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Safe car interiors while driving


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#1 Michael Nelson

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:02 PM

What are some techniques to get a shot of the driver of a vehicle, while driving, from the front passenger seat? In the past, I have seen camera operators sitting in the front seat, camera on their shoulder,  facing backwards. It's a great 3/4 shot and avoids anything too profile-y, but it's not safe by any means. No seatbelt, back against the passenger airbag, I hate to even think about what would happen if there was a collision of sorts while shooting. 

 

So, what are suggestions for achieving such a shot and keeping everyone safe?


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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:17 AM

What type of camera are you using? There are a range of smaller cameras that allow easier rigging of cameras.


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#3 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

The safest would be to use a process trailer, if you can't afford that a car mount (hostess tray or hood mount) is a good option, although it could be argued that it is inherently dangerous for an actor to split his/her attention between acting and driving. That's not to say it isn't done all the time.


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#4 Tom Jensen

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 05:07 PM

You might have to put on your big boy pants or grow a pair. Do you want to get the shot or not? Sometimes you have to take a risk.


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#5 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:05 PM

I believe Hostess Trays are illegal in the US without a Motorcycle cop outrider. in the past, I've had the grip crew ratchet strap a bazooka base into the passenger footwell and rigged from that, but it will depend on the size of car and size of camera.


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#6 Michael Nelson

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:59 AM

I should have said in the original post that this is for a reality show with me in the front seat shooting a contributor as they drive from point A to B.

 

The camera for this particular shoot is the F800. For smaller, prosumer cameras I'd just sit in the seat, turn the LCD around, and place the camera up on the dash. Not so easy with an ENG camera. 

 

 

You might have to put on your big boy pants or grow a pair. Do you want to get the shot or not? Sometimes you have to take a risk.

 

If the choice is to "Put my big boy pants on" (sit backwards in a seat while driving and assume the risk of death in a car accident) or ask around to find a safe way to do things, I'll take the latter. I'm in this industry, and even moreso, this life, for the long haul. No dumb unnecessary risks need be taken...


Edited by Michael Nelson, 03 March 2013 - 01:01 AM.

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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:15 PM

May be easier/cheaper just to swap out to a different camera for this situation? Hell I'd go with an EX1R on a suction cup rig and call it a day.


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#8 David Desio

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:28 PM

I have to side with Mike about the safety issue vs getting the shot.  No shot is worth your life or ending up in a wheel chair for if it can be avoided.  I'm the cam op he mentioned riding backwards in the car with a full sized camera on my shoulder because a 3/4 profile looked better than a full profile.  In hindsight it was a very unnecessary risk given that the driver/talent was a bad driver to begin with.

 

We recently had an accident out here in LA involving a helicopter, cinematographer, pilot , and producer (I think).  I'm sure they took more precautions than I did and tragedy struck.

 

Point is we are not saving lives we are making entertainment and it's not worth it to put yourself in harms way if it can be avoided. 


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#9 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 01:02 PM

It depends on your car, but we managed to rig a Arri 16BL to take shots of the driver from inside. It helps if you remove the front passenger seat, but there's a range of offsets that would allow the camera to be set up closer to the windscreen. A smaller camera is perhaps the best method, there's a full range now available.


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#10 rob spence

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:17 AM

Go pro cameras are great in this situation


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#11 ian dart

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 08:54 PM

hi tom,

 it may have been said in jest but if i was on set and heard anyone make a reply like that to someone expressing concerns about safety,  i would approach the producer and insist on their instant dismissal.

if they were not dismissed i would pack my gear back in the truck and drive away.

 

everyone on set has the right to express concerns about safety without recrimination. 

 

cheers,


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#12 Rob Vogt

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 08:24 PM

Has anyone considered using a Frasier or revolution lens then you can mount the camera in much less complicated ways. Ive even heard of people using inclining prisms through a sunroof for situations like this.


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#13 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:56 PM

Depending on the shot, the problem with the Fraiser, I can think of, would be the stop loss. I believe that's a T7.1? or something similar.


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#14 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:41 PM

I'll say if you don't feel safe doing something, then don't do it. But, I feel like I've seen this countless times with Alexa's, 35's, s16mm cameras on the shoulder in the front seat. I've done it myself more than once with no second thoughts. On my current job, we are carrying a "lightning detector" and an anemometer to insure the safety of the aerial lifts. No one had anything to say about the camera going hand-held in the car.


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#15 Gregor Grieshaber

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:34 AM

I think most cars have an option to switch the passenger airbag off. This is for baby seats that you can place reverse in the passenger seat. Just remember to switch it back on after the shot. Maybe with a handwritten tape sticker?


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#16 Matt Stevens

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 01:10 PM

I have a project coming up with maybe ten pages total of car stuff. We are quite curious about the BlackMagic Compact for this.


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#17 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 01:19 PM

It's not out yet, and lord only knows when it will be out-- i'd not bank on it anytime in the near future; maybe fall/winter before it starts to trickle out. Else, might be a fun choice... like a go-pro with some control-- especially paired with some of the pretty remarkable M43rds lenses which are out (the F.95 for example)


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#18 Jackson Blake

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 05:33 PM

Seven Pounds is astounding for car rigs. Does anybody know how these are done or more about the equipment?

I'd like so much to know more about how car rigs are achieved. 


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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 05:54 PM

Seven pounds is nothing -- there are 35mm zoom lenses that are heavier than that.  Most car rigs are pretty secure (they have to be) using steel pipes (speed rail) and/or plates, plus ratchet straps, hooks, etc. (with rubber mats to protect the car).  A 35mm movie camera can be 20 to 30 pounds or more sometimes.

 

You can see a hood mount here:

http://www.msegrip.c...mount-rigs.html


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#20 Jackson Blake

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 11:42 PM

Oh I actually meant the film called Seven Pounds  ;) starring Will Smith.

 

Thanks for the link.


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