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Shooting on a canoe


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#1 Eric Billman

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 02:13 PM

Hello All,

I am prepping a feature that will be shot in Oregon and we will be shooting a lot of time in the woods and on a river. Shooting one actor in a canoe is a new experience for me and am wondering if anyone has any advice.

Specifically, I am looking for the best way to achieve a boat process trailer. l If I was in a bigger market I may be able to rent such a thing, but for our budget range and out of the way location I am thinking that it is something I will have to make ourselves. My thought is to use a pontoon boat and a speedrail rig that attaches to the front of the canoe. Does anyone have experience with this?

Thanks for any input you can provide.


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#2 Eric Billman

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 02:35 PM

To add to the above, the project is a 300k feature to be shot on the Red.

Thanks


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#3 Tom Jensen

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 05:22 PM

Good idea. Canoes are notorious for tipping over. Splash housings are handy. Water seems to find the lens better than most actors.
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#4 Karel Bata

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 05:30 PM

Check out the commentary on Mean Creek - an indie feature where a lot was shot in one small boat. It's one of the best commentaries out there - full of useful tips. Good movie too.
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#5 Karel Bata

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 07:29 AM

Do a search for canoe/kayak stabilisers

Posted Image

You could even rig the camera on that! You could make one from a cannibalized roof rack (a solid one!) and some boat fenders. Maybe it's worth investigating adding a keel of some sort? It would be out of sight and make a HUGE difference to stability. Be crap going over any rapids though! :lol:

Of course have a fast safety boat piloted by a strong swimmer fully qualified in water rescue, and have your cast wearing a wet suit under their acting clothes. They will get COLD.

If the boat ever drops anchor, think about how you will anchor it. One anchor point will often prove insufficient - the boat will drift and swing around. Wind is a big factor. You'll need to know the depth, and what's down there to choose a suitable anchor. If you want to keep going back to a location you may want to leave your anchors there, and leave a float to be able to pick up quickly where you left off the next day. Finding the same place on a river is not that easy.

My 2p. ;)
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#6 Onno Perdijk

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 02:43 PM

Hello Eric,

I remember a thread either here or on CML being initiated exactly the same way as yours. It also included some pics of the rigs finally used. As I recall correctly the did some speedrail on their canoe with simple canisters as stabilizers for the hero-canoe and rigged the camera on this speedrail.

With regards the anchors as Karel mentioned: be aware that at least 3 anchor-points give you a consistent boat position.
Do not underestimate current and wind.
A pontoon boat as a workingplatform is perfect, I do have my doubts as using it as a processtrailer. (The mass of the pontoon will surely make it slower as the canoe so the canoe is always looking for a way to take over the pontoon. Besides that the person who is in the hero-canoe will paddle differently when being free than when being attached to a pontoon.)

For this far.

Good Luck,

Onno
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