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Old January 24th, 2016, 04:56 PM   #16
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

I was thinking about the Osmo for the built in gimbal. Wonder how sturdy a cam it is? Too bad, I missed the international lend competition. I was thinking two Osmos would give me about the same quality of shots we got on the trial. Maybe that will be good enough, though I had to throw out a lot footage that was out of focus or which could not be zoomed in close enough to work from the go-pro's.

Noa, you make a good point about what to expect at lower and higher ends of the brand scale.

Thank you guys, for all of your ideas. I know this is not the typical wedding scenario and not exactly like the news things we have been doing with the radio station. We have been as high as 48 m.p.h. on these bikes with lots of vibration. I had to throw lots of that footage out, too.
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Old January 24th, 2016, 05:40 PM   #17
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

Does anyone have a sense of permits? Are we going to get a ticket if a state patrolman sees us shooting from a tripod with traffic whizzing by?

Colorado has "rules". Depending where you shoot, you can easily be stopped. Shooting in Denver, for example, anywhere in public, requires a permit. We didn't have any problems in rural areas.
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Old January 24th, 2016, 05:44 PM   #18
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

I had a chance to check out the EWA marine products. Looks like this might be a solution for the rainy day shots...
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Old January 24th, 2016, 06:20 PM   #19
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

I have shot in a trainstation last year which required asking for a permit (which I didn't do) and where police was guarding the area with dogs because of terrorist alerts and I used a gopro on a feiyu g4 and a gh4 on a little gorillapod, the trick to shoot wherever you want is to use the right small equipment, if you use your bike steering wheel as a tripod stand and wrap the legs of the gorillapod around it and place a dslr on it (not a 5dIII with a 24-70 but little dslr's with tiny lenses, like a gh4 and a tiny m4/3 lens) and nobody will even notice you are shooting. That's the way I always shoot in public places. Because the camera's are so small nobody asks any questions but I"m sure if I would have used a bit bigger videocamera, like a nx70 people would have reacted and security personal might have come up to me asking for a permit.

Here is that video:

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Old January 24th, 2016, 06:49 PM   #20
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

A great video, Noa, did you slow it down in post?
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Old January 25th, 2016, 01:56 AM   #21
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

Yes, all steadicam shots where done with a gopro 4 black at 2.7k at 50fps and then slowed down 50% in post, I used a little feiyu g4 as stabilizer (with my smarthphone as lcd screen) but had to stabilize all shots in post as it produces jitter while I walk. That gopro can produce some beautiful shots considering how small it is.
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Old January 29th, 2016, 10:22 PM   #22
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

Considering the price, the Go Pro cam (black) is an incredible camera. I was hoping for something a little better, higher bit rate, but just as durable. It looks like if I move to better cameras I need to be ready for a lot higher price and a lot less durability.

It is pretty clear, Noa, with a little patience and knowing what you are doing, you can do some pretty amazing things even with Go-Pro.
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Old January 29th, 2016, 11:25 PM   #23
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

Tim - a few more thoughts …

Speaking of what bike to consider, I stopped in to Silverdale Cyclery and, just for fun, asked one of the guys there what they’d recommend for such a trip and he pointed to the Surly Straggler. It can be picked up for chump change, around $1,600 or so, racks are extra. Note: The frame size is measured slightly different from normal.

Required way point: Cape Flattery. A trip like that wouldn’t be complete without a visit. And you just gotta visit Victoria, too.

If going to Victoria, then visit the Kinsol Trestle bridge nearby - you can ride the bike over it. It’d make for a really good video. Also the Capilano suspension foot bridge in Vancouver would be interesting.
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Last edited by John Nantz; January 29th, 2016 at 11:27 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old February 9th, 2016, 08:55 PM   #24
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

Thanks for the suggestion on bikes, John. Surly has the reputation of going the distance and carrying a load. The popular Surly model is the Long Haul Trucker. My friend, Iohan, who is not a professional videographer, has ridden from Alaska to Mexico and is now in Guatemala. He rode a Surly Troll there.

