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How to LEGALLY record POVs?

Discussion in 'General Discussions & Opinions' started by TLARides, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. TLARides

    TLARides Member

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    So me and two of my friends have started a roller coaster YouTube channel.

    One day, all three of us went to Kings Island. I brought my GoPro, which was "secured" with a nice thing of twine around my neck, and we went straight to Flight of Fear.

    It was the start of the day, so no one was in line. I get into the front seat line, start up my camera and just as the gates open, the operator says...

    "It is against Ohio law to bring cameras onto a ride."

    Well, s**t. There goes our chance at recording POVs.

    But when I go to watch POVs of the CF channel, ECG seems to have no problems with recording POVs.

    So I've gotta ask, how do I record POVs without being arrested by state police?

    Sent from my LG-TP260 using Tapatalk
     
  2. CanobieFan

    CanobieFan Well-Known Member

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    I'll just go out and make the assumption that is not against the law to bring a camera on a roller coaster in Ohio but rather there is probably some law requiring guests to follow rules set aside by the park. Therefore the park says no cameras on ride and that makes it the law. Much like the law Mount Olympus had about Cyclops and needing to be 18 or older to ride in the back row. (Omgz my friend was only 17 at the time we visited!!)

    As far as legally obtaining on ride videos. Most parks now just don't allow it.. but will provide one upon request or during certain media event will allow mounted cameras. As far as CoasterForce videos go, I've been led to believe that the site (mostly @ECG ) makes prior arrangements with parks to film either before or after park operating. But maybe he could chime in with more information on that end.

    Places like Disney don't seem to care at all about riders using cameras. At SeaWorld and Busch Gardens as long as you have the chest mounted GoPro, they will let you on. The thing is.... now there are so many videos of every single coaster and so many super high-quality and professionally done ones, there really isn't the need for amateur on ride videos. Anything you can think of I'm sure you can find already on YouTube. Do we really need a 900th video of Adventure Express at Kings Island? What would yours bring to the table that we haven't already seen? And why would I want to watch yours rather than say.... a park supplied mounted view?
     
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  3. TLARides

    TLARides Member

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    We just thought it'd be fun to do it. I don't really care that there's thousands of Millennium Force POVs, and neither do my friends. So why not?

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  4. ATI

    ATI Spammer of the Year & Most Improved Member 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

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    ECG where you at?
     
  5. tomahawk

    tomahawk Moderator Staff Member Moderator Social Media Team

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    Or just don't do it? It's a safety hazard and if you lose your grip, it can easily hit the person behind you. Besides it will probably come out all shakey. How about you just enjoy the ride and not film a video you may watch two times in your life.

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  6. TLARides

    TLARides Member

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    We're doing more than just POVs, so what you're suggesting is an option.

    My friends won't go for it, but I'll consider.

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  7. Coaster Hipster

    Coaster Hipster Well-Known Member

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    That's actually something I wanted to discuss for a while.

    I use a chest belt GoPro bought on the official website. I never sneak my camera onto the ride and always make it obvious to the ride ops. I usually, if not always, ask the park for permission beforehand. In my mail or Facebook message, I make sure to point out several things:

    - I have a secured GoPro
    - If necessary, I am ready to get my recording material checked by competent upper level staff
    - I am flexible and am willing to get a little before opening/after closure to film the ride if the park doesn't want me to use my GoPro onride with the public around
    - Showing some positive attitude and desire to make some free advertising/word-of-mouth for the park. Show sincere appreciation for the park in general and good faith. You must be a responsible enthusiast, not a naïve one that does not care about the park's rules or public safety!


    Now, this doesn't always go my way and some park told me no. But I deal with it and try my best with the off-ride footage - which is much more burdenous to record in my limited experience. Energylandia was such a case, no cameras allowed on-ride at all, but the super-quick ride ops and quality of the park still made me enjoy my day. In any event, I respect the park's decision and want to act in good faith no matter what.


    I know some openly wonder why bother filming "shaky" on-ride POV that put other people in danger. I want to share my opinion on that recurring statement. I've been legally recording on-rides with my chest GoPro for about a year now, and I can tell the stability of the videos are really decent if you do it right. It might not look like the camera is attached to the train, but there are actually little uncontrolled shaky movements. I might post some of my Lech Coaster footage here to put my point to the test.

    Onto the serious and sometimes sadly overlooked issue of security. Tbh, I strongly disapprove the use of loose cameras/phones/objects on any coaster. Hitting flying solid object at 100km/h (62 mph) is not just scary, but frankly life-threatening. Having said that, does a chest GoPro still classify as a "loose camera"? I have not heard of a chest GoPro belt failing and coming loose on a coaster yet, and big park chains such as SeaWorld/Busch allowed such GoPro belts on their coasters after extensive testing. Still though, I believe that while the technology hasn't failed yet (to my best knowledge), the most potent risk lies in the human failings and misuse of said technology. The chest GoPro might be designed to handle forces greater than Skyrush and I305 combined, but it is worryingly easy for an excited rider to forget to properly lock the belt or the GoPro protection case. That's especially true when operations are quick and you feel obliged to rush. While I trust the chest belt, I will honestly admit reckless use of the material can end up very badly.

