I'm DP for an upcoming no-budget ($300 total) 7 min short where it calls for a birdseye view as high as possible. I'm shooting on my Canon 7d and since it weighs less than 4 pounds with the lens I got the crazy idea of build a TALL crane or other type of support and hoisting it up real high.
I'm considering building a 35 foot crane out of two aluminium ladders bolted together and steel cable I have laying around. Is this totally insane or has anyone done something like this? [Yes I know it's prob not the safest thing. I wouldn't let anyone get near it but me till I load and wind tested it before hand. Renting a jib or anything more that $100/day enough is out of the question.]
I also considered building a tower with 4 support beam made of 3X 10'pvc pipes each. Also crazy I know. If anyone has any other ideas let me kniw
Oh, and the shot should twirl downward and end up in a close up on the talents upturned face. Gotta love these writers.
Has anyone built or bought a cage or other support type system I could dangle the camera on? I've got a few shots in another project I'm directing I would like to run a cable and have the camera glide down it but I have no idea if this is even worth my effort.
Thread: Building a 35 foot crane?
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01-07-2010 08:13 AMJohn Hafner - DP - Actor - Filmmaker2010 DP Demo Reel - http://www.youtube.com/v/ozLjfqNiK-k&hl=en_US&fs=1&hd=1
01-07-2010 09:41 AM
- Join Date
- May 2005
I think you are going to have to tell the writer that this shot is not absolutely needed to move the story forward. It is a cinemagraphic technique to be sure, but ultimately, for your budget undoable safely, and beyond persona/camera safety, not guarenteed to get the effect you seem to be wanting, since it apparently involves camera motion and change of position.
So, ot only do you have positioning and pointing issues, you have 'motion control' issues.
For some shots, still shots, I have gotten on top of a 18' ladder, Hasselblad in hand, with people stabilizing the ladder, and shot down on the subject. However, this is only a last resort.
01-07-2010 09:54 AM
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
- NE Ohio
This just has bad idea all over it. Just loose the shot and move on.
01-07-2010 12:00 PM
On a $300 budget, forget any fancy shots like this. (On a $30 million budget, it would be fine )
A handmade 35 foot crane is very likely to result in someone or something falling 35 feet, possibly hitting someone or something as it lands. Seriously.
Talk to the director about a more practical shot that still meets the film's needs - if the script doesn't work without such a fancy show-off shot, then it's a crap script.
01-08-2010 11:44 AM
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
all sounds very dangerous...how about finding a footbridge or similar that the talent can walk under (make sure everything has a safety cable or similar attached).
01-08-2010 03:21 PM
Yeah, a wind or some sudden imbalance could mean a major bummer for everyone involved.
01-08-2010 04:48 PM
Although not the smoothest movement, you could rent a man lift to get you as high as you need and then lower you. I think the beginning movement would jolt but the high to low transition should be smooth enough to get a good shot.
01-08-2010 06:22 PM
Yeah, a Genie Lift is an option. I've used these and they're pretty stable and cheap to rent.
01-08-2010 09:34 PM
And remember that if the movement needs to end at a specific shot, it might be better to shoot it backwards, starting at the desired "end shot", and then lift the camera on a cable and let it turn as it goes up (which it will do naturally unless you stop it.) Of course, it is trivial to reverse the direction of the video clip in any NLE.Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.