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Tracking Vehicles Max Speed?


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#1 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 12:29 PM

Just wondering what the max speed any of you guys have worked at while hardmounted to a tracking vehicle?
Any vehicle work ive done has always been based around people running so ive never had to operate at high speeds. On an upcoming shoot that i may be involved in the DP wants to track at speed with race horses. Im pointing them towards libra heads but the dp is pretty keen to do some of it with steadicam (with gyros) if he can.
Assuming even and friendly terrain and an (experienced driver)whats the max speed i could safely work at while obtaining solid wide to medium shots?

Thanks
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#2 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 01:06 PM

I can't help with the tracking vehicle speed part of your question, having no experience with that - but I do know that racehorses (flat) can get to around 40mph, if not more, which may not sound that fast, but is when you have to keep pace with them. It may also be uncomfortable if you are filming at a racetrack, as the tracking vehicle may not have a tarmac road, it may be grass which = bumps (lots of). If it's a canter rather than race pace then you will stand a greater chance on Steadicam on a Quad perhaps.

The main issue with horses is that they are taller than you expect. The gyrostabilised Wescam Channel 4 over here use is mounted on top of a Range Rover, and is just the correct height to get those shots of the horse and jockey in action - much lower down wouldn't be as easy or look as good.

Just a few thoughts...
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#3 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 01:47 PM

I have done shots at 70mph off a insert car with a helluva windbreak
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#4 Erwin Landau

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 04:08 PM

I did a Vespa commercial a while back. 2 days lowmode of a starbike ( http://www.specializ...ravehicles.com/ ). Actually Steve Holladay's side car motorbike for that one ( http://www.camerabikes.com/ ). We used, besides the Disney Concert Hall, the 3rd street bridge in downtown LA (As usual). Last shot of the day, crossing the bridge with downtown, the Library tower and the rising moon in the background... We hit 65 mph on the bridge... at that speed the expansion gaps are murder. I had serious sore arm muscles the next day.

We also spend a day in the Malibu mountains... talking about doing switches around the corners on a fly...


Fly safe,


Erwin "The flying swissman" Landau
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#5 JohnMakoHead

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 12:43 PM

<Just wondering what the max speed any of you guys have worked at while hardmounted to a tracking <vehicle?
<Any vehicle work ive done has always been based around people running so ive never had to operate at <high speeds. On an upcoming shoot that i may be involved in the DP wants to track at speed with race <horses. Im pointing them towards libra heads but the dp is pretty keen to do some of it with steadicam <(with gyros) if he can.
<Assuming even and friendly terrain and an (experienced driver)whats the max speed i could safely work at <while obtaining solid wide to medium shots?

Take a look at MakoHead Camera Head Stabilizer on insert car on grass airfield
still
http://www.makohead....OHEADtruck.jpeg
video
http://www.makohead....koheadLarge.wmv
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#6 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 05:51 PM

Thanks everybody!
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#7 Stephen Press

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 05:12 AM

Just reading this now. Last year I did a track alongside a horse with a stunt rider who had to be doing 35kmph on grass to do his tricks. I set up a vehicle mount on the back tray of a ute and actually found once we got up to speed the ride smoothed out. All my worry and then it was easy and looked very good? the rest of the shoot however was a total nightmare. :)
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#8 PeterAbraham

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 01:35 PM

Before the Great Divide, I shot a job with my old MS Elite with a MovieCam Compact for Mercedes Benz. We were doing 40-45 mph in the canyons of lower Manhattan.

I was rear-mounted on a vehicle with a stunt driver driving my vehicle, and the C class Benz. There were times when his headlights were...... 5-8 feet from me. :blink:

It was a truly fun job, and the footage made em happy. ( which, if I recall correctly, is always the goal, safety aside ).

Peter Abraham
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#9 Stephen Press

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 02:54 PM

I've made up a towbar mount that I can put on almost any wagon. Works very sweet.

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