Need help with configurate a high speed an interior camera mounts at

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Old May 19th, 2006, 10:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sweden - Halmstad
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Need help with configurate a high speed an interior camera mounts


I am planing on filming alot of material from cars during trackdays and other car events.


I want 3 exterior views: (using Sony HVR-A1E)

1. Low down at the frontbumper to give some speedsensation
2. At the top of the roof just above the windscreen pointing forwards
3. One ontop of the cars trunk (luggage compartment) pointing backwards

I know that i could use suction clamps but i dont know if only one per camera is enought at speed in access of 180mph?

And i am not sure what video head i need to use, it must be a heavy duty thing, i need to have a video head that i can tilt howewer i want, but i do not want it to move anything at all and since the front area of the camera i quite large so the "locking" function on the head must be strong.

The height on the mounts on the roof cant be high, the higher it goes the more speedsensation i will loose.


I had a mount that i fitted on the headreast on the front passenger seat but the wideangle of the camera wasnt satisfying so i need it to be mounted further back.
I want a setup that is easy to assembly and put down again, i though of 2 suction clamps, one on the left passenger window and one on the right, then a bar between thoose. But heres the trouble:
Since the window isnt verticly aligned with the horizontal bar i need a ballbearing thingy on each clamp, and i will be using different cars so the horizontal bar between the clams must be telescopic.
And i want to be able to mount the camera wherever i want on the bar.

For the exterior thing i am considering a setup from:
SM3 but i have no experience what so ever about the loads that the clamps can withstand, is 3 of them enough to hold a Sony HVR-A1E in 180mph without moving an inch, not tilt the camera or worst case scenario, let go of the camera and i loose a camera?

Sorry, a little more text then i first though i would need but anyway if i can use the SM3 for the exterior views the problem is the interior views so is there anyone that want to put togehter a complete setup?
Hmm i think that the mounting height on the SM3 is to high to mount on the roof so any tips on a lower one is appreciated.

Jesper Andersson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1st, 2007, 01:39 PM   #2
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Location: Netherlands
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I have been looking for the exact same setup, but it is too pricey for my taste. I have seen a photographer who had a setup with 2 large suctionpads. He did some driving up to 200km/h with no problem. But i think that 180mp/h is a little too much. The forces on the bodywork will be huge. Are you sure the riders want to risk car damage with that setup? I think it is ok for some driving and drifting up to 200km/h-130mp/h.

For such speeds i should go with bulletcams. You can mount them everywhere you want without risking damage to your cam or the car.
You can even do some cool interiorshots with them. Footwork, etc.
Hubert Duijzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1st, 2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles
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Hire a professional grip.

He/she will know exactly what's possible, and if it is possible how to do it. Also, many grips own very heavy-duty mounting systems for cars. If you've never done a car mount before, I would suggest not starting at 180mph. I'd suggest not even starting at 30 mph. Have a professional grip come and do your first couple shoots, and if after that you decide that you still want to do it yourself, at least you'll know ALL the proper safety procedures. Still a very bad idea.

That said, you'll probably try to do it yourself anyways, so remember this: at ANY speed, even 5mph, a single mounting point is NOT enough. It'll shake like crazy. The reason for 3-point mounting is not just redundancy, but also to eliminate vibration in all axis.

In vehicle mount situations, remember that your worries extend beyond the shot and even your gear. If the camera comes off, the last thing you should care about is the camera itself. Anything that lets loose becomes a HUGE liability. That's an understatement. A mount and camera flying off a car at 180 mph???? If it hits someone it will kill them.

Most likely the track won't even allow you to do such shots at that speed. A lot of shots that simulate high speeds are shot at lower framerates, lower speeds, and sped up in post. Same effect, MUCH safer. Oh, and they're ALWAYS done with trained stuntmen/women. What happens if your driver forgets about the camera on the lower right rocker panel and slides against the wall? Also, if these people are actually racing, why on earth would they agree to mount aerodynamic bricks to their cars? If they aren't racing, then there's no problem slowing the overall speed by a certain percentage, and the framerate accordingly.

Before you get too set on the idea of shooting car mounts, check with the tracks, organizations, and drivers involved. You could go and buy all the best gear, hire the best grips, etc... only to find that for insurance reasons, you're not even allowed to do such shots.

Not trying to be a downer here, but the usual instinct for new camera operators is to want to do everything themselves, and take unnecessary risks. Just make sure you absolutely understand the safety side of things. There's a reason professional grips have careers - they're very good at what they do, and often get hired based on their safety, as well as their speed. And, the more experience they have, the more likely they are to turn down projects that sound suspicious. If someone called me and described the above settings and speeds, I'd politely thank them for calling and say hell no. It's not worth the risk to other people, property, or professional reputations.
Jaron Berman is offline   Reply

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