When faced with the challenge of filming John Bishop’s three marathons from Dover to Central London, the production hired battery operated pedal powered rickshaws from Bath Bike Workshop. They were mainly chosen so that the crew could keep up with John in heavy London traffic by using the bus lanes however they also helped to reduce the team’s carbon footprint.
In total the team cycled from Dover to Trafalgar Square over 3 days – usually riding for 8 or 9 hours a day with a lunch break and various tea stops. The advantage of having 2 rickshaws was that one could go ahead to get ‘arrival shots’ and one could track John.
Although the nature of this shoot called for the use of something like the rickshaws, there is definitely potential to use these on any shoot where the set is vast or where there are long distances between set and base (within a studio or private area). Golf buggies and diesel gator trucks are often used to get around on set but these modes of transport draw a lot of electricity and fuel. The rickshaw is not reliant on fuel and would help to keep those craft services pounds off too.
Battery operated rickshaws covered about 20 miles on each charge, the team took a spare battery so that they could cover double that. Each Rickshaw has a small ‘cart’ attached and so crew could easily jump in and out and film out of the back which was very convenient.
The hire cost was approximately £2,000 per rickshaw. That covered the ‘driver’, the hire of the rickshaw and transport to and from location.