This is just going to be a short one.
When KCRA news shooters at are assigned to head “up to the hill” into the mountains to cover the winter snows, in addition to our new stories, we always shoot weather video — footage of the highways to show weather and road conditions.
We typically shoot these one of two ways:
- Holding an iPhone up to the windshield and recording 30-seconds or so of video. Or:
- Exit at Cisco Grove, where there is an overpass, set it up on a tripod and shoot various telephoto shots of cars driving eastbound and westbound on the highway.
NOTE: From Sacramento there are only two ways into the mountains:
1) Interstate 80, which takes us to Truckee, and Boreal and all the other ski resorts; and
2) Highway 50, the southern route that winds through the mountains, on mostly two single lanes, up to South Lake Tahoe.
I’ve done both of these hundreds of times, in the past few weeks lately I’ve started doing something different.
I’ve started shooting this footage using the GoPro Hero 3+, which my marvelous sister (and fellow photographer & author) Margo Carroll sent me last year, and which I’ve been using as my primary B-roll camera for news, and blogging about over the past year.
I recently did a story that took me up to Truckee, 120 miles due east of Sacramento, at the border with Nevada, which is also famous as being the movie location where Charlie Chaplin made The Gold Rush in 1925.
In order to fill the frame, I waited until I got to an interesting stretch of highway where there were rows of tall, snow-Laden trees either side of the highway, then started rolling for 30-seconds to two-minutes.
On arriving in Truckee, I pulled over in a gas station, loaded the GoPro footage into my KCRA-issued laptop, selected a nice minute-long section of driving footage, then emailed it back to the station, where it was used in the 5 o’clock news.
This time I shot all of my road condition footage, using the GoPro Hero 3+, affixed by suction cup to the inside front windshield, upside down and shooting forward. Using the GoPro iPhone app, I monitored what the GoPro was shooting and could remotely start and stop the footage.
Attached is the clip of the footage that area in the 5 o’clock news, as well as some longer driving footage shot from the GoPro to illustrate the beauty of a single continuous driving shot can come back conveyed in vain. I find it sort of hypnotizing.
The wide perspective that the GoPro captures I find to be incredibly dynamic, invoking memories of big, 70mm widescreen movies or Cinerama. I am reminded of the experience I had when I saw How The West Was Won in three-strip Cinerama at the CineramaDome in Los Angeles a few years back. As well as seeing Patton as a teenager in its original 7 mm roadshow release in Dimension-150 on the huge curved Cinerama screen.
Just another impressive way of using the $299 GoPro Hero 3+ as a working TV news camera.
The GoPro is a powerhouse camera that is accessible to anybody, even right off the shelf at Costco, to use and start making their own movies.
Once again—Bravo, GoPro! Bravo!!!