In fact, I wish I had half his skills and frankly, "balls", to get the kind of shots he gets. The only way I know how to improve on what he has done is shoot better video. When I met Iohan on his way through Colorado, I was floored at the consumer camera and his lack of video experience. He is a natural at composition and being able to see the big picture.

In my last tour, we found our platform had a HUGE impract on the kind of video we could get. I finally moved the cam from the bike to me, and used my body as a shock absorber. Still not good enough. I will look up the Straggler to see how it compares. I am including a link to one of Iohan's videos, not for his technical ability, some of the video is blurred and is shakey, but to illustrate the kind of shots I hope to be able to get, some of the imagination and story telling ability.

https://youtu.be/Z0wAPztOO2U?list=PL...O9JXuCONU_p4nM
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Old February 13th, 2016, 12:23 AM   #25
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

After reading what you wrote above and watching the link, and also one of his other videos, “I want to see the world: The North (1 of 2)”, I also watched # “2”, I have to agree with you, his story telling ability is awesome and his camera stabilization leaves something to be desired. Having said that, it’s been said that 90 percent of a good movie is the storyline. In spite of all the videographer deficiencies in his videos, his story and the way he is presenting it, is absolutely trumping everything.

What he did was almost unbelievable, riding solo under such adverse conditions and with virtually no support should some serious accident happen, then he somehow gets through it all. In my youth, a friend and I were racing down the hill on our bikes and his front wheel did a jack-knife due to a small rock in the road and this caused him to fly over the handlebars and do a faceplate on the asphalt knocking out several teeth. What Iohan went through by himself, in the wilderness, was no comparison.

Alaska is more than twice as large as Texas and in his “The North” video Iohan shows how he criss-crosses the state, and again, more awesome footage where the story trumps the shaky hand-held shots. The west coast of the lower 48, by comparison to Alaska, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories (I think that has been renamed), is almost urban. Down here, the dangers won’t be so much from bears and other wildlife as from cars and trucks. Iohan had a number of selfie-stick shots with big semis coming from behind and passing close by, smoother footage, surprisingly, than his handheld shots.

Some of his audio had a lot of undesirable wind noise. The coast route can be very windy, especially in the afternoon, so mic wind protection would be a plus.

A one-man-band type has it tough because there are so many areas in making a video to become smart on. You look at a still picture and it has the photographers name and maybe the camera and lens that was used but when one looks at a movie and you sit through a five minute roll of credits for all the people who helped make it, many of whom have college degrees in their field, you know we’re kinda in the “jack of all trades, master of none” category.

One book I’ve referenced is “Movie Making Course” by Chris Patmore. It breaks down the movie (or video) into numerous parts, most with about two pages per part, and there are 138 pages! (not counting the index). What that is saying is, making a video requires a heck of a lot of detail to tell a story. The good news is, the first item, The Idea, you already have. There was a thread here about a month ago about either the storyline or storyboarding but I can’t find it. Something to consider would be a kind of storyboard for the route that would have the things you want to hit on. At the end of “The North” Iohan had a summary of his trek highlights that was nice but this would depend on the kind of story one wanted to tell.

re Cam: Last year I tried doing a bike video with the cam on the handlebars but it was very shaky, and like you experienced, doing it handheld was much smoother. However, trying to use the LCD screen in daylight was tough and looking at the screen while riding did not feel safe.

re Bike:
Stopped in at Silverdale Cyclery again and talked to a different salesman for an opinion on what bike he’d recommend besides the Surly, and he pointed to the Cannondale 700 M Touring for $1,500. He pointed out that the Surly has more mounting points than the Cannondale.

The bike that I use on the boat for grocery runs has yellow panniers for visibility and I’ve thought about adding SOLAS reflector tape for increased visibility to supplement the bright red tail and helmet lights.
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Old February 20th, 2016, 05:06 PM   #26
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

John, you have a lot of great ideas. I think my first job is to plot out a story line. That is a little tough, because really, we will make the story as we go. Still, having highlights we hope to see along the way would be a great first start. While there are plenty of animals and bears in Oregon and Northern California, we will not likely see any. As you point out, the "conflict" is likely to be as much "rider against traffic, and rider against other people" as it is "rider against nature", though for a guy my age, I will be 60 by the end of the tour, man against himself is going to be a real part of it.

