Shooting Inside A Car : Less Dangerous Than It Sounds

Hey! I know I usually use this space for complaining, but I've been meaning to write this up and comic Mike Brown (http://www.ohthatmikebrown.com/) reminded me since he's working on a comedy road doc this summer. So I'm going to put it all here, maybe it can help you too!

Ok, so....you want to have decent video inside of your car.
But you don't have a ton of $$$ for fancy rigs. What's the best solution to produce nice video and get all the occupants of the vehicle?

1) This assumes you have an iPhone (or similar smartphone)...as long as it has decent camera for video it'll work. Make sure you have enough room in memory, and that you have the video settings on the highest quality. I'm using an iPhone in this example but you can look for cases/mounts that fit something else without much trouble.

2) Buy a clear, semi-flexible case. Get a cheap one, you're going to Frankenstein it up a bit. I use this one: https://www.amazon.com/iPhone-Flexible-Absorption-Crystal-Durable/dp/B00NDA27SM

3) Get an Olloclip, a special attachment for phones to take wide-angle images (and it comes with macro options, but you'll want to use the wide-angle and fisheye lenses for this if you want to capture more than the driver on your videos...the clip has 4 options) https://www.amazon.com/olloclip-iPhone-Silver-Black-OCEU-IPH6-FW2M-SB/dp/B00Q5GUXEQ

4) Cut out a section of your clear phone case with a sharp eXacto blade (see photos below)....to make an open edge where you can still slide the Olloclip onto your phone....it won't go onto a phone with a case on it except their proprietary zillion dollar one, so this is the 14 dollar hack method. Buy the fancy branded one if you're some kinda hell damn ass king!
You can make an outline over saran wrap around the olloclip and then place that over your case so you know exactly what to cut out, if you're keeping it MacGyver. 

5) Get two "Nite Ize" kits.....get the one that has a magnetic ring meant to stick on the back of an iPad (don't get the iPhone one...it's smaller so it's not as stable)....it comes with a pedestal mount you can ALSO stick on your dashboard as a bonus mount option for when you don't need to get the backseat passengers. https://www.amazon.com/Nite-Ize-Steelie-Pedestal-Magnetic/dp/B00BAQKROW 
THEN order the mount ball piece they sell separately for the phone. https://www.amazon.com/Nite-Ize-Steelie-Dash-Component/dp/B00HC2FB5I

6) Attach the magnetic ring to the center back of your clear phone case. It comes with powerful adhesive backing but I also used Gorilla superglue because phones are fuckin expensive.

IMPORTANT NOTE: *IF* you keep this case on all the time like I do, then *KNOW* this magnet will destroy your debit card in a second if they're in the same pocket. I carry all my cards in a metal business card holder and that keeps them from being wiped out, I can even stick my wallet to my phone to form one dense brick of things I can't afford to lose. But that was after a rough first 72 hours when I first bought it and wiped out all my cards. Here's something similar to the metal case...it's actually great, you never lose your wallet because you always hear it if you drop it -  https://www.amazon.com/Blocking-Credit-Aibesser-Stainless-business/dp/B01M6C0VAG

7) Attach the metal ball to some part of your rearview mirror....I use the upper left corner so as to not block my use of the mirror. In some vehicles other spots may be favorable but in mine only this one captures the whole car. The adhesive pad held fine so far, no superglue.

8) Put the case on your phone, put the olloclip on your phone with the wideangle lens in place, and put the case up to the mirror. The magnetic ring should snap itself right onto the ball mount. You can record in 'selfie' mode, or you can flip the phone around in the case (and cut a square out so you can press "record") to run it from the other side's camera.

Note: since I did this, they've come out with THIS magnificent little number, which could maybe replace the case/magnetic ring combo by itself.....you'd just need to add the steelie ball to your mirror. You still might need to cut a section out of your own phone case so the olliclip would fit though. (Unless you're running around rawdogging your iPhone which you should NOT do because, again, phones are fuckin expensive.)  https://www.amazon.com/Nite-Ize-Steelie-FreeMount-Component/dp/B01JJP5MUY

That's the whole shebang! There's a few photos below to help clear up questions. Holler at me on twitter or katburdick.com if you like this or you have other options you like even better!

ily, gfy, 

Kat B

Figure A: The clear case with the olliclip area cut out and the iPad mount superglued to the center. 

Figure A: The clear case with the olliclip area cut out and the iPad mount superglued to the center. 

Figure B: The metal ball attached to the mirror. 

Figure B: The metal ball attached to the mirror. 

Figure C: The iPhone in it's own mirror selfie. How poignant. 

Figure C: The iPhone in it's own mirror selfie. How poignant. 

Figure Deez Nuts: From the "selfie" side this is what your shooting option angles are....without the clip, with the wide-angle and with the fisheye. Fisheye gets your whole car. 

Figure Deez Nuts: From the "selfie" side this is what your shooting option angles are....without the clip, with the wide-angle and with the fisheye. Fisheye gets your whole car. 

This is using the fisheye olloclip with the extra pedestal holder taped onto the dashboard. 

This is using the fisheye olloclip with the extra pedestal holder taped onto the dashboard. 

Using the regular camera with the pedestal taped on the dashboard. 

Using the regular camera with the pedestal taped on the dashboard. 

Wide-angle olloclip from the pedestal mount. 

Wide-angle olloclip from the pedestal mount.