    Now, many wonder why some people want to film on-ride POVs while so many others, including excellent ones filmed by experienced goons or professionals are already out there. One reason is video rights. Coaster Youtubers want to use on-ride stuff to illustrate their point or commentary and using other people's footage is a hazardous path (and understandably so) given Youtube's copyright policy. Many "opponents" of amateur on-ride POVs argue that people can still film off-ride footage, and while this is true, I realized over a year how far more time-consuming this can be. You have to be crafty and patient to get all the good spots to catch all the elements of a coaster, or at least the main features of it. Sometimes some parts of the coaster aren't in sight at all, it depends from time to time. Recording off-ride can even get longer because operations are very slow while you have to mix several laps of the coaster to show the layout in its entirety. Off-rides are generally doable and I find them underrated and quite valuable indeed, but for all the reasons above, I understand why many people would just like to film on-ride.

    Of course security concerns are entirely legitimate, and I frankly think people filming on-ride, especially newcomers, should be careful and consider very seriously the consequences of misused on-ride cameras. I just want to give my insight as why I do the GoPro stuff, and my short experience based on it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  8. GigaG

    GigaG Member

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    At Adventuredome, as of 2015, the signs around most rides don't mention cameras, and the ride op informed me that basically every ride there except El Loco can be filmed (including Canyon Blaster) on-ride. While I usually don't trust ride ops when they say you can film (sometimes they don't care when the policy says no filming), the fact that the signs don't mention it either except on El Loco backed his statement. That is the only park I've been to that allows filming on most rides.
     
  9. Mack

    Mack Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it is against Ohio law -- operator just wanted to give a quick answer that the public would easily understand and would be less likely to argue with than a park policy.

    If you must record POVs, you should arrange with the park beforehand. Like before you go. Otherwise, it's just too much of a safety hazard. Also, the policy is not up to the operator. If they're going to allow it, it's going to be higher up the chain of command that they agree to let you film. So if you want to do it without breaking any rules or laws, clear it with the park before you go. If the park will not clear it, please do not argue with the operator. We do not make the rules. @Coaster Hipster has the right approach. If the park is going to let you film, that decision is going to lie with the upper-level rides staff and if they consider it they will likely want to see the setup you plan on using.

    I know, I know, your GoPro is secure, but the owners of the hundreds of shattered GoPros in the bin and wall of shame also said theirs was secure. Let alone the risk of injury, I've seen keychains jam chain lifts and shut down rides for 30+ minutes because the computer throws a fault and also potential damage to the lift or one or more trains. Your GoPro wasn't even secured with the right equipment. But it doesn't matter. There is no such thing as a "secured GoPro" and I can prove it.

    And as it should go without saying, selfie sticks are an automatic emergency stop (even roller coasters, if someone pulls one out on the lift it is e-stopped and evacuated) on every single ride no matter what and potential ejection from the park.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
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  10. Coaster Hipster

    Coaster Hipster Well-Known Member

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    As promised, here's an on-ride POV of Lech I recorded with my chest GoPro so show you what it can deliver. There's some camera movement, especially during the insane gray-out moments of the ride, but I'll let you judge how watchable is this.
     
  11. caffeine_demon

    caffeine_demon Well-Known Member

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    I can remember when I was visiting a few years ago, the website specifically stated that it was against ohio law to film on rides, but now it just says "safety reasons".
    I sometimes wonder if parks should be more open to allowing mounted gopros etc. but I was going to film on fforest coaster with a brand new camera, and the chest mounting broke when I was putting it on...


    seriously, anyone who gets a selfie stick out on a lift hill should have it inserted where the sun don't shine..
     
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  12. Mack

    Mack Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, and it only takes one incident to injure someone and also put the park in the news. No one goes in intending to lose their GoPro, but unfortunately, they are not a 100% secure rate; therefore we have to play it safe.
     
  13. sKrATcher

    sKrATcher New Member

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    Local park by me in Idaho DOES allow cameras - they just check that it's secure. If I'm using my custom wrist mount, they say "give it a shake" to see that it's secure. The chest mount works great as well.

    I think from a liability perspective, the parks don't want to risk a guest who didn't do all they can to make sure there will not be an issue. I recently heard about some idiot that accidentally let go of his phone, it smacked another guest, and that other guest is/was in the process of suing Six Flags, not the guy that lost his phone. Sadly, it's those of us who are responsible who get punished by stupid people.

    If the park does not allow on ride video/pics, I follow the rules and never "sneak" it. Maybe some remember the guy who is 'banned from Kentucky Kingdom' for life. Not worth his fate and being banned from a park. I'd rather ride!
     
  14. Jaiden M.

    Jaiden M. New Member

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    Strangely, Universal Studios Hollywood allows POVs with a secure mount, weird since I've heard that the Orlando Park is extremely strict.
     
