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Filming a horse rider

Ezequiel Casares
 

I have a documentary shoot coming up in Patagonia that includes
filming a "gaucho" (argentine cowboy) while riding his horse in the
mountains. This will be away from roads, against a rocky landscape and
possibly snowed in. I want to get a camera close to him, no more than
a few feet away and at eye level. Our A camera is a Sony FS7. Anybody
with experience getting a similar type of shot? Any help much
appreciated,

Thanks

Ezequiel Casares
Cinematographer
Los Angeles

Franz
 

Very much depends on the type of saddle he’ll be using. Western type saddles offer plenty of anchor points, especially if you can fix a plate and then mount whatever is needed. You will find that the type of riding and size of the horse affects the stability of the image. If you are mounting the camera “few feet away” from the neck looking towards the rider you will find that the chance your rider will be hit by the camera are quite great, horses move their neck a lot while negotiating terrain and the rider must accomodate his position to balance both himself as well as trying not to put unnecessary strain, or worse, unbalance the horse.
Even a camera like the FS7 is way too big for that, I would suggest you look into a Sony A7, Blackmagic or gopro. Mounted on a magic arm/ rigged boom with some kind of small gyro or bungee rig should do the trick.
One last thing: when you mount the camera avoid having it creeping on the side of the neck near the eyes from behind, horses are easily spooked by anything entering that area.
Franz
On a horse anytime
--
Franz Pagot AIC MBKS
Cinematographer
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On 11 Jul 2018, at 01:12, Ezequiel Casares <zeq@...> wrote:

I have a documentary shoot coming up in Patagonia that includes
filming a "gaucho" (argentine cowboy) while riding his horse in the
mountains. This will be away from roads, against a rocky landscape and
possibly snowed in. I want to get a camera close to him, no more than
a few feet away and at eye level. Our A camera is a Sony FS7. Anybody
with experience getting a similar type of shot? Any help much
appreciated,

Thanks

Ezequiel Casares
Cinematographer
Los Angeles

Corby Martin
 

I did something similar to this in Mexico last year except we had a dirt road and were able to use a vehicle as a shooting platform. I operated camera on a DJI Ronin with a Ready Rig and was able to get eye level to the riders with dead smooth motion. 
For your situation with no roads perhaps with the right operator you could shoot horse to horse. Maybe with something like the new Ronin S to keep a nice small package.
My biggest warning would be that horses that aren't used to camera gear around them can be very nervous. We had our show host go for a "fun" ride through some trees and brush when his horse spooked and ran off with him on it. You may not be able to get the camera as close as you would like it.

Corby Martin
DP and Cam op
Vancouver BC


                                                                                                    

Jake Pollock
 

A few years ago I shot a sequence in Inner Mongolia involving two hundred horses in a stampede.  The safest way to have a camera that close was to have the horse handler handhold our camera (a Red Dragon at the time).  You could consider a gimbal with remote operation that you control pan/tilt. 

Even with movie-experienced horses, they are incredibly sensitive to tracking vehicles.  The last thing you want is a freaked out horse!  

The other thing would be very old school.  In A Man With A Camera, Nestor Almendros talked about doing a 200mm telephoto tracking shot (I believe it was Truffaut’s The Wild Child) where the actor ran in a circle with the camera at the center point.  It may not sound ideal, but with the compression of the telephoto and enough distance, you can simulate a very beautiful profile tracking shot.

Best of Luck!

Jake Pollock
DP
Taipei



On 11 Jul 2018, at 7:12 AM, Ezequiel Casares <zeq@...> wrote:

I have a documentary shoot coming up in Patagonia that includes
filming a "gaucho" (argentine cowboy) while riding his horse in the
mountains. This will be away from roads, against a rocky landscape and
possibly snowed in. I want to get a camera close to him, no more than
a few feet away and at eye level. Our A camera is a Sony FS7. Anybody
with experience getting a similar type of shot? Any help much
appreciated,

Thanks

Ezequiel Casares
Cinematographer
Los Angeles

 

Was it shot at Magic hour?  Surely you’d have to be very lucky with the sunlight not to give the game away.

Michael Sanders
London Based DP.

+ 44 (0) 7976 269818




On 11 Jul 2018, at 09:19, Jake Pollock via Cml.News <jakehpollock=yahoo.com@...> wrote:

The other thing would be very old school.  In A Man With A Camera, Nestor Almendros talked about doing a 200mm telephoto tracking shot (I believe it was Truffaut’s The Wild Child) where the actor ran in a circle with the camera at the center point