It seems my second need is camera stabilization. One of my cams I wore on the top of my helmet, another on my chest. I gave up on the handlebar mounted cams, they are absolutely hopeless.

Stabilization and camera selection becomes important. If we stick with Go-pro, there are some easy solutions. Moving to advanced stabilization for other cams is quite a challenge.

Getting good audio is important. Would be nice maybe to have wireless, but now we are adding weight and bulk, two huge problems in any touring kit. Everything electric is subject to water intrusion and needs power. In that area, as has been pointed out, fog can be a significant water intrusion problem.

There are so many bikes to choose from, it is difficult to wade through the possibilities. Salsa (owned by Surly) makes some great tour bikes, REI has a good one, and I have heard good things about Cannondale.

The project is overwhelming, seems so simple on the one hand, pack the panniers and go, and so difficult on the other hand, routes, bikes, camera equipment, rain gear, internet access, battery re-charging, safety, communications, what to do with all the problems at home during a 3 month ride, even what media is best and how to protect it during the ride. Lots to think about. I appreciate all of the thoughts on this board and in other places I am posting. Tim
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Old February 27th, 2016, 11:03 PM   #27
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

Turns out the Surly Straggler would be a good fit but does not have the braze-on connect points for racks and panniers, etc.

Any suggestions for a super light weight but fairly tall tripod?

Thanks!
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Old February 29th, 2016, 11:18 AM   #28
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

With regard to the Surly Straggler bike, the one in the picture comes standard with mounting points for racks and that’s one of it’s selling points. That one has front wheel racks and a rear wheel rack; however, the racks are optional, i.e., extra.

The “standard” Surly bike for trecking that can be used as a yardstick for comparison is their Long Haul Trucker. The Straggler has larger tires than the Trucker and would be better suited for rougher terrain. These Surlys are steel frame so they’re tough, the Cannondales can be had in aluminum frame for about the same price so for a road trip perhaps they would be an option, especially if weight is a concern.

With regard to the light-weight tripod one will most likely be looking at something with carbon fiber; however, a case could be made with some kind of an el-cheapo. A couple years ago I picked up a “tourist model” Manfrotto 7321YB via Costco for something like around $39 for a trip to Europe. I think it had 4 leg sections, DSLR head vice video head with lever locks, was shorter and a lot lighter than my Manfrotto 701. Maximum height on a tourist model are not likely to be very much.
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Old March 4th, 2016, 07:12 PM   #29
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

I managed to leave a nice Manfrotto during a protest after I pulled the video cam off of it to follow my subject. They left, I followed...and someone got a nice tri-pod. One consideration is weight, another is, maybe a tripod won't be worth much after rattling for 2,000 miles on a bike, with rain, snow and fog. Same for cameras....

I keep thinking this project surely is a little unusual. No one else, at least not many others, have ridden across the U.S.A. on a bike...WRONG. In some circles this is nothing. No one else is trying to create a movie with equipment he brings on a self supported bike ride...WRONG. Turns out there is a whole cult of movie makers doing it.

Filmed by Bike: The World's Best Bike Movies
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Old March 4th, 2016, 07:28 PM   #30
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Re: Bike documentary, what equip, what bike?

In fact, speaking about having been done before, I was thinking, if this next project goes well, then maybe I would tackle Panama to Colombia and the Darian Gap. I was thinking in the back of my mind, "Geez, just don't say anything to anyone, and maybe next year put together an expedition to shoot a trip through the gap (by bike and by foot)". Some people wander into that part of the world and are never seen again. Now THAT will be a new FIRST! WRONG!



https://vimeo.com/cinellitv/hobootleggeo

So I can see that in a certain way, not much has escaped the movie making community. I am going to have to distinguish with a strong story and great video work for the project to stand out. Going to the most exotic locations, while perhaps helping add flair, is not the only factor.

Still working on basic kit. I like the suggestion of a GH4. Too bad the new go pro shooting at 8K has not come out yet.
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