boxedfox New Reader
3/29/18 1:26 a.m.

During last weekend's test day, I ran an experiment to see if there was something I could do to make my in-car videos more exciting and interesting looking. The hope was that I could use the footage to get some guys from the local car club to try some DEs or auto-x's.

The experiment was a failure. The footage was so disappointing that I ended up making a self-denigrating youtube video out of it just to cheer myself up.


In all seriousness though, I need help from the experts. I know there's exciting looking in-car video out there and I know it doesn't take a million dollar camera crew to make it happen. What do I need to do to make in-car video that people will actually watch?

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
3/29/18 7:04 a.m.

whatever your goal was, I have to say that was a pretty fun video!

I hate the videos that have music anyway. I'd rather hear the engine.

I'm going to be autocrossing this weekend for the first time, also will be setting up my camera this morning for the drive into work to begin experimenting with camera placement.

This is a good choice for a topic.

RossD MegaDork
3/29/18 7:36 a.m.

Have two or more cameras in the car. Maybe one on your feet. One on your hands. Another on your face. One watching the dash. A second view out of the car looking in a different direction. Think production value. Even if you fake it. That might be entertaining. Like a quick cut to you using the pedals and you're wearing cleats (because you took the video at home). Same with the shifter b-roll; have your wife with long painted finger nails 'act' in it. Then cut those clips into your actual car footage.

On the shot that is looking out the windshield, make the windshield the majority of the frame. Too much black interior making the focus of the video only a small part of the field of vision. 

OHSCrifle Dork
3/29/18 5:44 p.m.

You could crash into stuff

Run_Away HalfDork
3/29/18 5:46 p.m.

Or drive nearby people crashing stuff.

Russian dashcam compilations on YouTube are great.

Woody MegaDork
3/29/18 5:54 p.m.

You could drive the same car at the same pace through school zones, the drive-thru at Taco Bell, maybe a golf course...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/29/18 5:59 p.m.

My favorite is always Squirrel Cam.


This was shot with a single camera, but I moved it to a different location for every run and cut it together. It's a lot more work and I'm not sure it's any more exciting, but with more talent it could be effective. The opening pans are still shots.


nutherjrfan SuperDork
4/21/18 12:16 a.m.

the 360 rotating cameras I first saw during the 90s being used by the BTCC to show you passing or being passed and I've saw occasionally years ago during NASCAR races. smiley

Jere Dork
5/13/18 2:47 p.m.

Those reaction videos with scantily clad women in the front passenger seats seem to have a lot of hits on YouTube.... I think that means you might need to do a few laps in a bikini devil


I Like low views outside the car that show the road and the front tires turning the best. If you are fast then a view of the cars you are passing is good too


But as already mentioned no music please! (I would have played Keiths video for more than 4 seconds if Weezer or whoever wasn't blowing full blast frown  

snailmont5oh HalfDork
5/18/18 9:31 p.m.
Jere said:


But as already mentioned no music please! (I would have played Keiths video for more than 4 seconds if Weezer or whoever wasn't blowing full blast frown  

That's Blur. 

Vigo UltimaDork
6/17/18 5:51 p.m.

I dunno if i'm weird but my brain does a good job filling in the blanks and making me feel like im in the car when i see in car vids. They're all pretty thrilling to me. Some types of videos (in car rally racing crashes, for example) can give me slight jitters. I even experience physical effects of falling or looking off of cliffs in video games. I guess i'm lucky.

I guess the other side of the coin is i generally dislike TV shows because they usually depict terrible berkeleying people that make me mad even though they're 'fake'. I feel like there are enough terrible people in real life that watching made up ones on TV is masochistic. Maybe i just have an overactive empathy gland. But it works for car videos! 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
6/17/18 7:54 p.m.

I got five of my six autocross runs on video yesterday. I have a hero 4 on a roll bar mount. Didn't get the last run where I knocked 3 seconds off my time, camera wouldn't start. sad

My problem is that the car has limousine level of window tint (not my choice, the work of the previous owner). That makes it really dark in the car, so the windshield is totally washed out (overexposure). Since we had torrential rains, I didn't put the windows down. 

ProDarwin PowerDork
6/17/18 8:33 p.m.
Floating Doc said:

 I have a hero 4 wouldn't start. sad

Sounds normal.

boxedfox Reader
10/14/18 7:07 p.m.

Thanks to everyone's ideas and feedback, I've been able to make some progress on making some of my in-car videos more lively and interesting. And in the spirit of giving back, I've compiled some of the easier tips into a video tutorial.

Take a look:

DOs and DON'Ts of onboard video Stabilization on YouTube

Of course, comments and ideas are still greatly appreciated. I'm planning to make another one of these videos using all of the other ideas that didn't fit into this video.

Stefan MegaDork
10/14/18 7:18 p.m.

Capture data via your phone and integrate it into your videos.  

I use RaceRender with TrackAddict to capture data via an OBD2 adapter, but it will capture g-loads and speed for non-obd cars.

TNiA PIR Session #2 (embedding video via mobile is borked apparently)

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Dork
10/14/18 9:06 p.m.

I've given up on the action cameras. GoPro 4, too unreliable to even bother, and the Akaso ultra 4k shuts off if it's hot. In the summer time at an autocross in Central Florida, it's hot!

I really would benefit from being able to review my runs, but there's no budget right now for another camera, and I don't know what to buy.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/14/18 9:16 p.m.
snailmont5oh said:
Jere said:


But as already mentioned no music please! (I would have played Keiths video for more than 4 seconds if Weezer or whoever wasn't blowing full blast frown  

That's Blur. 

To address this months later... 

if you're cutting a video together out of multiple camera shots and they're not all the same run, it's tough to keep the audio synched without it sounding choppy or wrong. I've tried that with an Exocet track video, and it's weird to hear tires chirping on painted curbs when the driver is a foot away from them. You often get very different sound quality from different camera positions, and with the exterior ones they're often just wind noise. You can get over this with multiple cameras and a separate audio recording. The first costs money, the second is a good idea but does require editing to overlay it.

Also, "full blast" depends on the volume of your computer :) By giving up after 4 seconds instead of turning down the volume and continuing to watch, you missed the actual engine noises that are mixed in and you're missing the entire point I was trying to prove with the multiple angles. You did prove that apparently you have only four seconds to grab someone by the short and curlies, even if the video is one that is recommended in order to show something in particular.

Stefan MegaDork
10/14/18 9:19 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc :

Maybe add a little shade to its mount?

or maybe an ice pack between runs?

the battery pack is probably hitting thermal shutoff, so keep it cool and it will be happier.

i used a cheap 4K action cam with replaceable batteries and it’s survived a couple of hot summer days.

boxedfox Reader
10/14/18 10:13 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc :

+1 to Stefan's advice.

Did your camera come with an open / skeleton case? Or does someone make one that fits? I've found that the cheaper action cams tend to run hotter, and that using a skeleton case can keep them cooler.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Dork
10/14/18 11:23 p.m.

It does have a skeleton case, hadn't used it since it has a screw type tripod mount instead of the GoPro type mount. Good suggestion, though. I'll look for an adapter.

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