Getting the shot: Fat Gecko Kaboom
Coming up with innovative or unusual shots that stand out from the crowd can be a real head-scratcher, especially when you’re on a budget. I’m always on the look out for interesting ideas to add something different to my footage and I recently found something pretty cool.
This is the bizarrely named Fat Gecko Kaboom from Delkin Devices, a Company who seem to mostly make memory cards. Essentially it’s a carbon fibre, spinning GoPro mount. I had seen it used on a couple of YouTube videos, so decided to grab one and give it a try.
I knew just the person to try it with, Cristina Palmer, a Moto-X phenom from Scotland, an 11-year-old superstar in the making. We were shooting at a beach near her home and aside from the freezing cold temperature, it was a beautiful day. We were shooting with an FS7 and an FS5 and had a couple of interviews and a few bike shots in the bag. I already had some nice close-ups of the bike riding shot on GoPro from previous shoots and I had grabbed a few nice drone passes while the wind was calm. With 20 minutes left before wrap we decided to give the Kaboom a try.
It was rather comical to mount onto the helmet but no trouble. Cristina is always a trooper and happy to indulge our crazy shooting ideas, so she was happy to give this a go. We were using a GoPro Hero 6 Black, linked to my iPhone. We tried various settings but I generally prefer a manual set-up with flat picture style, locked ISO and, if needed, a clip on ND filter.
So the good points. Well firstly, it works! It’s simple and quick to set up, no messing about and it’s easy to stick in a bag and take with you. It’s so lightweight so that didn’t bother Cristina too much either.
It’s cheap, £50-£60, so was worth a bash. Most importantly, it can get some cracking results, the kind that will have your friends asking “How did you do that?”.
On the down side. It’s obviously just designed for a GoPro so don’t imagine you can mount your A7sii on there. It’s awkward too, depending on how long you set the carbon fibre rod. It can be a weird feeling and takes a little getting used to for the rider. It creates shadows in the footage and could be a real distraction for the rider, boarder or whoever fancies giving it a go.
The biggest challenge tho is obvious… it’s totally random! It spins then stops, goes one way then the other, sometimes fast and sometime slow. If you’re a control freak and need the shot to look exactly right then this might be the most infuriating gizmo ever built. For us on this shoot, though, it was great fun. Watching the footage back after a short ride we were thrilled with the moments when it worked.
This is exactly the kind of fun, unusual thinking that, for me, keeps GoPros as an essential part of my shooting kit. Punctuating my edits with dynamic, fun moments that catch the eye is really satisfying. It’s a gimmick, sure, but a cheap, easy-to-use and certainly unusual one.