Saturday 4 June 2011

Discovering Philip Tschersich

First let's see three videos by Philip Tschersich at very differents scenerys, but all of them carefully edited using a wide range of shots and camera mounts:

Beside the impressive landscapes, good footage selection, and the great work mixing them with music, the most important success is due the diverse and innovative points-of-views that Philip uses to take the shots.

"Propeller head"

Is not the first time that this device runs in the web, but the results are specially good using it moderately and mixing it with other shots.

The system is simple. Philip describe how he do it:
"I used a plastic chunk cut to allow me to velcro it to my helmet using the vents, and on top of that I used a spare Heim chain guide roller. Bolted to that I have an aluminum plate that I can hose-clamp some rod or dowel to. I used a 1/2" wooden dowel first, but I promptly broke that. Now I have some cheap WalMart tent pole sections. They flex and bounce, so some stiffer tubing would probably help, but I can take the two sections apart and the pole ends up half as long so I can pack it around. The camera is mounted on one end via the GoPro seatpost clamp mount, and I have a 12 oz fishing weight taped to the other end for "balance." I actually have the rig set up slightly camera-heavy so I can position it somewhat by leaning my head. The whole thing is a bit of a millstone and your helmet had better fit pretty tight!"

This 'simple' cable-cam contrasts with the sophisticated system MirloCam by Emilio Avila. But results are vey interesting too. First the how-to-do video:

The shuttle is a length of plastic that I simply bolted a RAM ball mount to, and on either end is a small pulley. I dremeled a slot in one side of each pulley so I could slip the shuttle on and off the fishing line. The line itself is a spool of 300 yards of 100 pound test dacron halibut line. I put a dowel through the spool secured on either side so it would spin on the dowel, and I put a small bolt through one flange so I could crank the spool and take the line up again quickly when I am done.

The line has an eye in its end that I have put a basic metal snap on. A couple of feet up the line is another eye. This is so I can loop the end of the line around a tree or branch and put the snap through the second eye and secure the end of the line without having to tie a knot. A couple of feet further down the line I have a short length of bungie attached that has a plastic washer on its end. The washer does not fit through the pulleys, so as the shuttle runs along the line and then along the line and bungie, the bungie stretches and acts as a soft stop. I spool the line out to another tree and give the line about 10 wraps around a branch. That seems to offer enough friction to hold the whole mess

Other bike clamps
Other shots was taked from diverse positions from bicycle, helmet, chest and a pole with camera at the end, (my favourites).
On-bike scenes were generally done using RAM mounts. has an excellent selection of RAM stuff. I use the 1" ball head metal system ('B' size). The plastic RAM stuff flexes too much. I use them with a GoPro, but a Contour HD is pictured here:

For the ground-skimming shots I just used a pole similar to the propeller head contraption, but I just hold it in my hand and either ran or rode behind Barny and held the camera a few inches off the dirt as we moved along.

Stuff enough for inspiration... is not?
Thanks to Philip Tschersich.