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Filming a car commercial

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#1 Yash Lucid

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 06:52 PM

Hi everyone. I'm not exactly a student or a new filmmaker, but I am closer to a new filmmaker, than a professional DP, so that's why I'm posting here. Apologies to moderators if it's in the wrong section.

 

I'm filming a low budget car commercial for a small community tv channel and I am wondering what the best options are to film a moving car. I basically want to be able to make the most out of a little to no budget as possible, whether using guerilla style filmmaking or out the box ideas, I need some guidance. I want basically get multiple moving angles of a car driving on the road.

 

My options so far are:

  1. Film the car out the window from another car. Use a pillow as a vibration/shake absorber while holding the camera on the door through the window opening. My angles and height are very restricted and I can only pan very slightly.
  2. Film the the car from the back of a pickup truck (in SA, we call these vans), with a little jib to get some dynamic movement, however while this option provides the most creative shot options, it could also provide me with, you know, death. So I'm not really considering this as an option, but if I found a way to safely set this up then I would do it.
  3. Film the car by sticking my camera out of the window and holding the top handle. I cannot hire a 3-axist gimbal to fit my FS700 in my city but I could use my Glidecam, however I don't have much confidence in this option.

So you see, I am basically lost for options here. Every bts video I have seen of a car commercial has mind blowingly expensive rigs that are built into vehicles. I need some cheaper options. Thanks!


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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 01:57 AM

What you can achieve may depend on the state of the road surfaces. Assuming you don't want shots of the rear of the car (although you could hard mount the camera on the front of the camera vehicle) , using something like a panel van or people carrier with a sliding door on the side would enable you to get side shots and shots from the rear of the vehicle. You should be OK on sticks if the road surface is smooth and the camera vehicle has good suspension, if the roads are rough, you could hard mount your Glidecam to the camera vehicle. 


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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 09:56 PM

If you can, shoot 4k, it will offer you effective  post stabilization for a 1920 x 1080 finish.


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#4 Yash Lucid

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:52 AM

What you can achieve may depend on the state of the road surfaces. Assuming you don't want shots of the rear of the car (although you could hard mount the camera on the front of the camera vehicle) , using something like a panel van or people carrier with a sliding door on the side would enable you to get side shots and shots from the rear of the vehicle. You should be OK on sticks if the road surface is smooth and the camera vehicle has good suspension, if the roads are rough, you could hard mount your Glidecam to the camera vehicle. 

Thanks Brian, I like the sliding door vehicle idea! I'm not sure how hard mounting my glidecam would help though but I'll look into that.

 

 

If you can, shoot 4k, it will offer you effective  post stabilization for a 1920 x 1080 finish.

The best I can do is shoot 2.5k with a hired BMCC but if I find a deal for a used Scarlet soon then I'll be able. I've just begun hunting for one but used prices still seem to be too close to new. Thanks for the feedback


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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:24 AM

The Blackmagic camera is quite nice and I suspect will serve you well for a commercial. Due to the rolling shutter, you'll need to isolate it from vibration - but then you're already thinking about that, so fine.

 

Other options are simply to be a long way from the road on a very long lens, with a distant background, and pan with the car - the background will seem to fly past at great speed. Similarly, the apparent speed of cars can be increased by using long lenses to ensure the background flies by quickly.

 

At least you probably have access to some quite nice shooting locations and good weather in South Africa.

 

P


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#6 Wajeb G. Wahab

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 04:34 PM

Blackmagic doesn't have rolling shutter... as its a Global shutter...

 

If you are shooting with the FS700, try going slow-mo... it'll remove all stabilization problems...

I did a small event coverage and Jaguar wanted me to do some shots of their vehicles when they went to pick up the guests from the airport...

 

I used my glidecam with a 6D on top and a pillow to reduce as much vibration and as some softener so my hand on bruze, only problems I faced was when the driver of my car went over potholes, the rapid very fast vibration is not fixable using stabilizers.


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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 06:13 PM

The original 2.5K blackmagic cinema camera was mentioned, and it certainly does have a rolling shutter.

 

P


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