Handholding A Hostess Tray Mount


Anybody ever done it?!

Shotlisted with a director for a short (35mm), and we came up with a "car mount / handheld shot", where camera starts in passenger side of a truck, the car comes to a stop, the passenger door opens, taking the camera with it, and then the camera pulls back as the passenger gets out of the car.

So, am I handholding a hostess tray?

I'm guessing a an Arri 2c w/200ft. mag and a hostess tray hanging on the inside of the door...

George Su

The way to do this shot is to build a speedrail platform on the side of the vehicle. Then you can handhold or Steadicam the shot. Be sure to wear a harness that can safety clip to the moving vehicle and have a grip unclip you when the vehicle comes to a stop. Also be sure to design the shot so that the platform isn't visible as the camera moves away from the vehicle.

"American Family" had an all-Steadicam episode where they used this type of rig well, and "This Old House" has done it handheld as the opening to a few episodes in the last season or two. Btw, may I take the moment to point out that the DP for "TOH" is one the best handheld operators I've ever seen? His name escapes me at the moment, but I know that the producer/director is monitoring the shot on a wireless LCD and directing via a Comtek in the DP's ear. The shots stay inventive, organic and smooth as glass throughout. Nice.

Mitch Gross
Abel Cine Tech

Great except when the car stops and you get that frame jolt. Then the jolt from dislodging the tray from the window frame.

Why not steadicam the whole shot?

Mike Gerzevitz
LA dude

There's a shot in "Get Shorty" ...exactly what you're talking about here... I think they had the car on a low-ride trailer or rigged a platform for a steadi-cam op to ride on for the last shot thru the car window, When the car stopped the Op. simply walked of the platform and followed the talent out of
the car and down the street...

Richard W. Gretzinger
Director of Photography

Take a look at the last shot on this clip:


And for 917/Porsche enthusiasts, here's a brand new 917(!) built from a new/unused frame
(nice pics of the 12 cyl engine, from crank to completion):


John Babl
I saw Porsche's 16 cylinder engine(!)in Stuttgart- what an amazing powerplant-

This is a great clip John. Totally fits the genre of the conversations! I was thinking about one of the earlier postings regarding the potential of the actual moment of contact when the camera is taken off its steady system and converted to motion. So what if the steadicam idea was fused with the use of a process trailer?

Have the car on the trailer and the camera on that then at the point of stopping have the steadicam take over. Would just have to watch the horizon line as the steadicam stops with the motion of the car. would like to know what the final results are.

Brendon McCurtis Phillips
LA Based DP
c 323.270.6799

Wasn’t it also done in Reindeer Games? Cam was mounted on rear of car looking towards the front of vehicle. Driver reverses and stops, then camera stops rolling they take it off and remount it on the ground in exactly same frame and the car drives forward with car pulling away from camera. I always remember it as a really cool camera move

Let me know if I have wrong movie?

Stephen Moro
Camera Operator
Melbourne Australia

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