We have just produced two videos for an Arriva Bus and Coach marketing campaign, which involved filming in 360 from a moving vehicle. This is a guide to the equipment we used, and the techniques we developed.
You will need to find something secure in your vehicle, attach your equipment at multiple points, and avoid using anything bendy. On a coach or a train your choices are the framework which holds the seats in place, or the luggage racks. Seats are fastened to the chassis, but we chose the luggage rack for the view.
Luggage racks are at the top of the cabin, so we are able to turn the Vuze upside down. That means we get video which has complete floor (there’s a small pinch point) and just a section of ceiling hidden . I find that preferable to the reverse for most internal spaces.
You can’t just stand a tripod up in a moving vehicle and expect it to stay there. Invest in a system which allows you to mount clamps at the end of your legs.
The time needed to work out exactly what size clamp was right for us, would have cost more than a selection of clamps. A selection of clamps protects you for future jobs.
Large clamps can struggle to hold onto bars, so we use a large G-clamp and a smaller clamp that’s better for grabbing handrails and the like.
That’s all we needed, but we took suction lifters and ratchet straps. When you’re filing 360 though, you want as little in view as possible.
As with the clamps, you need to make sure you have several available to you. You mustn’t get on location and find something’s too small or too large.
We have a complete set of legs in five different sizes. That’s only enough to get you close though. You need two more things for complete control.
- Extendable legs: Our clamps allow the mount’s legs to pass through them. That gives us fine control over the length of them.
- Adjustable joints: Two of these on each leg — one near the head, the other around half way down — allow us to adjust precisely to the space we’re in, both in terms of finding something to hold on to and to positioning the height of the camera.
This is the key to a really stable setup.
A qudropod is a tripod and a leg. They’re normally used to take top-down product shots, but ours is much larger and allows us to straddle an aisle.
To get a really stable mount down the middle of a vehicle, we knew we needed to attach in two places either side. A tripod can’t do that, so we asked Hague Camera Support to help us. They created a custom video mount for us, and adjusted a tripod kit to include a fourth of everything there was previously three of! We’re really happy with their work, and their level of support and communication.
And this is the result — two marketing videos. The footage needed no stabilisation in post production.