UniGeezer: "Flight Line"

Now for something completely different:

I’ve been away from the forums for about a month, and have been trying a new, experimental filming method for Mountain unicycling, or Unicycling in general, that allows for the smoothest moving tracking shots, all shot entirely solo, without a second party! No tripod or pov. I think that this filming technique greatly enhances the entire “feel” of a video, giving it a strong sense of movement and flow, that static filming can’t. In some of the shots you can really “feel” it as the camera passing through the brush, the whistling of the wind and it’s almost like you’re there! :slight_smile:

Similar methods have been used in mtb and tons of other sports, but I’ve never seen it used in unicycling videos before–at least I’m not aware of it. It’s just so awesome becuase the shots are significantly smoother than someone tracking you on their bike, or running, and the best part…for me, is that you can do it totally on your own with nobody’s help!

But it IS time consuming and very challenging to set up the shots, and pull them off sucssefully! Tons of trial & error, many takes to get the framing and timing right, eight extra pounds of gear to carry to each location, covering about 8 miles. 9 hours of hard work went in to this 3 minute video.

And of all the roughly 200 videos I’ve made, this one was the most fun I’ve ever had making, and can’t wait to do it again and explore more as yet, un-tapped possibilities!

FYI: Every frame of this video was shot solely by myself without a second party. No tripod or “pov” shots. I did use my lower quality vidcam in case there was a mishap, but lucklily, all went well.

Please let me know what you think.


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Wow, that was totally awesome filming. That’s a crazy idea for filming but it looks so awesome. If you could get the timing down even better than that would look amazing. Or maybe get the camera to slide slower somehow(maybe some type of friction), because some of the muni shots looked like it was getting ahead of you, even when you were “flying” down the trails. This is my fav. Unigeezer film in a while. :smiley:

very cool.

keen to know how you done that???:p:D :sunglasses:

Great idea Terry. I can only imagine how much effort went into setting up each shot. Well done, enjoyed that.

Wow, very cool. I too would be interested to know how thats filmed.

I would imagine that it was something similar to a zip-line, but on a smaller scale, with some coasters attached to kind-of-a jig to hold the video camera. Then just let it go and allow gravity to deal with it for you. Nice idea.

Incredible what you can do with some piano wire and a few old piano parts!Very clever.:slight_smile:


HeyHo! Long time no see!

That was a really cool vid! I think that filming method is great. Perhaps we’ll see in the future some more vids done with this method. Maybe even a tutorial on how to film with this method. :slight_smile:

i’m still amazed how smooth it is. youd think itd be wobbling all over the place

Thanks for all the comments! I do plan to make a little tutorial of how I put this system together, from start to finish. It’s actually a very simple set up, even though it’s a lot of extra weight and gear to lug around on the trail!

I hope to refine this technique as I continue to use it, and since this was only my first time trying it out, I feel pretty sure that I can make improvements. I can tell you that the entire cost of parts was less than $20! :smiley:

Btw, in a couple shots I purposely let the camera get ahead of me so I could be in full frame, and for added perspective and effect. And the very first shot was so steep that the camera did out pace me-the setup is 100% gravity controlled-and if I had ridden too fast I would have ran smack into the tree at the bottom, lol!

I particularly enjoyed filming that last shot just before the end creds, where the camera passes between the middle of a “double” tree! It was absolute luck that the two trees on opposite sides of it were perfectly lined up to allow the camera to pass through dead center! And that female jogger just happened to come into frame at the very moment I started moving! Perfect timing! :slight_smile:

hahah, and with this way of filming, it makes the coker look even faster

That was very cool, nice setup!

Like your filming setup! Super cool!

Very nice, Terry! You have way too much time on your hands!:smiley: I thought you were going to have the camera on one of your remote controlled planes. I think you should do that next.

I really appreciate all the comments and feedback! Keep 'em coming!

It’s the primary reason I make videos…to share with our awesome uni-community! :D:):o

Thanks. Actually though, in a couple of the shots I purposely let the camera get ahead of me so I could be in full frame and for added effect to show the speed of the moving camera and/or the close-up texture of the ground, like at 1:25. The exception was the very first clip.

That was set up on a super steep section and it dead-ended into the tree that the line was attached to at the bottom. I couldn’t go full out–speed-wise-- without the strong likelihood of eating some serious bark, lol! :stuck_out_tongue:

But yeah the set up is totally gravity controlled by the pitch/angle. I can get it to move fairly slow to a bat outta hell! I had to improvise some way to stop the rig when it hit the end, especially when moving really fast, so protect the camera. I used two tubular foam hand grips and they worked beautifully! :smiley:


thats pretty clever actually, it looks like a simple idea, but not so simple to set up. however it does get some cool shots, good vid terry!

Very nice. That setup is very common filming technique. Glad thats its finally making it to unicycle vids.

The mroe professional setups can be controlled, speedwise, and programmed to slow down and speed up on its own.

The coker shots were my favorite. Same with when the camera was behind you.

That was awsome! I wondered how you did that until 3:16, we can see the cables on the tree. It was really awsome, it’s now one of my favorite videos:)

cool one Terry! would be fun to see more pics of the actual setup too.