   #7
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Keith, I think Josh was making a little joke here. At least that's what I took it to be.
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Old May 30th, 2003, 11:11 AM   #8
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I did catch the joke, but my statement is still valid. I just have a bug about doing things safely, maybe more since all of the recent Jackass stunts.

I understand not having thousands to spend on pro lighting ( I reallly do, been there, still doing it ), but if your alternative is going to set the location on fire, don't use it. The same goes for car stunts, or anything else that could be a safety issue.
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Old May 30th, 2003, 11:42 AM   #9
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So you think there's no way to do safely? How bout this: Say someone has a Suburban/SUV with a towing hitch (is that what it's called) on the back, and the camera and its operator could be inside the Suburban/SUV, shooting out the back window, which might actually open, allowing you to have an unobstructed view of the other car's windshield.

Yes, 'twas a joke.
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Old May 30th, 2003, 02:36 PM   #10
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...and some fell on stony ground.

Your humour's too sharp for this place Josh.
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Old May 30th, 2003, 07:49 PM   #11
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Important notes to keep in mind.

If you're doing car to car shooting, you'll want some "shock absorbing" in your shooting, i.e. steadicam or a real soft ride (tow car).

If you're attaching the camera to the principle car, than you'll want to LOCK DOWN whatever rig you set up, as well as LOCK DOWN your camera as rigid as you can. NO shock absorbing at all. Why? Because when the principle car hits a pothole or bump you want the camera to stay rigid to the cars movement. If you do this than a bumpy road will not translate to your picture.

On the last feature I shot, the actor drove the camera into a parked car. Barely any movement on screen could be seen. That's because I had the camera locked down to the hostess tray. Luckily only the battery hanging off of the mini35 was damaged.
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Old May 31st, 2003, 12:08 AM   #12
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I'm thinking car to car, because no one has the rigging for putting on the principle car, and I ain't riskin' my baby on some McGuyver'd rig.

What would recommend to help absorb shock for the Tow car?
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Old May 31st, 2003, 12:16 PM   #13
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There are lots of ways to do it from car to car. It sounds like you can tow the car and that's the best way to do it. Handheld will give you a certain look - I've done that, but you'll get some movement. Glidecam or Steadicam is your best bet. This is actually more dangerous than just mounting the camera to the car.

I've also mounted the camera to the hood of a car using plywood and a rubber pad. Most of this is safe and we've never harmed the car.

I'll see if I can find pictures of these older cheaper rigs.
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 01:08 PM   #14
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Here are some pictures for a car rig that we threw together at the last moment. The hood mount worked great. Lot's a 2x4's and ratchet straps.

http://www.monsterrocket.com/photos/...l/DSC01315.jpg

http://www.monsterrocket.com/photos/...l/DSC01314.jpg

http://www.monsterrocket.com/photos/...l/DSC01313.jpg

On my last feature we actually had a real hostess tray and a 4 way leveler. It made a big difference but you can do a lot with some ingenuity.

Also, on this shoot, I hung the camera upside down by drilling a hole though a 2x4 and threading the sachtler head up through the it. The image was flipped in post. Too bad I don't have pictures of that, I was also hanging out of the open trunk and tied down to the car to monitor and operate the camera.

On that day we finished 24 set ups. Crazy.
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 01:36 PM   #15
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Somehow seeing things like this hold up by straps and tape
screams professional production :) Great pictures!
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