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Opening shot for the newly released movie, "Spread".


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#1 Taj Teffaha

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:20 PM

Hey all
Just wanted to see if anyone has seen the opening sequence in the movie "Spread" staring Ashton Kutcher. D.P. was Steven Poster.
I am very proud it. Really happy they kept it as a oner. We all know how our shots get chopped up.
The movie was shot last spring. Opening sequence through title and the club scene were Steadi.
We did fifteen takes. Take ten was the winner. Cheers, let me know what you think.
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#2 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 05:48 PM

Hey all
Just wanted to see if anyone has seen the opening sequence in the movie "Spread" staring Ashton Kutcher. D.P. was Steven Poster.
I am very proud it. Really happy they kept it as a oner. We all know how our shots get chopped up.
The movie was shot last spring. Opening sequence through title and the club scene were Steadi.
We did fifteen takes. Take ten was the winner. Cheers, let me know what you think.




Is there a link to the shot so we can check it out???
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#3 Taj Teffaha

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 12:10 AM

Hey all
Just wanted to see if anyone has seen the opening sequence in the movie "Spread" staring Ashton Kutcher. D.P. was Steven Poster.
I am very proud it. Really happy they kept it as a oner. We all know how our shots get chopped up.
The movie was shot last spring. Opening sequence through title and the club scene were Steadi.
We did fifteen takes. Take ten was the winner. Cheers, let me know what you think.




Is there a link to the shot so we can check it out???


Hey Mike,
Unfortunately I don't have a link yet. I am trying to get a copy. For now it's just in the theaters. Great date movie :)
By the way, it was a pleasure to work with your mom recently on "The Mentalist". Cheers
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#4 Charles Papert

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 12:37 AM

Good for you Taj! Look forward to seeing the shot soon (make sure to get it to Afton for the Steadishots site).
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#5 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:15 PM

Hey all
Just wanted to see if anyone has seen the opening sequence in the movie "Spread" staring Ashton Kutcher. D.P. was Steven Poster.
I am very proud it. Really happy they kept it as a oner. We all know how our shots get chopped up.
The movie was shot last spring. Opening sequence through title and the club scene were Steadi.
We did fifteen takes. Take ten was the winner. Cheers, let me know what you think.




Is there a link to the shot so we can check it out???


Hey Mike,
Unfortunately I don't have a link yet. I am trying to get a copy. For now it's just in the theaters. Great date movie :)
By the way, it was a pleasure to work with your mom recently on "The Mentalist". Cheers



Ahhh, that's right, my mom did mention that! It's so cool how 'small' our little world is.
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#6 Jerry Franck

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 06:53 PM

Taj,

I recently saw Spread and remembered this post.

What a great shot! Congrats!

I have a question about the final going down the stairs part.
In the making of featurette it showed you doing that part, walking down backwards. What made you chose that over don juan. And did you do this all 15 takes?

Would love to hear some insights on that,
Thanks,

Jerry
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#7 David Allen Grove

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 09:15 PM

Taj!

I rented Spread just last week. That was an amazing shot! Very nice work!
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#8 Taj Teffaha

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 12:02 AM

Hey David... Hope you are well?
Thanks, I really appreciate the compliment. I'm glad it's finally out on DVD. Thanks again for coming in and helping out.
Thanks Jerry as well. Hope you enjoyed the movie?
As per the Don Juan over walking backwards (funny you mentioned that). I did try both in the rehearsals. I thought switching to Don Juan before the stairs was the way to go. However, I quickly came to realize backwards was the better way for a few reasons. First, the hand rail at the top of the stairs extended a couple of feet past the last step to the right. So when I first switched to Don Juan before the turn down the stairs, I found myself just ending up backwards again to clear the railing. This coupled with the fact that I had to throw the rig hard left and tilt up at the same time was just too awkward in Don Juan. That move had to be as precise as possible too because all the lighting was on the roof. I did nip one but it goes through pretty quick. Next, the stairs were a little on the scary side of being too steep. So naturally and seconded by our key grip, Vidal Cohen, it was much easier for him to spot me down the stairs if my back was to him. On one of the takes, he carried the first assistant because he missed a step (Kept it in focus all the way down)... Another reason, because the stairs were steep, I had the sled extended all the way up on the way down to not shoot up there noses. In Don Juan I would have lost sight of the monitor and more importantly my footing.
I have to add that having an onboard recorder saved me that night. So much of this shot was dependent on the choreography of the background. The only way to catch it all and make small adjustments in the timing was in the playback. We had the night set aside for this shot only, so we had time to review each shot.

