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Rig Shots 7: Rig shots are not for the foolhardy


John Jovic

Rig shots are not for the squeamish, clumsy or foolhardy. You are risking damaging a car every single time you attach any kind of rig to it so you need to decide if this is a risk you wish to take. You may have, and should have, third party liability insurance but this doesn't make it OK to damage a car. In some cases Insurance cover distinguishes between moving and stationary vehicles so you may not be covered in the event of a mishap with a rig! Vacuum cups can also damage paint surfaces, although it's not common, so are you really going to attach them to a prize winning paint surface with the owner sweating bullets behind you? On the other hand a 'journo' or 'press' car supplied by a manufacturer for a road test can have all manner of indignities thrown at it. After all, that's what they're there for.

If you are not confident in your ability or you simply do not have any understanding, knowledge or experience using rigs or car mounts then you need to consider if they are even something you wish to use as there often other less risky alternatives.

If you attach a rig or boom to an under body then you may risk damaging any suspension components if any of them move or rub on the rig. If you are using vacuum cups on paint/panels then you risk scuffing, scratching, or even denting the paint surface or panel. You may even be risking breaking a windscreen or window if attaching vacuum cups to glass.

You may even accidentally hit a stationary object with the boom or rig, or another car or vehicle might even hit your rig if they don't see it.

Have you taken every precaution that you can? The points below are just a few of the considerations you have to make every time you plan a rig shot.

* Is the location safe and free of people or vehicular traffic?
* Is the road surface smooth enough to reduce rig vibration, and therefore stress on the car?
* Are all of the rig components in proper working order, eg suction cups are clean and free from any faults, damage or scratches?
* Are surfaces where suction cups are to be attached dry, clean and free of any dust or other contaminants?
* Are you confident with the person or people who are helping you to attach the rig?
* Is the rig attached such that it might fall off if any of the vacuum cups give way, ie does it need constant hand holding/support?
* Are the surfaces where suction cups will be fitted strong enough to support the weight of the entire rig?
* Will the brakes on the car operate if the engine is not running?
* If the engine will be running during the shoot, will it shake so wildly that it might shake the rig off (such as in a burnout shot)?
* Do you trust the driver to follow your instructions?
* Can the driver hear you and your instructions if the engine is running?

If the answer to any of the above questions is a cause for concern then DO NOT PROCEED. The above is by no means a comprehensive list, it's just food for thought.


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