A couple of weeks ago, Matt, a member of our PR team, asked us if he could borrow a CERO One bike for a video shoot he was working on. We’re always curious about what different people might use their e-cargo bikes for!* Afterwards, we asked him to write about his experience:
Let’s start with the problem: I had a bike shoot, on closed, gravel roads. There was no car access — and my director had 50 lbs of equipment to lug out to five different locations, including one at the top of a long, steep, 10% grade hill. And: the director wanted to shoot motion. On the dirt.
I’m a producer in Los Angeles: the city of filmmaking magic. A week before the shoot: I needed some magic of my own. A friend sent me a photo of a recent shoot he’d produced in similar circumstances, with the director riding an electric bike, hand-holding a camera precipitously off the side as the talent rode alongside. It was impressive — and looked dangerous. We could do better.
As fate would have it, I drove past CERO the next day, on my way home. I checked out their site. A photo captioned S.U.V. (Super Utility Vehicle) showed their cargo e-bike (https://cero.bike/cero-one/), loaded with Pelican cases. It glimmered on my laptop screen. It was magic.
I borrow one for the shoot, and installed two platform racks (https://cero.bike/product/the-platform/) and bought a fistful of automotive bungees. We tested driving the e-bike the day before the shoot, balancing the load between the front and rear platforms. We also tested it with the director on the back, holding the gimbal. Neighbors took photos as we rolled by. What ingenuity! What convenience! What balance!
Shoot day, the bike stole the show. With multiple locations down dusty, hard-packed dirt roads, the CERO rolled down the path with ease. We’d pack up the camera and lenses in their cases, bungee them down, ride to a location, unpack, shoot, and pack up again. With a half-dozen locations on the docket, each a good distance from the last, the time save was enormous. And, the bike rode steady, battery strong, all day.
For motion shots, the director mounted the rear platform and held the gimbal tight. A second rider steered and pedaled. This is “advanced” S.U.V.-ing, but it worked — and it landed us shots we would have never been able to capture without the e-bike.
The CERO One provided the magic of movie making for our dirt road debacle. As a transportation solution for cameras and lenses, it was stunning. As a mobile shooting device, it was lifesaving. As a sturdy, well-built machine, going where cars cannot go — it was our strongest asset in production.
Photos taken by Re Wikstrom.
* a CERO safety note: we love that our bike provided our friends with such a creative solution for their shoot, but we do not recommend having people riding on the rear rack of the bike (nor riding without a helmet).