  15. Mack

    Mack Well-Known Member

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    The Orlando park (if including IoA) features a more intense lineup of rides than Hollywood. Dragon Challenge had 3 incidents of loose articles injuring other guests in one year, one so badly a man lost his eye. (This is why they no longer duel and have metal detectors and pockets must be completely empty or you are absolutely not riding.) When someone literally loses their eye because of another guest's loose article, yeah, it's time to stop dueling and ban any and all articles loose, allegedly secured, or that "will be fine" whatsoever.
     
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  16. lachlan

    lachlan Active Member

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    I dont understand why they can't duel them with the extra security though? Everyone's pockets are empty once they reach the station.

    Doesn't matter anymore though since they are closing soon
     
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  17. Coaster Hipster

    Coaster Hipster Well-Known Member

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    I would like to know why you've come to that uncompromising point of view. Not that I want to have an heated argument or anything, I think on the contrary that you experience as a ride op is very valuable to learn the dos and don'ts of behaving in an amusement park in general, and using cameras in particular ;) I'm asking these questions trying to keep an open mind:

    - How often GoPro devices are found under and around thrill rides? Do you also have info or educated guesses on the type of set-up those shattered GoPro were used with?
    - Is there any study or inquiry into why the camera came off? Was it an improper use of the restraint system for the GoPro, failure of the restraint itself or else?

    Like with car or plane accidents (or any tragic even involving some sort of technology or manufactured good), I believe serious inquiries and tests should be carried to make a comprehensive and fair assessment on how "secured" GoPros belts are, and the results should be made public. Some scientific evidence would carry more weight and inform the GP and goons alike of the risks, but also sturdyness of the device.


    Although (or perhaps because) I am such on-ride GoPro user - always under permission mind you -, I believe filming with those belt harnesses should be regulated, probably heavily so. In my opinion, there should be some filter out there. Not just about the type of securing device you use, but parks should check if one person understands and masters using the mount and is well aware of the risks of improper use. Some sort of "licence to film" would be a relevant idea to explore, a little bit like the policy in use at Busch Gardens parks. No restrictions at all allows for reckless usage of recording hardware which will sadly lead to an accident sooner or later. With a complete ban however, unless you're implementing extremely drastic security checks à la Universal Parks (which despite the understandable purpose does put the mood off), there's still gonna be stupid people trying to sneak cameras in. They'll probably be caught and thrown out of the park for good reason, and I join in disapproval of that behavior. But even though the vast majority of ride operators are efficient and professional, detecting someone sneaking a phone or a camera isn't that easy when your main task is to ensure the wait times aren't too long - at least from my perspective. The technology has got smaller and smaller remember!

    I feel putting a filter and allowing some carefully inspected filming is the best way to channel the desire for some to shoot on-ride POVs. I think it will decrease the amount of people trying to sneak cameras, and will also ensure those who do film have been security checked. I agree it isn't 100% safe, but for me it is the most balanced policy to minimize the risks. Whether you agree with me or not, everyone will acknowledge that parks should communicate their stance on GoPros more clearly. Ideally, their policy would be found immediately after a "GoPro + [Park name]" Google search. A separate and well-made obvious section in an Q&A or FAQ would be quite effective in any event. I regularly look at park websites for curiosity and it takes me some time to find out if the park allow GoPros or not - although Six Flags is quite adamant on the matter. The answer should be highlighted, but it is generally buried in a general "loose articles" paragraph deep in the Q&A page. I usually contact the park by Facebook or mail anyway, but some clearer and easier to access info online would be nice and more efficient.


    Even though riding coasters is about having fun and excitement, my on-ride filming little activity is carried with care and seriousness - one fellow goon who accompanied me complained about losing time because safety-checking my stuff, but I'd frankly rather annoy him a little than be responsible for a freak accident. We had a lot of fun anyway and the slight time loss annoyance is quickly forgotten after that!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 12:00 PM
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  18. Mack

    Mack Well-Known Member

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    We have a few buckets filled to the top with GoPros that were "secured" with harnesses, etc. We display these to the line in a "Wall of Shame" display. Based on this, the safest thing is to blanket ban them. Yours may very well be fine, but the problem is that is exactly what those people said, and we cannot be checking each and every GoPro boarding the ride. And if one is approved, the public in line is going to notice we let someone take theirs and will say we are being unfair. The proper thing is, like you are doing, get permission from the park beforehand. The problem is you're one of very many guests and I don't necessarily have the way to get all your details and then explain to the line why you got to take yours but they don't get to take theirs.

    You are doing the right thing to film. If the policy says no, try asking the park itself and explaining prior to visiting and let the management examine and if they say yes, they'll pass it along to the staff that this is an exception and management had approved this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 5:06 PM
  19. Mack

    Mack Well-Known Member

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    You hope everyone's pockets are. Unfortunately, you just cannot ensure every single person has absolutely no loose articles whatsoever at all on their person. With such a serious injury, the PR meltdown potential "Rider injured after 3 serious incidents again," nope, they ain't dueling. Remember, it's the general public, not enthusiasts.
     
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  20. sKrATcher

    sKrATcher New Member

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    20170722_074830.jpg I did notice there were no Gopro's or smart phones in the box, but plenty of old Nokias and old school phones.
    Mack, any trophies like this? I personally think pics would be interesting to see.
     

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