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Taking the vibration out of Camera Car work


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#1 Bob Hayes

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 07:20 PM

I?ve been shooting motorcycle footage off of an insert car. The footage looks great but the tighter coverage had too much vibration. Is anyone using image stabizers on insert cars? Does this sound like a good way to go?
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#2 Paul Maibaum ASC

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:05 PM

An image stabilization head such as the Libra Head (Geo Film Group or Panavision Remote are among the rental facilities that carry the Libra Head) or the Scorpio Head (www.scorpiohead.com). These heads are expensive and require a technician to set up but they get great results. Used in conjunction with a telescopic crane arm (Technocrane) they can give you amazing shots on the road.
Dynalens is the other way to go, probably the least expensive.
Contact Steve Peterson, @dynalens@adelphia.net. (or call me and I'll give you his #).
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#3 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:20 PM

Hi Bob,

Not really an insert car, but this may still apply: I’ve had some decent luck with using a SteadiCam with the arm mounted to speedrail on one of Steve Holliday’s camera bikes.

http://www.camerabikes.com/bikes.html

I imagine this would work as well from a car. It’s not too difficult using the SteadiCam arm at low speeds but it gets a little tricky trying to hold a level horizon after a while. It does, however, get very tough when you’re moving at higher speeds around corners—it feels like the rig weighs about a hundred pounds as it’s trying to pull away from you.

For what it’s worth, the best thing I’ve found is the Ultimate Arm with a Flight Head:

http://www.ultimatearm.com/

A little pricey for some budgets (okay, for most budgets), but this combo is great for almost any kind of tracking shot. For high-speed work it’s as stable as it gets.
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#4 Andres Pardo aka Gral Treegan

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:27 PM

Hi!!

here is Treegan, i work as a postproducer here in Mexico DF.
i work in some ads in wich coptervision, stabilization heads and stuff like that were used.

all this kind of grips or stuff like that are good but i walys had to use shake smooth cam or flmae stabilization sparkles at the end.

Bye!!
Treegan
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#5 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:48 PM

Hi!!

here is Treegan, i work as a postproducer here in Mexico DF.
i work in some ads in wich coptervision, stabilization heads and stuff like that were used.

all this kind of grips or stuff like that are good but i walys had to use shake smooth cam or flmae stabilization sparkles at the end.

Bye!!
Treegan

Hi General,

While remote copters have their place, I would not recommend using one around a motorcycle rider. I personally know two people who have actually been hit by them: freestyle MXer Brian Deegan and Baja racing legend Chuck Miller of American Honda. Deegan was in the middle of a 50-foot double jump and was hit in the chest and cut up; Chuck got hit in the helmet at Dumont Dunes and was knocked out cold. A couple inches lower and he wouldn't be around today. Same for Brian. Another friend of mine who is a stunt rider, John Hately, nearly got a haircut from one while riding a BMW on a shoot in SoCal.

By the way, there is no detectable vibration when using the Ultimate Arm/ Flight Head. Can't speak for the Libra, etc. If you want to see the results with motorcycles, there is a short demo with many Ultimate Arm shots on my website:

http://www.frankuhn.com

Click on FILM and look at the second spot (Honda Street/Dirt/ATV Montage)

Hope this helps.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 09:08 PM

For what it?s worth, the best thing I?ve found is the Ultimate Arm with a Flight Head:

http://www.ultimatearm.com/

A little pricey for some budgets (okay, for most budgets), but this combo is great for almost any kind of tracking shot. For high-speed work it?s as stable as it gets.

Is this the second version of the Russian Arm? I've heard great things about that arm but I've never used it.
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#7 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:34 PM

Is this the second version of the Russian Arm? I've heard great things about that arm but I've never used it.


Yes. The first one may still be around, but it is owned by Filmotechnic. The Ultimate Arm guys broke away from them and built a complete and improved system including a dedicated car to carry it. Just my opinion, but Filmotechnic would not be my recommend. Go with Ultimate Arm if you have the budget.

Keep in mind the Arm and Head operators, the First AC and the Driver need to be top notch (as well as the rider). The quality of the shots will depend on whether or not you get the "A" crew or some of the less experienced guys. The big problem is always availability. On my last shoot, we were playing musical chairs with what seemed like an ever-changing crew that ended up compromising a few of the shots. Still, when you get the good guys, the thing is just magic. One of my regular assistants, Alex Bunin, has been out working as an Arm Tech all week on the latest iteration of Die Hard . So now, I not only can't get the Arm, but I lost Alex for my shoot days this week!
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#8 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 05:17 AM

Thanks, that clears it up.
Are you looking for someone Fran? I can give you the name of an incredible 1st...and he's also an incredible tech for heads and cameras. Let me know.
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#9 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 10:59 PM

Thanks, that clears it up.
Are you looking for someone Fran? I can give you the name of an incredible 1st...and he's also an incredible tech for heads and cameras. Let me know.


Hi Brad,

I'm out on a job right now; I'll try to PM you in the near future. I'm always interested in getting the name of a good First.

BTW, since I started doing a few motion film shoots on top of my day job doing still photos, I have to say I think the First has at least as much responsibility as anyone else on a shoot. I've met a couple of really great ones, too. I have nothing but the utmost respect for them.
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#10 Daniel Stigler

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:53 AM

I’ve been shooting motorcycle footage off of an insert car. The footage looks great but the tighter coverage had too much vibration. Is anyone using image stabizers on insert cars? Does this sound like a good way to go?


I'm used to do shots like that with stabilized remote heads like the already mentioned Libra. The Nettman Stab C is also a very good option. While the normal Scorpio head is top notch the stabilized version still has some issues...

Edited by Daniel Stigler, 19 January 2007 - 12:53 AM.

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#11 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 05:53 AM

I have to say I think the First has at least as much responsibility as anyone else on a shoot. I've met a couple of really great ones, too. I have nothing but the utmost respect for them.

Agreed. And a good 1st is hard to find. They all seem to be busy all of the time. It's a big job that doesn't necessarily get the big paycheck or the most respect. I'm certainly in awe of great 1st's.
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#12 Brian Wells

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 11:17 AM

I have no experience with such things, but am impressed by the Mako Head. www.makohead.com
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