Let me introduce myself...
I make car videos mainly for the Internet and have been doing it for sometime now.
I learnt on the job, bought a Mac and a small mini DV camcorder to get started, the Internet was crap back them and so where most of the videos on there. It took more time to buffer the videos than to watch them. Having grown up on a diet of car films, of Bullitt, LeMans, Italian Job, No Mans Land (look it up on IMDB), Days of Thunder, Ronin, The French connection etc.
I knew I wanted my videos to be more dynamic, than car driving past stationary camera.
I wanted car to car, interior and bolt-on action scenes,the shots we take for granted now with the likes of Gymkhana leading the way, and so without breaking the bank I bought a Dogcam Bullet Cam, which I would plug into my Sony mini DV camcorder.
This little lipstick cam was going to open up so many possibilities, the reality however was quite different, it needed 8 AA batteries there was meters of cable that had to run between the camcorder and the bullet cam, it took forever to set up. Once it was set up the picture wasn't very good, not widescreen or DV quality, an iPhone 3GS is a better video camera, it also meant that I had sit around and wait for the Journalist or Driver to come back from driving as I only had the 1 camcorder.
The up shot been it often got left in the kit bag in the boot of my car and I would sucker the Camcorder to the car as it was quicker and easier.
Fueltopia's very own James Gilbert will I am sure remember the day he went for a ride in a Ford Focus WRC car, will he also remember the hassle of me attaching the lipstick cam to his helmet, then having to hold the camcorder, been careful not to pull any wires out while they strapped him and sent him on his way?
Once I bought a bigger more professional camcorder, then the small camcorder became my "stunt cam" and the Bullet Cam was left at home.
And then along came the Game changer! The Go-Pro HD Hero with motorsport kit, I had seen people use flip cams and other little all in one devises but after watching some footage of a single seater pounding around a US circuit I knew it was the answer to my prayers.
A self contained box which just needed some juice and an SD card. No wires or extra batteries. It had its own case so if it hit a stone or a Journo hit a bollard (more on that later) all was not lost, the case was also waterproof another bonus, as filming cars on wet roads in the UK is a given if your going to do this professionally all year round.
The Sucker clamp that came with the motorsport kit, holds on for dear life, When I attached it to the front of a GT3 RS which was then driven around the Eurospeedway Lausitz by Jorge Burgmiesster, I was a little nervous and insisted in jumping in the passenger seat to make sure it stated on. It started to move about a bit when we hit 170mph on the banking put was otherwise fine.
That fact its, easy to set up, small, portable, very flexible as to where you can put it, means that it gets used on every job. Its also future proof to a degree, I bough the LCD backpack as soon as it was available in the UK which made setting up and positioning even easier.
I have had a play with the Latest HD Hero 2 and the picture is even better and the Wifi Back with ipad apps will move the game on again as now I can show the director exactly what we are shooting. In time I am sure to upgrade.
In the mean time however please have a look at a video I made using only Go-Pro shots, which I'd gathered over the years, you might recognise some of the faces.
Let me know what you think.