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Steadicams a Beach

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#1 benedictspence


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Posted 23 August 2005 - 01:10 PM

Hey All!

Had an interesting shoot the other day down on a beach; was wondering if anyone could enlighten me with issues I was having...

The shoot was a promo, on S16 on an Ultra Sled and a Pro Arm (first time I've really given it a hard time on a shoot- and still it works beautifully). The track was around 4.30 in lenth but was played at double speed- the action consisted of a man walking from the top of a beach all the way down to the water and into the sea; all the while other people are bumping into him and giving him grief etc. The promo was all in 1 long steadicam shot following infront of our performer right up untill the very end when he walked into the sea.

We managed to rehurse the shot around 10 times before we went for a take; just to make sure everyone go their marks- but only a couple of camera rehursals.

I was planning on Don Juan-ing it but since both the camera and rig were bagged up utterly- they were catching the wind so much that I had to walk backwards the entire track to be able to properly control the frame (a really fast trot- v. hard).

Right so my problem is this. Walking backwards fast along a beach, in a straight line with a couple of spotters BUT I couldn't keep to the line. I kept on veering to the right- and not just a little bit but a whole lot. I've never had problems hitting my marks least of all when just walking in a straight line. After a couple of rehursals and a take of doing this I managed to get round it by actively attempting to veer to the left during the whole shot; worked but was very confusing- still took a couple of "more to the left!" shouts from the DP during a couple of takes to keep me on the line.

Now I'm guessing this has got something to do with points of reference; I've never done a shot somewhere as barren as a beach before. No lines other than the horizon. No walls to look at, no pavement to check myself against. Looking less at the monitor didn't seem to help either- still ended up wonky... Has this ever happened to anyone else before??

Still had a great fun, if knackering, day. Got the shot bagged after a couple of takes; meant a nice leasurely pace trying to get it even better in the afternoon.

Cheers o wise ones!

Ben Spence

PS don't worry Joe- I didn't see a single grain of sand when I packed up at the end of the day!
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#2 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 01:18 PM

One trick would be to use rope tocreate a moving guide line for you.
In the case of this shot: Have a grip at the water pulling in line at a rate so that the end is just in front of you as you walk backwards (so that you can see it, but it's not in the shot). That way you have a line that you can easily follow untill at end where the the grip grabs the last of the line and gets clear of the shot.

...Even eaiser going forward :-)

- Mikko.
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#3 joe mcnally

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 05:32 PM

.....down on a beach.......down to the water and into the sea
Hi Ben
yes the night sweats have lessened now but the therapy will have to continue for some time :D
What lens were you using, long, short ?
Mikkos idea sounds excellent.
Who was the artist, apart from you of course ?
One of my favourite beach promos is Yellow by Coldplay. Looks like a very wet and windy day but it all just works beautifully.
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