Friday, May 27, 2011

Imagineer at Work

Or is this Imagineer at play? Regardless, the topic of this post is not Bob Gurr making his Gurrtinis (aww...). This is about how Bob created a camera mount for my car so I could document my road trips.

In January 2005 I got a Canon G6, with the intent to use it to take in-motion photos on my solo road trips. I described my requirements to Bob ("I need to take pictures while I'm driving!") and he told me to come on up and he'd take a look. I took him up on this offer on January 14, 2005.

I put the convertible top down so Bob could take a look and work his magic:

He didn't need to look for too long before deciding that he could create a mount for a camera bracket that would screw into where the passenger sun visor had been. It's been in my trunk these past six years; occasionally a passenger will comment on its absence, but you never know when you're going to need to get away on a road trip. He also gave me a black duvatine cloth to place on the dashboard to minimize reflection on the passenger side of the windshield. Here's Bob doing the honors of removing the visor:

And then he went to work in his garage:

Here is how it appears in the car. The camera hangs upside down, with the infrared sensor pointed to the driver, so I can use a wireless remote to snap the photographs. A thin metal rod (not pictured) wedges between the bottom of the camera and the forward roof for additional stability:

And here is Bob posing with it yesterday (his own camera is standing in for my G6):

Since that January day I have driven across the country six times and have taken well over 100,000 road photos with it. (I should make Bob see them all!) Here are just a few from the collection:

January 2, 2006, Nevada, US-50 E, east of Austin

January 4, 2006, Colorado, CO-14 N, just north of US-40

January 22, 2009, California, US-101 N, Golden Gate Bridge

January 26, 2009, California, CA-190 E, approaching Death Valley National Park

May 20, 2010, Montana, US-89 S, south of Livingston

Oh, and after I had been driving around with this mount and bracket for a year, Bob casually tells me that the duvatine cloth was left over from his work on King Kong for Universal Studios and the camera bracket had been at the Walt Disney Studios and came from Ub Iwerks.


Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, what a cool post! Great to be able to see the master at work. Seeing how effortlessly he created this camera mount helps me understand how they built things so quickly back in the 50's. I especially like that piece of curved thick sheet metal that manages to look good and be functional.

I have no idea what duvatine is, but now I need some pants made out of it.

Was Bob friendly with Ub Iwerks? Seems like Ub is kind of an enigma (never read that book about him admittedly), I'd love to hear what Bob's impression of him was.

Jason Schultz said...

Bob was a friend of the Iwerks family, which is how he ended up at Imagineering.

It was pretty amazing how quickly he designed it. When I asked him about it I thought he'd have some questions, but about fifteen minutes after I got there I had my historically significant camera mount ready to go!

Major Pepperidge said...

15 minutes, wow!