Well I just thought I’d report on the progress of the Limpet Mount project. My crew and I used it today for a traffic report at Adelaide Airport. It had its initial problems like suction cups not sticking where paint was not so smooth on the vehicle but these issues were soon solved. The addition of a couple of octupus straps put my mind at rest and we proceeded with filming.
Later I will post a few photos of the mount on the car so you can see for yourself but for now, here is the final video which is now online at www.5dme.net . No “steadyshot” or “active steadyshot” was used when filming. There was no vibration damping electronically or mechanically in the recording. Footage used was untouched straght from the camera.
Yesterday we spent a couple of hours at Adelaide Airport recording some footage covering the redevelopment project. Nigel Daw, and aviation historian did the in front of camera pieces while I did the camera and audio work.
We tried the new tripod which is capable of 2m elevation in order to improve our eye line shots. It worked really well.
In post I had to deal with ambient noise that was on the original footage from all the construction gear. However, the finished product was much better than the raw footage.
The video is available from the front page of www.5dme.net
This week I’ve been working on some new gear. This includes a track dolly which has had the final adjustments made to enable smooth tracking. Other projects were a pocket dolly, suction mounting system for vehicles and skate dolly.
It’s been a good experience to make some of my own gear again. Usually, it is just easier to buy it. However, building your own gear does give a sense of personal satisfaction plus the abilty to customise it for a particular purpose. Rather than having to compromise with an out-of-the-box solution.
It is intended to try the gear out during a few short segments I am working on for www.5dme.net in the next week.
Most domestic camera tripods these days are made out of light weight material (for obvious reasons) but this has the effect of making the tripod unstable and susceptable to vibration and operator movement.
The best thing to do in trying to minumise these issues is add weight. Either a sandbag hooked to the centre section with an octupus strap or even better, buy a dolly. This not only adds weight but gives you wheels as well. It also help stabilise by keeping the tripod legs at fixed distances.
As I’ve mentioned, I like to build things. One of the things I have always wanted is a limpet mount for filming from cars etc. A limpet mount is held in place by suction.
Upon looking around the internet I found most to be of the cheaper variety and I would not trust them with any of my cameras. Especially, the ones with only one point of contact.
The better ones besides being more expensive have multiple points of contact so if one suction cup fails there are more holding your expensive camera in place.
My project is to make one with multiple points of contact and be inexpensive. So, I decided to purchase several single cup suction mounts from ebay. I will make the adjoining arms myself and test the unit with a dummy load to see if the suction cups are stable. Only then will I try one of the cameras.
I will test the time before any of the cups let go before mounting on a vehicle for live shooting. A safety line may be in order.
The answer to smoothing things up partly involves the shape of the base board. It must be square and not rectangular. I am also going to change the PVC track for aluminium and the castors for rubber wheels with flanges either side to keep the unit on the tracks.
Oh! Also make the base board a bit heavier. This adds enormously to the stability and makes it more smooth when in motion.
As you go through the years you collect little odds and ends that you have ‘McGyvered’ together for particular jobs. For example that little metal bracket to hold the camera in a particular position or the piece of wire on a board to hold up a product.
As I like to build things, sometimes I decide to have a go at something a little more industrial. I refer to a recent attempt to make a camera dolly for a specific job.
Over the years I have worked with professional dolly gear like Elemac dollies. They are beautiful pieces of engineering. They are heavy and they run as smooth as silk on the tracks.
Well, after spending hours constructing my smaller version using board and wheels from the local hardware store with PVC track I walked away in despair. I suspected and can see the reasons why a professional result requires the use of pro gear. The whole unit has no weight and the wheels are inadequate. If you add weight the PVC track bends and you have to support every foot or so, there’s a reason those Elemac wheels are machined so well. Castors under a board just don’t cut it.
Anyway, I am off to the shed to try and save some of my self esteem and rejig the thing a bit smaller in the hope of it being useful for something. Perhaps a flower pot holder 🙂
Seriously, I’ll let you know if I come up with any fix that gets the thing to work half reasonably.
Although the following clip is funny and relates to many so called video production ameteurs I have seen, it must be remembered that clients do like a good look from their on-set crews (within reason).
The final production is EVERYTHING but if you look like dags, noone will hire you.