Recently Trikurious attempted some amateur street video by mounting an iPhone to the handlebars of my bike. A plethora of issues arose immediately. The mounting gear did not have a strong enough grip on the phone, and even if it did the screen still shook at every bump in the road.
Film and video professionals are well aware of the challenges of capturing crisp motion shots. Innovations in stabilizing devices such as the Steadicam, which uses counter-weights to compensate for shaky movement, have been game changers; however, there also is the matter of moving the camera. If a Steadicam operator is on foot, the camera can only move as quickly as a human with 50lbs of added weight. For swifter motion, a car mount is an option when there is a clear path to operate. In many cases, particularly in the city, this is not an option.
How do 21st century film/video crews increasingly shoot successful city scenes? They deploy flatbed trikes staffed by skilled operators. With its three wheels, the trike stays balanced even when making sharp turns. The trike can move at city speeds and fit through narrow city channels.
Due of the inherent advantages of our citymile film logistics services, Revolution increasingly fields contacts requesting assistance on film/video shoots. We recently received one such contact from Brian Yang, producer at 408 films. He’s working to produce a film called Snakedhead about a notorious human smuggler in New York’s Chinatown. After the activation, Brian had this to report about his experience:
“Our film Snakehead used Revolution Rickshaws in order to get footage of our lead actress riding a bike around Chinatown making would-be drop offs. We tried to get a slice of life of delivery people who make runs on bicycles and it worked out great! The camera obviously needs to be on something around the actor’s bike and the rickshaw was brilliant. It did exactly what we needed it to do.
We thought about having the DP sit out of the back of a van or truck, but that probably would have been flagged by the cops and stopped we figured. We considered asking a pedicab to come down from Central Park, but realized rigging that would have just taken too much time and effort. A trike is small enough and nimble enough to stay low profile in the busy streets of NYC and there really is no set up required. It’s just designed perfectly for your camera to get situated on it, get your routes and timing down, and film!
We loved Revolution Rickshaws! Everything went great and we would highly recommend it to anyone looking to use this service. In our crazy production, this was about the only thing that went perfectly according to plan.”
Another happy customer, it would seem—and a repeat customer, to boot! He’d worked with Revolution a few years prior on I CAN I WILL I DID, which just made its festival premiere. According to Brian, it sports “a beautiful opening shot that was filmed on one of your rickshaws!”
Happiness on three wheels? Revolution seems to find a way almost every single day to produce it for our clients. If you’re ready to consider activating our services, give us a shout if it pleases you. We’re ready to roll when you are.
More information about Snakehead can be found at these social media sites: