Drive By Cinema

Watching A9 demonstrate their project to geo-locate the front of every building in major cities and coordinate the images with a map at Where 2.0 earlier this year is keeping my wheels turning. I don’t have any interest in replicating their efforts, although I could duplicate the A9 scenario for Seattle by using the ShotMapper. I’m currently more interested in figuring out ways to mount a digital video camera to my car for other video projects.
Traditional mounting dollies used to film car scenes in movies are pricey and are likely overkill for the single camera setup most home movie enthusiasts use. I looked at the Sticky Pod and realized I can probably build something as good or better for a fraction of the cost. Inspired by my previous efforts in creating a bottle cap tripod from available parts, I’m on a mission to do something on a larger scale for DV cams.
The bottle cap tripod is made entirely from parts available at almost any hardware store. Building a car mounted tripod requires some fittings that aren’t readily available from off-the-self components. Fortunately, eBay comes through again with a massive selection of tripods at cheap prices. They also have tripods at typical retail prices, but many bargains await. Monopods at eBay seem particularly suited for providing parts to this project. The key piece to acquire is the tripod head mount to hold the camera securely in place. The actual mounting component isn’t as difficult.
The other thing I’m on the lookout for is an inexpensive DV cam. eBay is looking like the best bet for this too. I’m more concerned with price over quality at this point, because I want to test the car mounting system prior to attaching a camera I care about losing. eBay offers this vast list of no name DV cams that probably don’t take the best video, but will offer a credible test of mounting a camera on the car and taking it for a drive.
As I put everything together, I’ll publish the list of parts I use to build the car mounting kit.