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'Locked' body POV shots - when the camera is mounted on someone...


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#1 Nick Mulder

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 05:51 PM

I dont know the exact term for the POV but its a music video classic ... When the camera is mounted to a persons body and pointed back at them so it is in effect locked to that persons movement, like a helmet cam you see on skydivers but mounted on a body brace instead...

I want to build one and suspect I could do an ok job for at least the weight of a bolex but with what I have in mind I'll need a bit more support (underwater housing). It would be interesting to see other rigs beforehand, so any pics/footage/microfiche/blueprints/advice/sea faring shantys would be appreciated ...

cheers,
Nick
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#2 Troy Warr

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 06:15 PM

Hi Nick,

Doggicam Systems has some information on their website about their Bodymount product. They even have pics from the Mick Jagger "God Gave Me Everything I Want" music video by Mark Romanek, which was the first thing that came into my mind when I read your post. I hadn't realized that was the actual Doggicam Bodymount.

Here's their photo gallery. You can watch the video here, and it's also available on "The Work of Director Mark Romanek."

Hope that helps somewhat. Good luck!
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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 06:49 PM

perfect stuff - exactly what I was after...

hmmm, they have some pretty big cantilevers in some of those rigs, wiggle wiggle I'm thinking -

mine will be a heavy underwater housing that can thankfully afford to be closer to the body but it needs to be able to both be rigged comfortably and solidly for out of water (when it is heaviest) and then also be solid when underwater where it will act like a keel in the water currents as it will make the transition in a continuous shot

test test test!

cheers for those links...

Nick
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#4 Troy Warr

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 07:14 PM

Sure thing Nick, and good luck. I'd be interested to hear how it turns out.

Since you mentioned water currents, I'd think that just as important a consideration as weight would be water resistance; you'd want to minimize the rig's surface area so that it doesn't drag the actor along with it. If you're able to get 4-6 rigid metal tubes linking the camera rig to the actor's body, I'd guess that would probably hold the rig steady enough while allowing water to pass through the rig without a lot of resistance.

Also, I'm sure that the weak point in the system that introduces wiggle has to be the linkage between the vest/belt/harness and the cantilever. If your shot allows, you may consider building an extension where the actor can stabilize the rig with one or both hands out of frame. If not, I think probably the more mounting points, the better. You may even want to investigate various safety harnesses, weightlifting belts, back braces, maybe even a parachute harness to see if you can find a budget-friendly device that would hold such a rig tight to the body.
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#5 Nick Mulder

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 07:41 PM

I was inspired one day by the pics at homebuiltstabilizers one day to attempt a steadicam but was hindered by the fact I had to make a solid body brace and didn't have the knowhow/materials/tools to do this (sewing!?!)

But interestingly enough the day I walked out of the house to go catch a plane to the UK to pick up the underwater housing I will be using (from Phil Savoie, a member here) I found a body brace 'thing' on the side of the road next to a rubbish bin. I picked it up, turned swiftly around and ran home to drop outside the door to then run back and catch the airport shuttle just in time ... It was still there upon my return, since then I have stalled somewhat on the steadicam but thought this would be a good starter project...

I think its some sort of medical brace thing formed out of two pieces of plastic with a foam layer on the inside, the two pieces form the front and back with overlap and 4 velcro straps provide fastening. It sits on the hips and goes up to just under shoulder height so the arms and shoulders are totally free - I dont want to think too hard about its history but it fits me perfectly which is going to be good as I might be the subject for at least one application

I'm going to either hack some C-stand arms and joints onto it and/or investigate using carbon rods and my own machined mounts to keep the weight down (like the doggicam stuff) - the underwater housing really suits a 10mm lens (longer focal lengths including the 26mm which its meant to be built for give odd focus due to a f$#ed up DOF) because of this I'll be keeping the housing close to the body, so the subject like you suggest will be able to provide support if need be as the lower arms should be out of shot ...

thanks again for the kind words and suggestions! unfortunately I've quite a few things to build so dont expect too much footage in the near future :rolleyes:
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