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Bicycle Handlebar Camera Mount


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#1 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 10:20 PM

Hello,
Does anyone have any good ideas for mounting a camera (16mm or 35mm Arri) to the handlebars of a regular BMX bicycle? The camera has to be shooting back at the rider's face, without too much sky in the background (that is, should be shooting more level with their head).

I have a few ideas myself (including telling the producers they shouldn't be doing this) on how to accomplish this, but I wanted to get any ideas anyone else had -- maybe someone knows of something specialized or in particular that would be good for this. I see plenty of DIY rigs on google, but those are mostly for still cameras and smaller DVX-type cameras.

Thanks,
:)
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#2 Evan Pierre

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 12:26 AM

What sort of stunts must the bicycle do? Will it just be straightforward riding or off-road bumpy stuff?
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#3 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 05:40 AM

No real "stunts" ...just riding down the block.
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#4 Onno Perdijk

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 05:59 AM

hello Daniel,

Do you really want to attach a camera to the handels? Since when the driver starts steering the camera will start panning. While cycling you will need to do slight adjustments on your balance by steering so there will be a continiously panning...

If you rig your camera to the frame itself it will always look straight backwards with a correct framing on the driver.

I recall reading something about these kinds of rigs 3/4 of a year ago... or here or on CML.

I can make you some quick drawing to get the camera at 1m on front of the bike, no problem.

Good Luck

Onno Perdijk
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www.solidgripsystems.eu
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#5 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 06:16 AM

Well, I'm about to go to the tech scout... and yes, I was thinking the exact same thing about the handlebars vs the frame. I got a quick email from the DP about rigging to the handlebars, but I don't think he was thinking about it too exactly, so I was going to attach it to the frame anyway, since I think that will yield better results. But if you have any pics, feel free to post them -- they will be much appreciated! :)
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#6 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 12:01 PM

Tow it behind a golf cart. Depending on the handle bars, you could just rig a cheese plate, but having a film camera on the front is really going to throw off the balance, and make it unsafe to free-drive. If you build a cage around the bike, you could balance it out. Or, you could pull off the front wheel, and attach a 3/8" threaded rod, (w/ a bunch of nuts) to the forks. Speed rail starters on the ends of the threaded rod, and some pipe and connectors back to the tow vehicle.
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#7 Cory Lonas

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 09:52 AM

If you had "pegs" on the front hub of the bike you could use a couple bars to rig up a triangle using the front fork and hang the tip side (with camera mount) on the handlebars. that way you would get a good frame from a little distance. but it would definitely throw the balance off tremendously... it might be much easier to just mount the front fork onto your dolly with the camera, that way grip dept has total control over where the bike goes, and you don't have to worry about some actor on a bike crashing your camera into the pavement because the front end weighed too much...
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#8 Onno Perdijk

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 04:03 PM

Hello All,

Again; it is all about the look you're after:
1) Either a free riding bike with a rig to either the frame
2) or the handlebar.
3) A rig replacing the frontwheel, attached to the hook of a pickup or insertcar (where you will miss the spinning frontwheel...)
4) a low-trailer/loader with a "home-trainer-rig" on it, with the bike riding along.

Way before the digital episode I did something like 1) For pictures I really have to dig, same goes for option 3). Never used option 2) as mentioned in my previous post.
Regarding option 4): We made a special mount for this commercial. The camera was on a TwinDolly / Trussdolly to give it the feeling of a left-to-right-movement.

Attached some option 4) pics... (they could have been worse..)
pictures


Good Luck

Onno Perdijk
KeyGrip
Amsterdam, The netherlands
www.solidgripsystems.eu
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#9 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 11:59 PM

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your replies. The shoot went well.


After much going back and forth about the bike shot, the director finally decided on what he needed. I would have liked to put the camera on a stabilized head mounted on a separate vehicle, but the director wanted a more in-your-face kind of feel, where the frame would have the rough, bouncing, jittery movements of bike, and a more connected, immediate feel. So in the end, I rigged the camera directly to the frame of the bike. The shot had to be low, looking up at the talent (but also seeing some background, not just sky), and so using the big o'conner head that we had was out of the question. Good thing I special ordered some cheese plates ;)

Posted Image


Posted Image
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#10 Steve McBride

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 03:40 PM

Nice rig, I was going to say something about a snorri-cam, but then I read that you're using an Arri and that idea went out the window :P .
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#11 Wilkin Chau

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 12:47 PM

A possible idea would be to rig the bike on a western dolly. Rent an item called a bike trainer, this thing (can get at a lot of bike stores) essentially makes a bicycle into a stationary bicycle. Ratchet strap the bike trainer onto a western dolly and the bicycle can attach easily to it.

So your guy can pedal and steer the bicycle but he won't actually be moving. You can then either mount the camera if you want on the bicycle itself or on the dolly (on the handebars possbily). Course this means your grips will have to do the actual driving.
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#12 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 01:19 PM

Daniel,

Check with Doggicam. Gary and his crew over there are real experts doing this kind of thing and they have a terrific lightweight rod system for rigging cameras to bicycles, motorcycles, etc. I have used this on a Kawasaki and Honda commercials with sportbikes going 100-plus MPH. Check out the Rigging section for more details. The Doggicam crew are also some of the most helpful people I've ever worked with.

http://www.doggicam.com

-Fran

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Ritter Battery

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