Sunday, 6 February 2011

How we filmed Our POV shot

POV shots are notoriously tricky to film as you have to get the balance right between creating a realistic viewpoint yet not filming a shot that’s so shaky it completely disorientates an audience.
Fliming techniques vary for POV shots from resting the camera on the shoulder  to using harnesses to hold the camera to the chest. However because we wanted to have the actors hands in shot it created more of a challenge, it meant we had to film hands free whilst still managing to control the movement of the camera. This ruled out any handheld techniques and we didn’t want to use the idea of attaching the camera to a harness around the chest as we wanted to get the realistic eyeline of the character/actor.

Although we couldn’t find any videos online for guidance.  We did find someone who had asked for similar advice.

One of the responders mentioned the technique they use in skiing/snowboarding freestyle videos of attaching a camera to the helmet of the skier/snowboarder.  This got us thinking about how we could make our own Helmet Cam.


Having seen the breathtaking footage that people have been able to capture using head cams we realised the effectiveness of this technique and decided to adopt it within the context of our own project.

Sanyo Xacti VPC –HD2000  
We singled this camera out because of its thin build, we couldn’t attach anything too bulky to a helmet otherwise it wouldn’t fit over the actors head.

Using the resources we had, we took the white hard hat that was laying unused in a cupboard for our helmet cam.

After experimenting with the positioning of the camera on the helmet we settled with it upside down, so that the lens was right between my eyes.

We practiced holding the camera in place using tape but we soon realized we would need a stronger hold between camera and hard hat to keep it in place. Then we came up with the idea of screwing the camera to the hard hat using the screw from a tripod attachment.

We took the equipment over to the tech department and they drilled a marked hole in the helmet. We could now put the tripod screw through the top of the  hard hat and screw it into the bottom of  the camera.

From our test footage we were generally pleased with the outcome, the camera was in the right position and I could still fit the hard hat over my head. Our only problems were that the camera didn’t stay in place when I moved my head instead swinging loosely from side to side and that the lens was often titled down so that the camera didn’t capture the eye line view of the operator. However we felt confident that we could fix these problems by using tape to hold the camera steady and tighten the hard hat on the actors head so that it wouldn’t tilt down.   

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