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Camera rigging to roller coasters


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#1 Patrick Kaplin

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 08:28 PM

I had never really thought of the complexities of rigging to a roller coaster before, but I was wondering if anybody had any photos, stories, previous posts or recommendations for rigging to a roller coaster. I don't need to do it any time soon, but I'm very interested in the process as I know there's quite a bit of g-force involved on the coasters and it must be quite an impressive rig. Is there usually a need to consult the roller coaster engineers before starting rigging?
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#2 Rob Vogt

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 09:08 PM

Yes you want to contact the operator of the roller coaster and park before you begin rigging a camera to their equipment. It really depends on a couple of things. What is the size and weight of your camera package, and what kind of angles or movement do you want? You can do like a lipstick cam on a helmet or rig a camera to the seat with a periscope/snorkle/fraszier lens.
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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:02 AM

I had a shoot on a rollercoaster about 6 years ago, here is a picture that gives you an idea of what was involved.

StephenP1000529.JPG

I had never really thought of the complexities of rigging to a roller coaster before, but I was wondering if anybody had any photos, stories, previous posts or recommendations for rigging to a roller coaster. I don't need to do it any time soon, but I'm very interested in the process as I know there's quite a bit of g-force involved on the coasters and it must be quite an impressive rig. Is there usually a need to consult the roller coaster engineers before starting rigging?


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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 01:44 PM

I did a rollercoaster documentary with Vincent Price back in 1977-78, IIRC about half a dozen different parks around the country. It helps a lot if you can scout the coasters ahead of time, get some stills and measurements of where you can find mounting holes, etc.

Weight is your enemy. You want to keep your rig as light as possible, because G-forces act on everything you add to the car. The more there is, the more you have to work to keep it hanging on and stable. Bolting angle brackets onto existing holes thru steel helps a lot. Double nut everything. Use rope or straps under tension to take the twang out of things, otherwise the camera will just shake and you'll get nothing worth looking at. We had an Arri 16BL and 16S with internal loads for the MOS mounts.

Back then, Philadelphia Toboggan and Anton Schwartzkopf were the two major makers of rollercoaster equipment. They may be able to supply you with some CAD drawings and info....




-- J.S.
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#5 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 08:44 PM

When I worked in FL we used to shoot on roller coasters quite often. There was a Key Grip (his name is escaping me at the moment) that had made custom mounts for each of the different roller coasters both in Orlando and Tampa. They worked great and I would guess that would be the best way to go as opposed to trying to do it all improvisationally with speedrail. I'll try to remember his name and post it. Sorry, it's been ten years so the memory is a little foggy.
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#6 Ariel Velez

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 08:44 PM

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/?set=a.131441303587621.25001.100001652558014#!/photo.php?fbid=131443056920779&set=a.131441303587621.25001.100001652558014&type=1&theater
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