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Old November 2nd, 2008, 05:23 AM   #1
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Zipline for cameras ever used one?

Has anyone ever use a zipline for a camera before? If so how did you do it?
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 03:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Chris Sackett View Post
Has anyone ever use a zipline for a camera before? If so how did you do it?
Nope,

But I have a zipline in the back yard for the neighborhood kids. And as a video professional, I've got to say I don't think it's a very useful approach.

About the only "safe" angle you have from a zip line is downward. Anything else and you have the line at the top of your shot. This makes it a good tool for something like a football game where a birds-eye view of the pattern of players on the ground helps the audience follow the game.

Trying to use it as a lateral dolly would require a lot of rigging if you wanted a line that has the vertical stability of of a standard tracking shot.

If you don't rig tightly, you'd get a relatively unstable dip in the middle of the shot plus any sway that the camera motion induces in the line.

So I'm not sure it would be easy to get good results.

Still, I've never tried it. If you do, let us know the results.
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 04:40 PM   #3
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I have never used one, but I saw this video about a year ago and was blown away by how they are using a zip line.

YouTube - ROAM Mountain Bike DVD Teaser
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 04:55 PM   #4
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Great mountain bike footage in that video! TO be fair, its not the 'camera' on the zipline, its the camera MAN. So you have an 'intelligent self stabilizing platform' running the camera. And I think they made great use of it.

Not sure if the OP was intending on mounting the camera on a ZIPLINE RIG - which is really nice, and really, really expensive - and difficult to rig, or if they are just thinking about hanging a camera on a pulley and squeezing the trigger.

The new 'making of Quantumn Solace' has some excellent BTS footage, which shows a camera on a zipline flying over the streets for a chase sequence. Nicely done.
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 04:59 PM   #5
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I'm sure I've seen footage of a guy running through a forest. The camera was supported under the line and another rope for the cameraman to pull it along - seemed to work fine.

the rope was tightened with a winch and was pretty stable - good for that particular shot - I guess it depends what you're trying to achieve

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=kxluGAL9nZE
the acting's crap but it works :-)

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=OwJgl0...eature=related

here are the big rigs
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 08:17 PM   #6
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I'm sure I've seen footage of a guy running through a forest. The camera was supported under the line and another rope for the cameraman to pull it along - seemed to work fine.
I don't remember where I first saw this linked, but I had a file on my computer of something like this; Googling the filename revealed the link: Free file hosting by Savefile.com Who that is I have no idea, but I believe it's somebody on this board. Probably something over in the Support Your Local Camera forum. I don't have any more details.

Then there's "Two Guys in the Woods by a River", the film Mike Fossenkemper and I shot for DVC 7: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/dvc-feedb...ods-river.html

He built the rig himself before I showed up, and had something like a hundred and fifty feet of steel cable for it to run on. One end was looped around a tree trunk, the other clipped to a come-along that itself was attached, via steel sling, to another tree and ratcheted tight. The platform had what I believe was a Flowpod attached on the side opposite the camera to help stabilize the motion; coupled with a nice wide angle adapter, the shot worked out to be reasonably stable, though it isn't on screen very long. We also had a length of clothesline tied to it to allow easy resets after each take, the high end of the cable being maybe twelve to fifteen feet in the air.

I have both Sorenson 3 and Windows Media 9 versions of the film hosted on my site:
http://www.gyroshot.com/movies/Two%20Guys.mov
http://www.gyroshot.com/movies/Two%20Guys.wmv

Then, for a bit more detail, you can check the little making of featurette Mike assembled from some outtakes and BTS footage I shot with my own camera:

http://www.gyroshot.com/movies/out%20takes%20final.mov

Worth noting, of course, is the nature of the forest--pun intended--especially that time of year (December): lots of vertical lines whose color is washed out. Any part of the gray steel cable that might show up in a shot like that would blend in with the surroundings. Not to mention those files are scaled down, compressed web versions. I imagine this technique, as Bill mentioned, would be less useful in most locations.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 01:21 PM   #7
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Another zipline question

Hello, I hope this doesnít constitute a thread hi-jack attempt, but I didn't want to start a new thread and my question is regarding ziplines.

Iíve joined this forum because for my first module on my Dance: Urban Practice BA is called Dance for Camera. We are required to prepare a 3 -5 min piece of dance film so Iíve been busy checking out knowledge banks like forums (more up to date info, etc) and websites. We also have to submit a treatment and pitch, along with storyboard and so before I can do this I need to sort out a problem with an almost inaccessible area I want to film. To make matters worse, we have been banned from using the zoom feature (our lecturer says it gives an amateurish student-quality to the films) on the DV so my problem is this;

There is a bridge overlooking a wall which runs parallel to it which is about 30 degrees and 60 feet below (I have a picture but I am a newbie so can't upload attachments). I will be situated on the wall with the camera. I wish to have the piece start with a cluster of tangled hands scrabbling and fighting for purchase on the wall. I want to pull away gradually so that at the end of the tracking/zoom, the camera POV is from the bridge. Does that make sense? Naturally my first idea was to shoot from the bridge with a slow zoom in to the hands (about 12 pairs of hands) and reverse in Final Cut, but having the zoom feature banned kind of scuppered that.

I was going to rig up a simple zip line and have the camera either track back in realtime, pulling it back up the cord, or tracking forward (and therefore reverse in final cut).
Is this over-complicating things? Is there a more simple way to do it? I want the zoom out effect to be slow.

Whilst Iím on a roll, is there also a way to achieve the jerky hand cranked camera effect seen in old films like Nosferatu or Fritz Langís Metropolis?

Thank you for taking time to read.

Chris
(Uni of East London)
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Old October 16th, 2009, 08:55 AM   #8
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I contacted Chris offline to send me the photos he can post so here they are:
Attached Thumbnails
Zipline for cameras ever used one?-wall.jpg   Zipline for cameras ever used one?-wall-2.jpg  

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Old October 16th, 2009, 01:23 PM   #9
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Thanks again, Shaun.

Both pics are taken from the bridge, the face-on shot is more representative of the angle I want to film at.

Thanks again
Chris
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Old October 16th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #10
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perhaps something useful in this thread:

building a cable cam
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