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Roller Coaster Rigging

Nelson JJ Flores

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Hi everyone, Happy New Year to all!


So I'll be Key gripping a short film at the beginning of next month and I'll be needing to rig an Alexa Mini onto a roller coaster. The roller coaster is the West Coaster at the Santa Monica Pier. Has anyone rigged this coaster before? Any advice or preset equipment knowledge that would benefit me?


I've researched how the coaster is and it seems to be a pretty disappointing ride so I'm not too worried about the g-force, but I want to take every precaution possible to ensure the safety of the cast and equipment. I've done car mounts before, so I'm accustomed to rigging.


I'll be taking measurements to make sure I have the proper gear, but any sort of guidance that would help me rig the mount efficiently and safely would be appreciated.

Thank you!


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Have you talked to the park? Surely theyve done this before. I have done shoots at Disney World and they have a dedicated car pre rigged for a camera that they just add on to the coaster. It has one of the two seats removed and a 2 inch or 3 inch pipe bolted to the floor and then welded to the center divider. The pipe has a plate welded to the top with holes drilled in at several places to accommodate a variety of tripod heads If you have to rig the car yourself, Id use this as the ideal and replicate it as best you can. Start with a metal pipe with a base plate welded on to the bottom and your tripod head attached at the top on a plate welded there. Then either drill some holes in the pipe or weld some attachment points on to the pipe for a ratchet strap. Ratchet strap your pipe to the seat, safety bar or all the way around the car. Probably also a good idea to run a steel cable (bicycle lock cable?) through the handle of your camera and attach to the safety bar of the coaster in case your mount fails.

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