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Old September 6th, 2006, 02:23 PM   #1
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noob, cheap car shoot

Hey guys, i know this might be a super noob question, but how do i shoot in a car without the camera shaking much. I'm pretty sure there's a technique out there that I can try. I'm to do this without spending much or any money.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 05:00 PM   #2
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I once built a little camera tray and attached it to the inside of the passenger seat window. I ripped the head off of a $10 cheapo tripod and mounted it with a screw or two on a flat piece of wood that was maybe 5" x 12". Then I took a piece of sheet metal that I bought at ACE hardware (also maybe 5" x 12"), bent it at a right angle, and bolted it to the wood so that there was a vertical panel of metal going down perpendicularly from the piece of wood. Then you can slide the sheet metal down into the window slot and secure it to the door with some strong (but cheap) elastic ties.

This setup kept the camera pretty darn steady, and I was able to pan / tilt the camera for framing thanks to the tripod head. Just make sure you mount it and let it sit for a while before you shoot, because the tension from the elastics will slowly bend the metal over the course of a half-hour or so, and you don't want this to happen during your shot.

Obviously you can use this setup to mount the camera on either door, facing in either direction. You can also remove the metal from the bottom and use the wood + elastics (with a blanket under the wood) to mount a cam on the hood of the car--I did this also, and it looked great.

Sure, you can pay big $$$ for commercially-made mounts that will do the same job, but this thing only costs $15 or $20 and works very well. And it's very simple to make. Just be careful.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 06:36 PM   #3
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Do you have footage from that setup we could see? Is that on your website under films somewhere? And maybe a picture of the setup to see how you're fastening the elastics.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #4
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Assuming time=money, the cheapest way is to have someone with skills film it. If they hold the camera out away from their body, like a cup of scalding hot coffee, you'll have some pretty smooth footage.

Attaching something heavy to the base of the camera makes handheld footage smooth out nicely as well. Happy filming.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #5
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I use precisely that technique with a tripod as the weight on the bottom. I hold the tripod right below the head with my index finger and my thumb in a ring around it. This provides the balanced weight needed to keep the shot smooth.
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Old September 7th, 2006, 12:36 AM   #6
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thanks everyone! yeah, i'm going to try the tripod-weight idea, seems easiest and cheapest! :D
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Old September 7th, 2006, 07:37 AM   #7
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I'm not sure how well that'll work in a car due to the spacial constraints. I keep the legs collapsed to have it be more compact.

Now, if you intend to hang your hand out the window with the tripod precariously hung from your two fingers, you may want to reconsider depending on how much disposible income you have ;)
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Old September 7th, 2006, 07:40 AM   #8
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I have a lot of how to DIY/low - no-budget stuff here:

http://www.yafiunderground.com/AJ/howto.html

and a checklist for folks like us who tend to end up running all the production aspects ourselves:

http://www.yafiunderground.com/checklist.html
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Old September 9th, 2006, 08:48 AM   #9
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Michael here is the rig that i use for shooting interior car stuff, I bought it from ebay for the reasonable price of 30. It's home made but it's sturdy and doesn't just rely on the suction pads. Just keep your eye on ebay and you'll find things like this, or alternatively you could probably build your own just by looking at the pictures.

click on the 'origional size' option under the picture for full rez

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/869364/

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/869362/

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/869366/

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Old September 9th, 2006, 07:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
Do you have footage from that setup we could see? Is that on your website under films somewhere? And maybe a picture of the setup to see how you're fastening the elastics.
I used have to some footage from a scene using this setup on my web site, but I took it down a long time ago. There is, however, a very brief clip of the window-mounted stuff in this trailer.

I don't have any pics of the setup, sorry. The elastic bands were stretched from the window down to the bottom of the door and up the other side of the door, so that they were all the way around the door, if that makes sense. I can't remember if I linked two of them together to get that kind of distance or not... if you're going to try it, just play around until you get something that works.

Also note that the door will have to close ON the elastic this way, but I didn't have any trouble with that.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Graham
Michael here is the rig that i use for shooting interior car stuff, I bought it from ebay for the reasonable price of 30. It's home made but it's sturdy and doesn't just rely on the suction pads. Just keep your eye on ebay and you'll find things like this, or alternatively you could probably build your own just by looking at the pictures.

click on the 'origional size' option under the picture for full rez

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/869364/

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/869362/

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/869366/

Andy.


That looks awesome for only about $60! I'm gonna look into it! thanks, how much do you think it is new (not on ebay)? from another website?
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Old September 11th, 2006, 08:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rapadas
how much do you think it is new (not on ebay)? from another website?
As I mentioned the one i have has been home built by someone and then they put it on ebay, by looking at it it is a fairly simple design that you could probably build your self with parts from home depot. The main H shaped bracket is the only place that has welds and the rest is just bolts. If you wanted I could post more pictures so you could have a go.

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Old September 16th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Graham
If you wanted I could post more pictures so you could have a go.

Andy.
I'd like to see some more pictures of the mount, so I could try building one.

Thanks,
Luke
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Old September 17th, 2006, 09:14 AM   #14
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some more pics. I broke it down to its component parts.

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/909511/

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/909541/

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/909512/

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/909513/

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/909514/

http://camerashyltd.livedigital.com/content/909515/

Andy.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 02:38 PM   #15
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Awesome job, thanks for sharing Andy, really appreciate it.
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