Cheers
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#9 Jerry Franck

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 01:40 AM

Thanks for those insights Taj, appreciate it.
Your decisions make sense and I understand them better now.
Although I'm always more scared going down backwards I understand about the shooting up the nose etc. That's often times an issue with poorly executed stair shots.

Another thing I noticed in some other behind the scenes footage on that dvd; you always seen to have a long arm post, like a 10 or 12 incher. Would love to hear your choice of lengths in different scenarios if you don't mind me asking...

and yes, loved the movie!

cheers,
Jerry
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#10 Kyle Blackman

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 04:49 AM

Just watched the movie online yesterday after reading this post. I dig it man. Good job! Not that my critique or opinion matters much, i just wanted to add my 2 cents... :P
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#11 David Allen Grove

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:22 AM

Hey David... Hope you are well?
Thanks, I really appreciate the compliment. I'm glad it's finally out on DVD. Thanks again for coming in and helping out.


I'm glad I was available to cover for you the first day.

I thought it was pretty funny that there was an unusual amount of union reps that happened to show up that day.
(We were shooting in a strip club)
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#12 Taj Teffaha

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 02:06 PM

Hey Jerry
I do primarily use a 12 inch post. It just places the camera at eye level for me. Also puts the arm at a neutral position. This leaves plenty of travel up and down and makes for a smoother shot. The arm is less likely to bottom out (or up), and does most of the work for me. It is also less strenuous to operate and fatigue is always the first thing to kick-in in a long shot like that.
Having the arm in neutral allows me to make slight adjustments with the rig. It's easier to mask the moves because you're not constantly lifting the arm. I can also rest certain points of pressure on the body during the shot. This is like changing to Don Juan in the middle of a shot to use different muscles. Gives me a little rest without stopping.
With the 12 inch post, it also puts the weight of the rig higher. Just as it is harder to do low mode, in part, because of the displacement of the total weight on the body. It is less fatiguing for me to operate when I can get my body under the Steadicam. Think of your body as an extension of the sled. The center of weight at the gimbal is transferred to a higher point on your body, when the rig is higher. Thus, the pressure point on your body is driven higher (i.e. away from legs and lower back). I can put less pressure on my legs by shifting the pressure point up on my body (good luck keeping it steady when the legs go out). Notice that when you rest while wearing the rig, you place it as close as possible to your body or even over your shoulder. You're still carrying the weight just with a little less effort.
Hope that helps, cheers.
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#13 Jerry Franck

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 01:39 PM

Thank you Taj for those explanations.

I understand what you're saying with the different weight distribution when the rig is higher. Although i always find that it's more fatiguing for some reason... but I'm gonna test this some more. And it makes sense that you used it for the going down the stairs in the opening shot. It also helps not shooting up the nose so much without having to lift it too much.

What about viewing angle for the monitor, did you notice any difference when using a short to a long arm post. I have a feeling it's almost the same. At some point your monitor is blocked, no matter what post you use. (I have the PRO2 gimbal)....What's you're take on that?

Cheers,
Jerry
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#14 Taj Teffaha

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 09:02 PM

Hey Jerry,
Not sure how I look at the monitor. I think I look above and below the arm. Depends where the monitor ends up I guess. I do have nine inch monitor rods, so my monitor is out in front a bit. I like that because it allows my to see further ahead and not strait down. Cheers
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