We received this report from Stereographer Andrew B Parke about how they used the Hurricane Rig to shoot a 3D programme about the Indy 500 motor race.
Bruce Schultz was the D.P. He asked me to be the Stereographer/Rig Technician for this Stereoscopic 3D documentary. We were calling it “100 Years at the Brickyard” during shooting as there is a historical perspective to the story and it was the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
We rented a Cmotion stereo FIZ system from Radiant Images. We got motor mounting plates, a Marshall 24″ alignment monitor, and a NanoFlash3D from HD Cinema. And we got a transvideo 6″ on-board monitor from V.E.R.
Our camera package consisted of the following cameras:
Sony F3′s paired in the Hurricane Rig
Panasonic 3DA1 with NanoFlash3D and Mattebox with ND filters
Sony EX1 & EX3′s paired were used on my Red Rock Side-by-Side bar for time lapse and race day footage.
Several GoPro Stereo cameras
Mako Koiwai was the GoPro Stereo expert and 3DA1 camera operator for the days before the race.
Joe Setele operated the 3DA1 Race Weekend.
Camera Assistant was Brad Greenspan.
Sound was Bob Schuck.
Chad did data management.
Most of our interviews were shot with the Hurricane Rig with F3′s. We interviewed most of the drivers and many alumni drivers as well as, team members, historians, Indy Car people, wives, etc., etc. We shot for 8 straight days without a day off leading up to the race and including race day.
The shoot went remarkably smoothly considering the many variables of a documentary environment. Especially for a Stereoscopic documentary. The Hurricane Rig aligned very well. We used the “stiffener” bracket to remove any possibility of rig flex with the heavier cameras and all the accessories that we hung off the rig. We did have to re-align slightly when changing focal lengths, but it was quick to match the zooms and minor vertical or horizontal offsets. This is normal for 3D. Only much higher priced, specially matched zooms and cameras or motorized systems like 3ality’s can be aligned throughout the zoom range.
We transported gear around the very large track (2.5 mile oval) via a magliner cart with the camera mounted on a high-hat. We had all support gear on the magliner. We found this could go anywhere including through doorways, elevators, hallways, etc. We had no major alignment problems due to vibration of the rig despite all the moving around that we did. We did have some minor cable issues for monitoring, but that was solved quickly. We carried a car battery to run the Marshall Monitor using an AC inverter for times when we could not plug into house power. We had block batteries to power the entire rig; cameras, FIZ motors with Camin controllers, nanoflash3d recorder and the tranvideo. We had a backup to use on-board anton-bauer batteries, but we did not use this option.
During the race itself there were no tripods allowed in the pit area, so the Hurricane Rig went on the roof of the grandstands across from the Pagoda near the starting line. It was very windy up there. We found out from Alister Chapman later that we could have used some extra screws in the mirror mount to lock the mirror to prevent wind pressure from causing some minor mirror movement. Since Alister is a storm chaser (and hence the name of the rig) I knew that he must have some solution for shooting in high winds.
It was a memorable race as the leader crashed in the final turn and came in 2nd, rolling across the finish line in a wrecked car.
The Hurricane Rig was great for this project because it is lightweight, easy to transport, and has a good beam-splitter glass.