Cameras & Cars

If at first you don’t succeed…

We’re currently producing a promotional video the Forest Hills Cemetery. Sounds morbid, but it’s really a beautiful place to, shall we say, rest in peace. It’s 248 acres of gorgeous trees, flowers and sculptures surround gravestones going as far back as 1848. The client wanted a driving shot of the Cherry Tree-lined entrance. We were more than happy to oblige.

Driving shots are a great way to give a video movement and a different perspective, without the hassle of using expensive dolly tracking systems.

We shot from the sunroof of our trusty Honda Element – the Good Life Mobile, as we like to call it. Neal used his Low Rider – a piece of production equipment that’s really just a gloried bean bag – to lean the camera on. We figured the height from the top of the Element would give us the best perspective possible.

We were wrong. The shots were extremely bumpy. It looked more like we were four-wheeling through the cemetery – not the tranquil, rest-filled environment we were hoping to show. Take a look:

1st Take (Bumpy)

But that’s what second takes are for. This time Neal moved to the tailgate and used a tripod for stabilization. The result – a much smoother, much nicer dolly effect. Check out the difference:

2nd Take (Better)

Our second round of shooting made all the difference. Lesson learned.

Neal and Sarah, view from the back!Neal and Sarah’s view from the back!

Using our car to create that special dolly quality!
Using our car to create that special dolly quality!

Check back soon for the final video and see just how unique the cemetery grounds truly are. In the meantime, check out this Drive-by Shooting Tutorial for more tips on filming from your car.