I have to do something that strays a little out of the day-to-day for me so wanted to ask for some thoughts about how I have been thinking of approaching it.
I want to rig a 4x4 for a long road trip, where we want to film every day for probably 8-10 hours (at the most). We'll be self-shooting and pretty much unsupported from a filming point of view.
The plan is to edit short summary films every couple of days.
Now, I can hear many of you screaming that filming a million unlogged hours is a stupid idea and that we can probably get better results by structuring what we film, but it's basically an unplanned and unscripted road trip and we don't know what will happen when - hence the blanket shooting approach. I'm after something between a VLOG and a planned doc shoot.
Hear me out, anyway, and apologies in advance for the long post.
3/4 shot of driver
3/4 shot of passenger
Centre two-shot of driver and passenger
Forward shot and rear shot (think dashcam style)
Various positions outside the car, done with one camera that is repositioned
Handheld for out and about
Considerations I've had so far:
Mostly desert and mountain terrain with some cities. So temperature variation, dust and water are big factors. It's also mostly off-road so will be fairly punishing.
Physical space is at a premium because of the amount of other kit that has to be carried (camping stuff, recovery gear, spares, diesel...)
Ease of use.
Being realistic about it, there's going to be a lot to concentrate on every day before we even think about the filming, so I'm trying to come up with a solution that is almost set and forget inside the truck, and front and back. That way providing we remember to put new media in and push record on everything at the top of the day, we should be capturing most of what we need, then whenever we get out of the vehicle we take with us a handheld and film as normal.
A losing battle really when adding a lot of cameras, but there will be a lot of occasions where we don't want to draw attention to ourselves, such as border crossings. So I think sometimes we'll have to remove bits.
At this stage I don't know how far it can stretch as we're really at the beginning of this, but currently I've been considering Go Pro / GH5 sort of money as an initial starting point, plus grip, audio, media etc etc. Not sure if that's realistic or not but lets see how you all answer..!
For the internal angles, are we basically talking about Go Pros? I've been trying to find out if there are better options, and assuming that we rule out the cinema end of the market for budget reasons - the ARRI ALEXA Mini etc - then I'm not sure what else to look at. It seems like the GH4 or GH5 might be an option. I saw an article about the filming of Grand Tour where they said they found these to be ideal for this purpose, for example. I'm concerned about the size of these though, see space and security considerations... I appreciate the trade-off between size and quality may mean I can't get good quality + small at the same time - I'm more curious to know what people 'usually' use. What about all those docs that follow ambulances around, is that just a bunch of Go Pros and and army of people changing SD cards? I did consider looking at the new BMPCC but thought that it might suffer sensor wobble on the road.
External angles - I guess Go Pro or similar..?
I know that sound inside a truck is likely to be frustrating to get right. I was thinking of two lavs, a mic of some sort in the cab and then maybe even something outside so get some ambient. So then a 4 channel Zoom style recorder?
We can modify the truck as much as we want, so I was considering some sort of bi-color LED fixtures there the visors are?
We need a way to log moments that were of interest each day. Could do timecode? I'm conscious that we're going to end up with a lot of hours and we want to be able to find and keep good content and discard mundane content with some certainty otherwise we'll never meet our editing goals. Perhaps we could log against time of day.
Not sure about the practicalities of DITing all this on the road. SD cards are a pain so I'm considering external recorders. See space concerns above though. One thing I considered was loop recording - Go Pros and dashcams and similar do this, and that could mean that at the end of the day, or maybe just when something interesting happens(!) the related clip could be kept and the rest discarded. I have a feeling we're not going to be able to keep everything.
Despite the huge post I'm sure there's stuff I've missed and even more that I haven't yet even considered. I know many of you who are experts in this (I am obviously not) will have more sensible ideas.
Thanks all of you.