Saturday, June 19, 2010

I do a car review video

Kelly Blue Book ( ran a competition to make a car review video last month. I've been a fan of the British TV car show Top Gear for a while now, and in true Top Gear fashion figured; How hard could it be?

Actually, pretty hard; when you don't have a crew.

The resulting video was shot over the course of a couple of weekends, though I think the total amount of shooting was no more than five hours. I had an assistant cameraman for one hour, which is when the stand-up stuff was shot.

The video was shot with: a ContourHD camera (inside the car and the "on-car" shots) a Sony Handycam HDR-XR500V (dashbaord cam and most of the car exterior shots), the Panasonic AG-HMC70U shoulder mount camera (the non-driving shots where I'm talking) and a Canon EOS 7D DSLR (a couple of the car exterior shots.)

The small HDR-XR500V was invaluable for the drive-by shots, as I could set it up by the side of the road and drive away; on a small tripod it doesn't attract much attention!

I've written about the ContourHD before. It's great size-wise, and made positioning in the car simple, but the sound quality is poor (the audio was actually recorded on the HDR-XR500V) and the video is lower in resolution.

The AG-HMC70U was used for recording the stand-up stuff because it has XLR jacks which make it easy to plug-in the wireless mic.

I used the Canon 7D for some "beauty" shots, but due to time/lack-of crew issues, it was easier to use the other cameras for most of the shots in the video.

My biggest problem? The video had to be under two minutes, and though I'd written a script first - and done a rough recording that came in at 1:50 - somehow when I edited everything together and cut it as closely as I could, it was 2:59 seconds! I had to go back and cut ruthlessly!

NotesOnVideo: ContourHD VholdR 2800 Windshield Mount Kit
Amazon: ContourHD 1080p by VholdR – Full HD Helmet Camera
B & H: Panasonic AG-HMC70U
B & H: Canon 7D

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