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Filming a Cyclist


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#1 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 03:36 PM

Hey gang!

I'm filming a spot next week in Park City (not San Francisco :P ) with a member of Lance Armstrong's cycling team.

Filming with the RED camera (my second time, first time out of studio) using an Angenieux Optimo 17-80 zoom.

We're going to be using a camera car with a jib and a remote head, my first time using such a setup.

This cyclists availability is super limited as he's training for the Tour so we basically only get to shoot 3 hours with him while he practices. No stopping and starting or do-overs!

I want to try to get low, tight shots of pedals and tires and gears shifting in addition to the more standard forward and profile shots of the guy.

I'm not sure how to light for this. I'm thinking to mount a 4k HMI par off the back of the car. Still thinking of ways to make it look good.

Anybody have any suggestions or general advice?

Thanks!
Chad
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 03:55 PM

I want to try to get low, tight shots of pedals and tires and gears shifting in addition to the more standard forward and profile shots of the guy.


Chad,

I'm sure others will have suggestions, but I would get all the standard forward and profile shots of the guy in the three hours you have with him.

Then you can do pick ups with someone else on a similarly painted bike with similar riding gear to do tight shots of shifting gears, spinning pedals, tires spinning, gears changing, etc.

If he is going to be on a training ride, he is not going to want to be interrupted. And in the tight shots, no one is going to know it is not his hand on the shifter or his foot in the cycling shoe on the pedals, etc.

Just a suggestion,
-Tim
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#3 Jean Dodge

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 11:27 AM

Scout the route, too, heavily. If mile 3, 6 and 9 are the good vistas - be ready and already shooting from your correct angle. If mile 2. 4. and 6 are in the trees or against a steep rock face, etc be ready for that profile shot too, and already be shooting as he gets there. Transitions like coming out of a tunnel, rounding a bend to a vista, etc are only going to happen once with your star, so have a plan and someone to call out the next set-up/angle that you have rehearsed in advance - even if the rehearsal is without the insert car. For mile 1, 5, and 7 you can fish around for whatever you might grab with the zoom, but be ready to do those over with a stand-in. Three hours is a lot but only if you are ready, ready ready in advance. If you have to rebalance the jib or change a filter, etc even once you are going to have to speed up and outrace the rider, I guess - not so easy with a fast biker on a mountain road. That may or may not get you much of a lead on the downhill side!

I've been situations like on a commercial train keeping a scheduled route and hoping to time a dramatic scene to upcoming vistas - what a exercise in near-futility - you can't even see out the front to know what is coming, and the "scout" is a "one-er" too! We ran video out both sides for timing purposes, got a good reference, timed the dialog, etc - it all worked out but it was hilarious watching the crew climb around two dollies blocking the aisles. We ate lunch sitting next to extras as the conductor shifted our one "owned" car to a roundhouse, flipped it 180 and sent us back on the return commercial route with the afternoon sun facing the same side of the car for matching. Oh yeah and the train pulled out on schedule so no running back to the camera truck for that thing you forgot! I'm sure you know this but try to be 100% ready finger on the trigger a full hour before start time.

Good luck... and be VERY VERY careful. Even with police escort there is always the chance of a rouge 4x4 coming off a side road unseen, or deer, rockslides, etc. Expect the unexpected to happen. Trust your driver and jib operator and at the same time realize they are concentrating on pleasing the director. The first AD is your safety officer and should have a clear channel to pull the plug at a moment's notice. Only one voice gives him commands, ever. The driver should have someone riding shotgun, eyes on the road ahead at all times, not taking script notes. I've buried two colleagues who were killed in separate chopper crashes - this is where accidents happen, when suddenly there is more than one person "flying the plane." Google "John Landis" and the word "lower" if you want a cautionary tale. When I was a rental house tech I took return on an elemack dolly that had been crushed by a crane - cheap pot metal caused major injuries, narrowly avoiding a death, wrecking a camera, a swimming pool, and several careers. The people who checked it out disregarded the posted load rating and neglected to tell us they were going to put a crane on it. poop HAPPENS, and everyone is real, real sorry after.
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#4 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 12:17 PM

Hey gang!

We're going to be using a camera car with a jib and a remote head, my first time using such a setup.


Hi Chad,

What kind of camera car are you using?

-Fran
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