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Old January 28th, 2005, 11:38 AM   #1
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Floating a cam with helium ??

Hi.

For an upcoming shoot we're trying to get creative with a next to nill budget. I'm thinking of trying to harness my little Pano PV-GS15 and attaching it to a helium fillied weather balloon and maybe controlling it with two long strings that ground operators will handle.

This camera will simply be used to float over the top of a crowd and stage at a live concert.

I don't suppose anyone has done anything similar that might offer advice or suggestions as to what materials would work best?

-Kevin

I do realize that it will be hit or miss on the footage but this is just something to try out for visual interest in our mix.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 01:09 PM   #2
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check out http://www.dvcamerarigs.com Dan has a book that has a rig for doing exactly that!!!
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Old January 28th, 2005, 01:16 PM   #3
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I've seen the sight and hope to add that book to my library but I don't see anything revolving around a balloon based setup. I need to get over top of a large crowd and be able to cover a wide span of it. A crane wont do...

At least not one that's economically feasible.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old January 28th, 2005, 01:39 PM   #4
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The rig you want is the "Touch of Evil cam". If you drop Dan an email I am sure he can enlighten you.

But, essentially, it is a rig using balloons to float the camera.

You wouldn't want to drop your camera testing an unproven design. His stuff works and is economical.

Good luck!
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Old January 28th, 2005, 05:22 PM   #5
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First, check out this thread from last year:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=20870

They are talking about complicated $2000 kinda solutions tho...

The other thing you might look at is this:

www.rctoys.com

They have a $250 wireless cam and some great videos of it flying on planes, rockets, etc. They also have some sub-$100 wireless blimps, but they are likely too light for outdoor use. Possibly a wireless plane or helo tho? Who Knows.

The cam will not be DV quality, but if you set it up the right way and make it interesting to the audience that they are seeing the "blimp view" or something, it could still work for a cut every now and then.

Good luck.
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Old January 29th, 2005, 11:04 AM   #6
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Hi Kevin,

First, don't use a weather balloon! They are not as tough as regular balloons because they are designed to pop at a certain altitude.

Get balloons at least 36" in diameter. Any less than that and you'll be blowing up balloons for days. A 55 cubic feet tank of Helium can blow up about six 36" balloons. It will take you about 11 balloons to float a camera like a canon GL2. You don't want to blow up the balloons to their full diameter. This makes them prone to poping. If you're using a 36" balloon, blow it up to about 30". Weather can affect how many balloons you'll need as well. If it's really hot out, you'll need to add at least one balloon to the above formula. Also, if it is breezy out, these types of rigs don't work well! But if conditions are right, they add an amazing amount of production value for very little cost!

Good Luck!

Dan
www.DVcameraRigs.com
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Old January 29th, 2005, 12:26 PM   #7
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Sounds like fun...but please, oh, please don't let your camera end up like Lawn Chair Larry:

http://cgi.darwinawards.com/cgi/frames.pl?/main.html

and search for "Larry"...he will pop up at the top of the list.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 10:04 AM   #8
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I love those Darwin Awards! I wonder if this was the inspiration for the movie "Danny Deckchair". Needless to say, I love that movie!

Dan
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