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lifeflame's avatar

Filming question: What is the simplest, DIY method to stabilise a top shot ?

Asked by lifeflame (5805 points ) March 7th, 2012

So I’m going to be filming a little girl drawing on Friday, and we want to do a top-down shot of her drawing, not unlike those here at RSA animate, so that her drawing takes up the whole screen. Unlike the ones there at RSA animate, I don’t need to pan around—it’ll just be a single shot.

I have a normal tripod, but it’s going to be tricky as it’s a top-down shot, but I need to stablise it so it doesn’t shake. What’s the best way to do this? Should I try to elevate her drawing surface so she’s drawing at a slight angle? (I don’t want to inconvenience her too much). The less equipment the better, as we’re not shooting in a studio (and may even be shooting in a park!)

I also have an iphone that shoots HD, so that’s also an option (will be lighter if I’m making a DIY tripod)...

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1 Answer

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Check to see if your tripod has a small hook underneath where the three legs come together. That hook is for hanging a weight. I use a small bag of sand.

Is it possible for the girl to draw while sitting up & facing a wall, like drawing on a chalk/marker board? Because then you could shoot from just over her shoulder & not have to worry about tricky angles with a tripod above her head & the camera tilted.

You could secure the tripod to a large piece of cheap particle board creating a larger/flat base on which you could lay more weights. You could secure weights to the legs of the tripod, but then it becomes top heavy & prone to topple over.

Lastly, fill 3 plastic shopping bags halfway with sand. Position them on the floor & then bury each tripod foot into each bag. If you wet the sand a little bit it will create a stronger mold (like when making a sandcastle).

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