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shooting Boat to Boat?


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#1 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 06:18 PM

hi people today a director ask me abnout shoting from a boat hard mounted folowing a jetsky ....on river or maybe sea....
any advise from someone ho have try this before....
it came to my head so many questions about haw much of the movment the arm and sled can take.....i have shoot in many places with a four trax on rocks and sand but never on the water.... i need some help here.....about haw to deal with this shoot...


guillermo "not a sailor" nespolo.....(a pirate maybe)
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#2 RobVanGelder

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 10:28 PM

Hi Guillermo,
Prepare yourself for some hard work, white nuckles and stress.

I did a shooting on a speedboot once. First, in order to get the shot´s you and the director want you need a high powered speed boat, one that can easily pass the jetski.
I did something like this but with the old style Dutch sailing ships, those with the flat bottoms.
Though they were normally made for heavy loads, these are now fitted with the biggest possible sails and masts and they easily run 20-25 km per hour with a good wind.

We had to pass them, circle them and connect shots from one to the other boats while they are in the race.
For this we used a flat keeled bayliner or such, with 2x 300 HP Mercury´s. (top speed 80 km/h)
Now that was TOO MUCH!!!!

The main problem is that on every speed change and direction change, many boats roll and tilt and lift a lot. And of course the waves that you have to pass. That means that when you are in such a situation it is almost impossible to have a hardmount, you can balance it when lying still, but in action it is completely different.

We tried first on hardmount but ended in a bodymount, that way I could also act as shock absorber and as adjustible mount. But it is very hard work and you REALLY have to instruct the man on the rudder and gas to do everything in SLOW MOTION, or you will be thrown off your feet and get hurt!

Make surethat you have good back support, that doesn´t flex. The forces are enorm, we used aluminium scaffolding tubing and they were bent afterwarts because the guy at the steering gave a bit too much power one time.

Also , use a zoomlens and remote control for that.

But we got the job done, very stressful though.
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#3 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 12:13 AM

:( thanks rob for sharing your experince....
now i now that my fears where right.......well i have to go now and shoot my self on the foot for a good excuse.... :(
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#4 bobgilles

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 02:37 AM

A jibarm mounted in the center of the camera boat will serve you best, I did my Sea Doo/Bombardier spots with a jimmy jib and could not imagine a better tool, didn't shake at all, very fluid and helicopter-like.
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#5 RobVanGelder

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 12:42 PM

Bob, would you recommend a jib-arm also on high-speed shots and movements?
I mean, with the lead and such and therefore the inertia of the whole system I would think that it could be even harder to maintain a good operating.

I am not saying that using a steadicam in these situations is a particular good idea..... :unsure:

And you bring another good suggestion here: Place the camera/steadicam/whatever in the middle of the boat to limit the unwanted movements.
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#6 TJ Williams

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 01:28 PM

Hi Guillermo

Because of the roll and pitch a Steadicam hard mount will not work well. Body mount on a boat with a fairly large rear area can work very well, especially looking back and to the side.

Wear a climbing harness under your vest. (availabel REI about 80 to 150min. but worth having anyway) on the D ring (beaner) short for caribiner
on the front of the harness, (this may have to be lowered under your vest front edge) attach three pieces of nylon webbing 1/2 inch webbing works well. stand in the middle of the working area and have an assistant attach the three pieces of webbing to stantions or other hard mount places forming a triangle out from you. This will prevent you from being thrown about during maneuvering and when the boat crests waves etc.

The caribiner will act s your quick release. Now you can move your body to keep it vertical, against the boat movement to keep the rig balanced and use your legs to help in absorbing shocks. The weakness of this rig is moving across in a pan where one of the lines which goes out and interferes with the lower part of the sled. A little bit of slack will allow you to twist your body into the lines to give you a little more room to pan. You may have to re rig for different angles. It is also helpful to use antlers/gyros for the longer lens stuff usually asked for here. It will be a definite plus if the boat has a cabin such as a sports fiserman type boat(to protect you from wind, and brew plenty of hot chocolate) and/or you can rig some wind breaks from plywood etc.

Do not let them talk you into shooting from the bow as the wind alone will make this a disaster and usually get you wet. and there as almost never a good way to rig in up there. exception is smooth water and slow speed. with either a high combing(wall around the deck) or a heavy duty bow pulpit (the front chrome railing) to attach adequately.

