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    shots tracking ahead of cyclist on bicycle. . .how to?
    #1
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    I have a music video project I plan to shoot sometime soon, one component of it will involve shots of the vocalist riding a bicycle. I'd like to have a shot of him, medium and CU, riding, cam facing back at him (he's looking into cam). Maybe other shots too, but this is the most important one for this aspect of the video. Of course we could do this with green screen, but that is a last resort for me. I just think it would be cooler to actually have him out riding and shoot practically. We would do this in a relatively quiet neighborhood not, so much on busy urban/city streets.

    This is of course a zero budget type shoot, so what's a good and of course safe way to do this? Someone else had a short on here with some guys running, similar to what I'm talking about, director said they drove ahead of them in an SUV or similar, slowly, shot from the back. This is a way to go but would require more people (I would like to be in one of the shots, so we'd need another operator who isn't me, and a driver). We talked about gopros/osmos rigged to the bike or helmet. . .how well does this stuff work (if dummies who've never done it before rig it up?)? My experience from looking at youtube videos is, not great, at least for the Osmo.

    Beg a friend with a Ronin or similar to just walk ahead of bike? Cyclist doesn't have to go very fast, and it doesn't need to be one take for whole song, can break it up into reasonable chunks.

    And of course, as I said, greenscreen. Besides being kind of meh, and knowing it'll likely look fake, how would you get the "plates" and have them match the perspective/height etc. so it sells that the guy is riding wherever the background footage shows?

    Would greenscreen be any better/different than old school back projection? I.e., shoot the plates but project them and shoot him "riding" in front of that? I guess maybe you could match the plate lighting a little better if you're watching it happen as you light your subject.

    Let me know your thoughts. thanks.


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    If u were in the UK hire me and my DIY 'black arm'
    http://framedogs.com/gimbal-arm/
    or rickshaw
    http://framedogs.com/camera-rickshaw/

    The way to do it is black arm, or sit in the back of a vehicle with a gimbal
    http://www.flowcine.com/black-and-ac...black-arm.html

    Sitting in the back of a motor vehicle may not be legal -the basic reason black arms exist.

    You need a good crew/driver you TRUST in any situation - it is really easy for a cycle to hit the lead vehicle if the lead vehicle brakes hard

    Seriously dont do it without a trusted driver.
    Last edited by morgan_moore; 08-27-2018 at 09:47 PM.


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    #3
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    Sit in a vehicle (say the back of a pickup truck) with a gimbal. Rent a Segway or get a camera op
    who is good on a skateboard. Mount a GoPro with a suction mount on the back of a car. Use the
    wireless app on your phone to get framing (directing the driver if needed) and then start the recording
    Lots and lots of options.


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    Neither of us (main band guys) has a gimbal so that would be begging a friend. Go pro suction mount sounds promising.


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    The CU and even the medium shot will be difficult to achieve without some sort of stabilizing system. I don't see a GoPro mounted to a leading vehicle being very promising either. There is bound to be camera shake and jitter. And the fov is going to be so wide as to not be of much use.

    In order to visualize why long-lens shots from a moving vehicle are so difficult without any stabilization, imagine a spot-light mounted to a vehicle and how that beam of light will bounce up and down / shake with every movement of the vehicle. Every bump in the road becomes magnified. Even seams in the road transmit to the path of the beam and are magnified.


    A simple, albeit dangerous, method might be as simple as having a camera operator on their knees in the back of a pickup truck ( with the tail-gate closed so as to prevent the camera operator from falling out. And also a means of preventing the operator from being pitched towards the cab of the truck should the vehicle stop abruptly. ) Then have the bicycle rider trail closely behind the pickup truck, the driver of the pickup being mindful not to make any abrupt stops. The camera op using their thigh muscles as best they can to minimize any camera shake. But it will still be difficult to achieve a steady frame that maintains horizon, does not pitch, and keeps the subject centered. Better would be someone operating a handheld gimbal or full blown gimbal. But you'll still need to use a relatively wide focal length.



    For inspiration, here is a video much in the vein of what you are wanting:

    Big sources matter.


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    #6
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    'Go Pro on a vehicle'

    I think if it is worth doing its worth doing properly. Dont bother with that one.

    --

    If I were doinig anything with a gopro I would do a snorricam.. (rig by SMM) cycling in about third verse)



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    Thanks guys. I am definitely thinking of more the snorricam shots over the super wides in the other video. The super wides would be cool if we were doing in downtown Houston or a busyish traffic area, but then we're back to stupid dangerous stuff.

    I do notice that the snorricam, if the bike shots are where I think they are, you can't even tell he's on a bike (can't see hands on handlebars or anything).

    Hell, maybe it is just a greenscreen/back projection thing. No one needs to die (or spend big money) for this.

    Maybe simply walking ahead of the bike with gimbal/stabilizer? Again, speedier biking would be nice but life is full of compromises etc. etc. Or do something crazy where we do the walking shot/slow riding and he lip syncs song at half speed, we double speed it in post so he appears to be pedaling faster while singing normally.
    Last edited by Josh Bass; 08-28-2018 at 02:10 AM.


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    The object, auto-tracking feature of P4pro drone - or perhaps even better - the 48mm optical zoom of the new Mavic Pro 2 zoom - might give you good results as well - if you are shooting in wide open area and can fly the drone a bit left or right of the rider. (object tracking works pretty well in my limited experience with it - and will keep the drone the same distance from whatever object it is tracking). Shoot in 4k and edit in HD to give even tighter shot (if really necessary).


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    #9
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    Or you can keep the drone in your hands while filming from the back of a car. I made some nice drone shots in a room full of children. I taped the drone to a long broom stick.
    The gimbal did his job well and no one was harmed.


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    I've actually done this sort of thing a lot, both as rider and as part of the crew filming.

    Maybe you could get some process-bike ideas from this old Supergrass video (bike shots start around 1:05 and continue). Maybe a little silly for what you want, but note that lots of the shots are (most likely) of bikes on stationary trainers that have been placed in the back of a truck. Also, it's a cool song.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUE4oDunYkc

    My take is that the walking/running in front of the rider shots wouldn't be super successful. I've done stuff like that with a Movi, but to let the rider get to a speed where he or she looks stable on the bike (ie- not wobbling a bit trying to stay upright), the camop has to run (or at least jog really quickly), and that makes long shots tricky and exhausting.

    The Snorricam (or a similar rig) could work for some shots; if it'll do it for you, go for it!

    But what I'd probably do is borrow or rent a tandem bicycle, an electric bike, a cargo bike, or maybe a Vespa-style scooter. Then you have one person ride the bike and another on the back (both wearing helmets for sure) operating the camera. If you have an experienced rider piloting (doesn't need to be a racer; just someone who commutes or rides for fun) and who has at least a hazy grip of filmmaking (or learns quickly), then you'll have someone who can match the speed of the talent, accelerate & slow down slowly, and also not be a total hazard if he/she needs to brake hard (unlike say someone driving a truck...which is a bigger obstacle).

    The camera operator would be facing backwards, but at slow bike speeds, on quiet streets, and with a helmet, that doesn't need to be hazardous.

    If you want higher-speed stuff, get a solid pro who's shot bike races from the back of a motorcycle. But a cargo bike would probably be my first choice for this gig.

    For example, here's a good brand (and a picture of their ebike model):
    http://yubabikes.com/cargobikestore/spicy-curry-bosch

    YUBA.jpg


    Good luck and let us know what you end up doing!
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    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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