A friend asks about shooting a commercial following a fast Parkour runner with a long and continuous Steadicam shot. I’m an old fella, so I guarantee I can’t keep up especially while trying to fly a Steadicam. So of course i’m thinking up different ways to pull this off, but one requirement was being able to cover different terrain. Grass, dirt, gravel, uneven pavement, and more. A Segway was my first thought, that’s already being done. Besides the price (maybe I could have rented one), the problem is that the Segway is also very large, heavy, and would need a way to transport it to a location. I needed something I could ride while keeping my hands free, so I decided to test out an Electric Skateboard. My ideas aren’t always well planned, as I quickly found out, my skateboarding abilities
suck like hell are very limited. Fortunately, Olivia is an avid Skateboard, SnowBoard, and Surf type gal so she volunteered to be the test pilot.
To make things easier, we have her in a Steadicam Merlin vest and a BlackBird Video Camera stabilizer (fits perfectly with no modifications). Shot on a Canon 7D + Tokina 11-16mm lens. The vest makes it easy to carry the stabilizer and control the board with the handheld remote. Without much practice, here’s the results from the first run on a very windy day. We mounted a GoPro on the board so you can see the different types of terrain she was able to cover and how bumpy things got, yet the footage stayed fairly smooth. I went for a custom board from E-Glide which is a bit pricey (well worth it), but there’s a variety of inexpensive electric skateboards you can check out below.
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