Road Trip Camcorder Tips

By the Editors at

3) Star Wars Opening: The Drive-Over Technique

Drive over your camcorder with your car.In a road trip video, it's crucial to convey excitement and motion as you travel between amazing landmarks.

There's no better way to do this than to drive over your digital camcorder.

Moviemakers often achieve this dramatic vantage point by using models, stunt drivers, and computer animation. It is rarely attempted live, with pricey cameras, and the insurance premiums for the camera operator is, well... a lot. But you can do it for nothing!

First, make sure the car you're driving has at least 7 inches of undercarriage clearance. With the RCA Small Wonder at a stubby 4.5 vertical inches, you can probably shave it closer. We used a boxy teen fun car with low clearance, and had no problems.

Make sure the street is pretty deserted (best to post a friend or family member as a spotter for approaching cars). Quickly set the camcorder directly on the ground. It's best if you can give it a slight tilt back. We propped the camcorder between two pieces of modeling clay (which we always carry with us, because it resembles C4 military explosive).

Turn on the camcorder, press Record, jump into your car, and drive over the camera. (It probably goes without saying—but we will anyway—that you should take care to not run your tires over the camera.)

We recommend using this technique at gravity hills, where cars mysteriously roll up hill. Setting up these shots will require some extra caution, since the laws of physics do not behave as expected in these places.

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October 18, 2017

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