Filming a Feature Length Cross Country Cycling Documentary on $2500
March 2, 2013

Filming a Feature Length Cross Country Cycling Documentary on $2500

Burundi, Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world, has gone through a great amount of hardship, including genocide, crime, corruption, conflict over land, and food shortages. In 2011, the country recorded its per capita GDP at $200.

As part of an awareness campaign, Simon Guillebaud organized a cross-country cycling trip of 3,000 miles to raise $500,000. The money was to be spent toward a school, an orphanage, and farming methodology training.

When David Strauss, a contributing writer for Fstoppers, heard about the cycling trip, he felt he could contribute to this cause by creating a documentary. Although he normally shoots weddings and had never worked with video much, he wanted to challenge himself to create a documentary about the cycling experience.

He explains, “Including gas and equipment, I decided to keep costs at $2,500 for the whole trip. I worked largely with the wedding equipment I already owned and used two Canon 60D bodies with an assortment of lenses.”

“I wanted the journey to be told through the cyclists’ words and needed a basic interview set up. For sound, I attached a sennheiser ew100 g2 mic to my 60D and filmed with b-roll for most talking segments.”

POV from car

POV from car

“To track the cyclists while they were on their bikes, I used a Manfrotto video head for basic pan and tilt shots. Yes, this does mean that I was driving and videoing at the same time for some segments. I do not recommend this as the optimal or safest filming method. These shots were only taken when we were traveling on unpopulated side roads with very little or no traffic present.”

Bungies helped stabilize the camera

Bungies helped stabilize the camera

 

“I got adventurous with my equipment and used my car as a tracking option. For the trip, my car was equipped with a roof rack and a rear bike rack. I secured a camera to the bike racks using a Manfrotto magic arm clamp but found that the magic arm alone did not provide much steadiness to the shots. In order to stabilize the camera a little more, I used bungee cords to hold the camera firmly to the side or top of the car.”

 

 

You can read more about David’s set-ups and process here

Find out more about the Burundi Cycling campaign here

http://vimeo.com/59063538

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