Lisa Rinzler: Rough Terrain & Camera Cars

From American Cinematographer, Culture Clash by Vincent LoBrutto (February 1999)

"The Dry Season took place predominately on a moving cyclo, but in Vietnam there's no such thing as a Shotmaker truck. Instead, we used a Jeep with bad shocks — or seemingly no shocks at all — as a camera car. The streets of Ho Chi Minh City can be potholed and bumpy. A cyclo is approximately 8' long, and the camera lens on our Jeep was approximately 12' from the actors. As a result, we were forced to use a 75mm or 100mm lens for close-ups — lenses that are, quite frankly, too long for unsteady moving-vehicle shots with dialogue. Bumpy footage would have distracted from the story, so we brought in Will Arnot on Steadicam to minimize the bumpiness of the roads. Another time, we used the Steadicam to create a makeshift crane, since the only one available to us was ancient, unsafe, and too heavy to move onto location. We created a rig which allowed the operator to simply walk down a ladder, creating a cranelike effect."

- Lisa Rinzler

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