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Bella Roberts

Overhead Filming

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Hi everyone,

I’m shooting a short film on the weekend. There’s a shot that I want to do which is an overhead shot downwards of a couple In a bed. This is a low budget student film so we don’t have amazing equipment. How can you do this shot with the equipment I have.

we have a tripod and a zhiyun crane 2. 
Should I get the camera operator just to stand on the end of the bed and point downwards?

any advice would be great.

 

Thanks.

bella

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It would help to know what camera you are using;  a lot depends on the weight and size of the camera when you don't have a big budget...

(edit) 

OK, I just looked up a zhiyun crane 2 and see you must be using a DSLR or similar size camera.

Two step ladders, a long 2x4 board, a drill, a coupe of clamps and a 1/4 20 bolt with a washer will allow you to shoot straight down.  Just bolt the camera to the middle of the board, place it across the top of the step ladders, clamp it down and shoot.

Of course, you'll have to remote trigger the camera to start and stop, or just let it roll.

I don't recommend you try this with a Mitchell BNCR...

Edited by Frank Wylie
  • Upvote 1

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That’s a pretty good low tech solution Frank!

Bella, just remember that the safety of the people whom you will be placing underneath the rig is the most important thing. If you can’t do the shot safely, just don’t do it. Getting the shot is not worth someone being injured by falling equipment.

Do you have any grip-savvy friends or fellow students who can help you with this? Or maybe even someone with carpentry experience? 

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One small point - the screws that Americans call 1/4-20 ("quarter twenty") will be slightly harder to find in the UK as they're not metric. It's worth having a few around in case you do need to attach cameras to things. They're easily obtainable from a lot of online places.

What you're after is "1/4-20 UNC." They'll be specified in terms of length, so "1/4-20 UNC x 1" means an inch long.

It means a quarter of an inch in diameter and twenty threads per inch. The nearest metric equivalent would be M6 but the metric threads are much finer; don't force metric screws into camera bodies under any circumstances.

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12 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

One small point - the screws that Americans call 1/4-20 ("quarter twenty") will be slightly harder to find in the UK as they're not metric. It's worth having a few around in case you do need to attach cameras to things. They're easily obtainable from a lot of online places.

What you're after is "1/4-20 UNC." They'll be specified in terms of length, so "1/4-20 UNC x 1" means an inch long.

It means a quarter of an inch in diameter and twenty threads per inch. The nearest metric equivalent would be M6 but the metric threads are much finer; don't force metric screws into camera bodies under any circumstances.

Actually they're quite widely available on ebay. I got a bunch for adapting a DSLR to an Illumitran.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=1%2F4+x+20+unc&_sop=15&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=1%2F4+x+20+unc+bolt&_sacat=0

Too late for the weekend but a decent hardware shop should have something Just take the camera with you.

Finding a decent bricks and mortar hardware shop nowadays is another matter.......

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