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Car Chase Shoot on a Shoestring – Ivan Stamatovski

Car Chase Shoot on a Shoestring

on Jun 10 in Blogroll, Slider by

This was a particular production challenge – film a car chase with all the attractive camera angles on a miniscule budget, and just to make things a little bit more complicated – over a bridge.

On top of all this I am dealing with a 3D Beamsplitter rig and not just a single camera that is about 4 times heavier.

Key to shooting a decent video from a moving vehicle is gyro-stabilized head. I was getting a great deal on a Scorpio Head – proven, reliable, stabilized head – so that was a no-brainer.  Now, where does it all sit?

One approach was a process trailer. Dump everything on a low hanging process trailer and pretend you’re driving, easy. However, the shots that the director wanted included some very low angles and a shot from behind the car which would reveal the truck that is pulling the whole trailer, so that was out.

Another approach was to rig everything on the car chassis and do one angle at a time. It would have been a pain to re-rig everything especially because we only had one day to shoot, but what really killed that idea was the owner of the Oldsmobile in question said (HELL)NO! to that idea.

A really good solution would have been a Russian Arm on a pursuit car, but there was none of these on the east coast and bringing one over from LA would be grossly over budget. We were doing this for a public television, hence a shoestring budget.

What I was able to hustle together in the end was a brilliant solution involving a pursuit car with a solid arm and a Scorpio head with remote pan and tilt.

This allowed us to get multiple different shots in one run over the bridge and stabilize the entire rig so all those bridge seams come out as smooth as possible. It took a lot of preparation and testing before going to location, but it provided us with some beautiful shots that were impossible to get otherwise with so little money.

I filmed the whole adventure and cut it together, including shots from the actual footage. My video ended up on the official 3D DVD that Maryland Public Television put out as BTS footage. Enjoy!





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