360 Camera Accessories 360 Camera Techniques

How to create a cinematic car video with a DIY camera car rig — no camera crew needed! (Bushman monopod review)

Want cinematic car shots? Learn how to create a DIY camera car and low cost chase car camera rig that anyone can assemble in 2 minutes!

Cinematic car shots usually require a chase car with a customized rig that cost thousands of dollars. You’ll also need a camera crew, at least a driver for the camera car and a cameraman to control the camera rig.

But it’s possible to get cinematic car shots by yourself! In this video, I’ll show you how to shoot cinematic car shots that look like they were shot by a chase car, by yourself, with a cheap custom car rig.  A custom camera car rig normally costs thousands of dollars.  For this setup however, the cost of the mount is around $290 (excluding the camera).

Bushman monopod

Bushman monopod
Bushman monopod
Bushman monopod for 360 cameras
Bushman monopod for 360 cameras

The Bushman monopod is one of the longest monopods I have, at about 60 inches long.  It collapses to about 18 inches, similar to other midsized monopods such as the Manfrotto Compact Extreme.

The Bushman has 4 segments that are collapsed through twist-locks.

It is very slim yet sturdy, and appears to be made of aluminum or an aluminum alloy.  It is not as stiff as the Kodak monopod, but it is one of the sturdiest monopods I have.  It is strong enough to support a relatively heavy camera such as the GoPro Fusion without much flex even when fully extended.

Bushman monopod for 360 cameras
Bushman monopod for 360 cameras

Its narrow width allows the Bushman monopod to disappear when attached to any 360 camera, even slim ones such as the Insta360 One X, Xiaomi Mi Sphere or Ricoh Theta V.

I also like the fact that the last segment can be pivoted freely, allowing you to rotate the camera (e.g. to reposition the stitch line) without moving the tripod.

Counterweights for Bushman monopod
Counterweights for Bushman monopod

The Bushman monopod includes a stand and counterweight.  By itself, the stand is not very wide, but the counterweight gives it enough stability for any consumer camera.  At the same time, because the stand is narrow, it takes up only a small part of the nadir, making it easy to patch it.

Bushman monopod stand
Bushman monopod stand

How to create cinematic car shots with the Bushman

In this post, I’ll show you how to use the Bushman for cinematic car shots using a 360 camera.  In this example, I used the Insta360 One X (reviewed here), an affordable stabilized 360 camera and 3PV camera that can capture a third person view, but it works with any stabilized 360 camera.

The Bushman monopod has an accessory called the Popeye, a powerful magnetic mount.   It has a 3.5-inch diameter and is covered in rubber to avoid scratches and to increase friction.  According to Bushman, the Popeye can hold up to 45 kg.

The Bushman Popeye and Monopod can be used with a stabilized 360 camera to get chase car vehicle shots, as shown in the video.

Bushman monopod and Popeye for chase car / camera car
Bushman monopod and Popeye for chase car / camera car

The Bushman monopod and Popeye can also be used for shots through the windshield or window:

Bushman monopod and Popeye can be used to capture videos through the windshield or window
Bushman monopod and Popeye can be used to capture videos through the windshield or window

In addition, you can use the Popeye to capture videos of your car itself, similar to the view of a camera car or chase car.   To do this, you’ll need to put the camera farther in front of the car.  I used a long selfie stick called the 106-inch long Telesin selfie stick (also sold by Insta360 as the Extended Selfie Stick).

Bushman Popeye attached to the door with side mirror as fulcrum
Bushman Popeye attached to the door with side mirror as fulcrum

However, the Telesin will bend, so to strengthen it, I used two of them, bound by zip ties.  (I think a third one could make it even stronger.)  With the zip ties clipped, and the rubber collar at the tip of the Telesin moved down, the mount looks almost invisible to 360 cameras.

Cinematic car shots with DIY camera car / chase car camera rig
Cinematic car shots with DIY camera car / chase car camera rig

Here is what the video looks like from a 360 camera (motion blur effect applied with Insta360 One X).

Car selfie: third person view car videos
Car selfie: third person view car videos

 

Materials list:
* Insta360 One X (available here) or choose a 360 camera with the 360 camera buying guide.
* Bushman monopod and Popeye and extra counterweight bundle.  Use discount code 360rumors
* Bushman monopod without Popeye.  Use discount code 360rumors
* Bushman Popeye  Use discount code 360rumors
* Telesin selfie stick
* Manfrotto super clamp

Got other shots that you want to try with this rig?  Let me know in the comments below!