One of the best ways to add production value to a project is by having a well produced car sequence. However, it can be challenging if you don’t have the proper stabilization. You can try a variety of DIY methods, but you risk ruining your shot, your camera or your (or someone else’s) car in the process. Fortunately, the the folks at Matthews Studio Equipment have a solution: The Pro Mount System.
In this video, we break down a variety of optimal ways to set up and operate the Pro Mount System so you can get the best results every time. For this demonstration, we’re using the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, as it is similar in size and weight to most small to mid-sized cameras you would use with the Pro Mount System. Anything over 25 pounds, and you’ll want to move to the more robust Master Mount System.
The Pro Mount System, uses three suction cup mounts, the Matthews Ball Head (BH-20) , three rods and two MICROGrip heads as well as a hot shoe adapter. With these items alone, you can achieve shots from hood, roof or rear glass to create a variety of different shots. Once you triangulate your camera with the thee rods and their accompanying mounts, the camera will be incredibly stable and will only move when the vehicle itself moves. Keep this in mind, because when your car hits a bump, the camera will move with it, but you won’t see any secondary reverberation as long as the system is properly in place.
This short is made up of footage we gathered over several days at Lake Hollywood in Los Angeles. Here, you can see just some of the different shots you can get with the Pro Mount System including shots from the hood, side panel and wheel. Although the views are spectacular, the roads leave a bit to be desired as they are steep and pock marked with cracks and deep potholes.
This video features a few shots we achieved by mounting the Blackmagic Cinema Camera to the hood of the car while cruising through some of the rough and winding roads of Griffith Park in Los Angeles. The road here is very old and full of large cracks and potholes with steep grade. If the Pro Mount System can deliver smooth shots over this terrain, it can certainly do well in normal conditions.
This is footage shot with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera mounted on the side vehicle. To achieve this shot, you’ll need an additional accessory not included in the Pro Mount System: the Magic Riser.
This is our front, driver side tire shot, which is a staple in many driving sequences. We achieved this the same way as the side shot, only we moved the Pro Mount System, Magic Riser and BMPCC down and closer to the wheel itself.
Although it make look risky, once you triangulate the suction cups and rods, your rig is completely safe.
The Matthews Pro Mount System retails for $658. The Magic Riser is retails for retails for $175. Both are available for sale through Matthews’ network of dealers.
For more information on the Matthews Pro Mount System, and all of the other products from Matthews, go to their website at www.msegrip.com
Check out more pictures from this review at our Flickr Set.