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Shooting with an F900 in a car


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#1 David B Bradshaw

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 11:52 PM

I'm shooting a doc style TV show with the Sony F900 and would like to know if anyone has any ideas on how to shoot with that camera in a car. This is lower budget and we're in and out of vehicles sporadically and the best angle is from the passenger seat. I've considered using a smaller camera and intercutting it in with the 900 but am not crazy about that. I have two concerns shooting with the 900 in a car. One being the physical length of the camera. With a Canon wide angle lense attached, it's quite close to the talent and I don't want any distortion. Plus it's quite cumbersome to operate. I've tried balancing it on the window sill but the soundman ended that. My second concern are the airbags.....if they go off, my head would be in the trunk.

Are there any interior mounts on the market?

Is there any other option?

I've also considered the Iconix HD-RH1, but I think it's a bit out of the production's budget range.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 12:18 AM

The soundman is going to have to let you stick the back end out of the open window because the camera is too long otherwise.

Another option would be to use the T-block version of the F950 and find a place to hide a deck/recorder.
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#3 Frank Barrera

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 12:26 AM

My second concern are the airbags.....if they go off, my head would be in the trunk.

this would be my first concern. I mean it would be differnet if it was a one time thing. But if you are planning on going in and out of a car for several episodes or even operating a smaller dv or hdv rig there are real safety issues. Is it possible to go with a rigged cam like a lipstick cam sort of like that show "Blind Date?" Otherwise you could do a rig with baby legs and sandbags while you monitor the 900 from the back seat with your friend the sound guy.

Or you could plant the 900 on a Hostess tray from the passenger side window and be on a slightly longer lens to alleviate your distortion concerns; again monitering from the back seat.

You should post this question in the Grip forum. Those grips have an answer for everything.


good luck and don't get your block knocked off.

f
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#4 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 12:48 PM

Hi David B.:

If you haven't already considered it, you might remove the large camera battery from the back of the cam (and the Anton-Baeur batt. plate if it has one), and instead power the cam via a right-angle 4-pin XLR power cable and an external battery/belt. This will remove at least a couple of inches from the cam's length -- possibly more depending on which battery is normally used with your cam.

You might remove the large top handle normally attached to the top of the cam -- these are completely removable via a few screws ... done carefully of course. This will gain you a inch or so of headroom if needed.

Use a really big car/SUV? :-)

Or rent one of these?:
http://www.zgc.com/z...37?OpenDocument

... or one of these:
http://www.schneider...y.aspx?CID=1108

Hope this helps.
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#5 David B Bradshaw

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 07:48 PM

"Laughs", yeah Frank, the airbags ARE actually my first concern as well. I wish I could find behind the scenes photo's of the Amazing Race to see how those guys run and gun all over in and out of these tiny European cars. I understand it's shot on DIGI BETA or even HD.

However, because we're shooting HD in a 24p format, I think my only option for a lipstick style camera that I know of is the Iconix HD RH1 so it will intercut with the other footage nicely. I'm not sure what they rent for where you are but here in Toronto, the camera rents for about $400/day and a deck for about a $1000 and the show is about four months. I know they don't have the budget for that. I am interested in the info you gave about the hostess tray I"m going to look into that and maybe rig it or something similar over the passenger seat and operate from the back. It has to be pretty quick assembly though. I may post this in the Grip Department, should've thought of that before.

Peter I'm going to look into the attachements you mentioned as well. I'm quite interested in that.

Thanks guys.


Dave
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#6 Derek Dodge

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 04:52 PM

David,

I'm having the same problem as you at the moment. I'm going to be shooting a doc that will be taking me in and out of cars everyday for a month. The F900 is so long it's nearly impossible to operate inside these tiny cars we're driving in. I've thought of shooting the car interiors on the Sony HDV Z1 and intercutting it with the F900 but I need to see some tests first. I talked to an Amazing Race shooter and he told me that they shoot with the Panasonic SDX-900 which isnt all that much smaller. He said he just sits in the passenger seat and does the best he can.
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