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Standing to sitting and moving vehicle

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#1 Mike Braaten

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 11:19 PM

Sorry if this is covered elsewhere, but I've searched the archives and I've found plenty of articles on crane step-on/step-off, but nothing covering this.

The shoot I was on today the producer wanted me to do a 360 around an actor, then sit in the back of his Nissan Pathfinder and hold a shot of the actor as the vehicle drove away down the street.

So, remembering Mr. Churchill's tutelage in the EFP video, I configured the vest so that it wouldn't benumb my legs after sitting down and had the DP (a 6'5" 275lb behemoth) put a death grip on me the instant I popped my happy ass on the tailgate.

We were pressed for time and I only got two takes. Both had one part that was totally usable: the 360 around the actor. Looked totally dope in my humble opinion! I couldn't nail the landing in the Pathfinder. Either the sled clonked against the bumper or the DP pulled me so hard that the sled went haywire...

Is this shot even possible or it just my combined inexperience and wuss factor? I ended up suggesting that I do the whole shot on foot while the actor was standing as still as possible and they ramp the footage. I think that'll do the trick, but I'd like to know if it's possible to smoothly go from your feet to a seated position moving vehicle shot. Anyone ever try this?

Thanks as always!
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#2 RobVanGelder


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Posted 08 December 2008 - 12:03 AM

I think it is only possible if you can hold the rig next to your body, while sitting. That means that you have to place your butt on either extreme side of the tailgate door, (depending on your regular of goofy preference)
When you are sitting in the middle, you have to lean the rig away or it bumps into the tailgate, (as you found out).
The height of the gate should be good too, you should slide in right away, without really lowering of stretching yourself. So it depends on the car as well.

It is still tricky, specially with the acceleration from the car.
In any case, you are extremely good or lucky if you manage an all good shot in 2 takes....
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 09:10 AM

If asked to do something like this I would probably suggest building a platform off the back of the vehicle (or a more appropriate vehicle) so that you can simply back onto it, be clipped in for safety and away you go. Could be mounted off the trailer hitch and reinforced elsewhere to the frame so it would be nice and sturdy. Obviously this takes some pre-planning and build time but the result would have been a useable shot.
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#4 Imran Naqvi

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 10:54 AM

Sounds like something you could do using a Handsfree Segway.
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#5 Nitin Rao

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:42 AM

Its kind of nice if u get a shot where u do not really see the transit from the foot to the tracking vehicle. I have done a similar shot just that after the 360* turn the subject drove towards me on a bicycle.
I could pull it off by doing it off a bike, sitting with my back to the rider, it was one of the automatic kinds, so that the speed change was least noticed.
Hope i u too can pull the shot off like this.
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