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How We Built Our First Car Rig feat. DP Chris Ray

Just like everything else in the industry, building a car rig depends entirely on the needs of the shoot. Some shots don’t need much maneuverability, while some shots need complete 3-dimensional movement. That’s when you start seeing Russian Arms and other monstrosities mounted to car hoods for those awesome car-to-car shoots.

But those are usually reserved for the big jobs. What about something that any owner/op can easily afford and install? That’s where Chris Ray (@chrisrayfilms), freelance DP based in Los Angeles, decided to test the new car mount designed by Kessler : the KillShock. He shares what he mounted to the rig, and why this is a game changer for follow cams.

A Better Follow Cam

“I saw on Instagram that Kessler came out with a new car mount that was at such a good price, I knew we had to try it out. So Martin Fobes and I made the road trip to NAB a bit of a self project. We mounted the KillShock on my Toyota Tacoma with the goal to test it on the Las Vegas Strip and make a reel of our shots.”

“People have reached out to me for other follow cam workflows like motorcycle shoots, but mostly what Martin and I are known for are skateboard stuff. I can’t go 30 MPH on a skateboard. I’m inspired by the stuff that Ty Evans [DP based in Los Angeles] does, and having a car rig in my arsenal would really improve what I can offer to clients. Even when I’m just driving with my family through the mountains, I was always thinking of how we can really capture the views all around us. So I reached out to Michael Sutton at Kessler, who also came out to NAB and gave us some major tips on how to mount/shoot with the KillShock.”

Our Car Setup

KillShock - It works by using interchangeable shock modules that make it super resistant to any micro vibrations from the vehicle. It comes with the top and bottom plate and a set of standard Red shock modules, with additional  options for mounting the gimbal and camera. I mount it to my truck with the 12” suction base from Kessler, some ratchet straps and safety wire.

Ronin 2 - You still have to have a gimbal on there for the RED Helium, so we used Martin's Ronin 2 with the Ronin 2 remote controller in the car. Martin and I would switch off driving and operating, and monitoring from a SmallHD 703 Bolt.

Teradek Bolt 1000 XT - The only way to get video from the camera outside to us in the truck is with Bolt. We’re watching the feed from the 703 Bolt and operating from the MoVI controller in real time.

Wooden Camera Revolva Top Plate - I run the KipperTie with internal ND filters, and in order to run that, I have to have this top plate on the RED.

Wooden Camera V-Lock Wedge Kit - With this car setup, we didn’t want the Bolt 1000 XT mounted to an arm because we can’t have anything sticking out farther than the wind can catch. With the V-lock, we mounted the Bolt on the side of the RED securely so it’s not protruding in any way.

Other Accessories

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