Make sure the boat is large and seaworthy enough. although you will have a life preserver you will not have it on and will have to derig drop the camera, drop the lines from the beaner and get into your life vest. All these will be difficult if the boat is upside down in the surf. So don't even think of working in a rig on a boat if you think there is any chance of boat inadequacy to conditions or pilot error. In this circumstance if you are still considering the job rig gyros to the camera and hand hold in a life vest.

I also do crane work, and own a Jimmy jib. I have used a Jimmy and a Tulip with remote off boats. They can work very nicely but are limited in heavier seas and maneuvering because of the weight and the way the angle of the center post is straight up only in reference to the boat. (the boat leans the horizon leans)

Wish I could figure out how to post a picture with this the tulip crane in a 22 foot boat is a kinda neat picture.

Hey a day on the water and paid too
be safe/have fun

TJ
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#7 AdamKeith

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 10:05 PM

The Jimmy Jib Forum has some info on Jibs in a boat. Jim Stanton posted some pictures.


Adam Keith
www.qvideo.tv
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#8 Michael Stumpf

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 12:03 PM

The Makohead might work best for you here.

Check it out at:

http://www.makohead.com/


Michael
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#9 CASEYBISHOP

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 10:34 PM

Hey there.

I'm shooting a documentary on a boat in some rough weather in Alaska. I'm trying to find a camera stabilizing system that will allow me to get good shots and be mobile. The boats are small and there isn't much room.

The budget is tight, but I need these images. Is steadicam the best way to go? Or does anybody know of other options - like the stabilizers used for aerial photography?

I've found some comparatively inexpensive steadicam setups on EBAY, but I don't want to waste my money if they are going to be useless.

Any ideas or insights?

Thanks,
Casey
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#10 bobgilles

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 11:16 PM

Rent a Gyro Stabilized Platform from Tom Miller at Blue Sky Aerials, it's only $300/day and works great. I just rented one for a Heli shoot and you can use it in a variety of situations.

Posted Image
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#11 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 11:18 PM

Casey, Where in AK are you shooting?
I'm in Juneau for the summer.

Also, if you do end up going Steadicam, be sure to get a vest with the Brake-Away rip cord system! If you are near water you will definatly want that safty!

And don't forget your PFD!

- Mikko
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#12 RobVanGelder

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 11:29 PM

I´ve done a few shoots on boats, speedboats and longtail boats, both on good weather days, not too much wind and therefore not too much watersplashing and it was TOUGH!

Not only are the little boats very unstable, so you have to correct the steadicam and your body constantly, the limited space and often the sides and bow of the boats are hindering the shots, framing and movements.

I would suggest staying away from Steadicam for a rough weather shoot, it´s not the right tool.

Sure, it can be done (Waterworld) but with proper setup time and plenty of assistance.
(think : drying/wiping the lens and everything else)
Also, salt water spray is killing for almost all equipment so you will very likely see failure in the steadicam and other equipment

I think your best bet is a support made from a bungi/elastic bands, hanging from an outrigger from the mast or any support that you can build on such a boat, if you want to do it the cheap way.

one other option is the rollvision, an enclosed stabilised device, not sure what camera can be fitted in there. It´s electronic though.....
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#13 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 01:45 AM

You might want to try something gyrostabilised, as Bob and Rob have pointed you towards. You mention the type of mount they use for aerial filming. It's a Wescam. Take a look at these guys, they've got everything you could ask for: Aerial Camera Systems. Gyrons and such like!

www.aerialcamerasystems.com
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#14 CASEYBISHOP

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 10:05 AM

[Casey, Where in AK are you shooting?]

I've been shooting on the west side of Kodiak Island.

[I'm in Juneau for the summer.]

Never been there, but hear it's beautiful.

[And don't forget your PFD!]

Never get on the boat without it :)

We're actually doing this shoot in two stages. We've completed the first stage and the only reason we got anything out on the water was because of nice weather and a lot of shooting. It was a good lesson, and I have a whole list of equipment to get for this next stage.

-Casey
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#15 Lars Erik

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 10:53 AM

Hello friends.

I have a documentary coming up in May. And the director is thinking about putting the rig ona sailboat. It's a ordinary sailboat. It's about 30ft.

I'm unsure of it's use on such a small boat. I'm thinking handheld might be a better way to go on this subject. But I've never filmed with a Steadicam on a boat before.

Anyone got any good advice?
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