I am going to be shooting a customs documentary in early March using the Panasonic HPX-500, and there are several driving sequences planned. Not necessarily chases or anything, but driving coverage nonetheless. I was wondering if anyone knew of a rig or car mount of some sort that they stick by and use often, something me and a grip could put together and build to our liking in different spots on the vehicle. I'm sure there are a thousand ways to do it, but since I don't have too much experience shooting in and on vehicles, I would appreciate any explanations and advice.
Rock Creek Productions, Inc.
I've had great success with Panther's Multi-Mount. In my mind, its perfect for these smaller jobs, where you don't have the time and crew for a bigger rig approach. Essentially a 100mm bowl with 3 adjustable arms that end in powerful suction grips, it can be positioned nearly anywhere inside or outside the car.
Exterior mounting to sheet metal or glass is quite straightforward- use a safety as always- you'd be amazed at how strong the cups can be. Getting the bowl down to a useful working height inside the car is a bit trickier, as one is limited to the radius of the 3 arms to window glass. I often invert the bowl assembly (mount the 100m head 'backwards' so it is upright as usual) to better reach the windows while keeping the camera low enough. I have some pics of this approach if it helps refine my description.
Bottom line: an incredibly versatile and useful tool. MicroDolly makes a similar mount, I don't have as much experience with that but it seems equally as well built as the Panther. I have no connection with either manufacturer other than a satisfied user. Hope this helps!
Alan Jacobsen DP - NYC
I shot part of a doc with lots of car rigging.
I used 2 Suction Cups, some gobo heads, a sr3 shoulder plate, wedges...
We use the Cruise Cam headrest mount to get interior (including driver's POV) shots during racing and high-performance driving: http://www.cruisecam.com/ Very pleased with this simple rig. Kind regards,
Harry Illusion Racing Films Harry White Ecologist and Director of Land Conservation The Weantinoge Heritage New Milford, CT 06776
How about a Cinesaddle & ratchetstraps?
Works from fender to fender or across the roof. Also have limited control setting the height from the hood, but it's a $350 solution, pretty gentle on the vehicle, and sets up quick.
What's the heaviest/priciest camera any of you have mounted to a vehicle w/ a Cinesaddle? Any failures? I could see using a Cinesaddle for an upcoming documentary (i.e.: limited gear) but I'll be using a full-sized rig.
Chris Mosio Cinematographer, Seattle/L.A
I've mounted a SR2 with ratchet straps and a cinesaddle for a documentary I shot Brasil. It worked fine if you are just mounting on the hood or the roof.
Sinisa Kukic Cinematographer www.SinisaKukic.com
I guess it depends on where in the car you need to mount it. Eye level? Over shoulder? what is the car? I have rigged on a lot of jobs for Toyota, Jeep and just last week in a tiny Astin Martin Vantage.
A lot can be done with c-stand arms/knuckles/even the tripod/ magic arms and a few mafers.. Suction Cups are pretty decent as well if you have the room. We used a few full size XDcam mount shots in our new film The Cove.
Give us more details so we can dream it up.
Brook Aitken DP Boulder CO www.laproductions.com www.thecovemovie.com Sundance 2009 Audience Award Winner