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Vehicle Entry and Exit

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#1 Afton Grant

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 03:04 PM

I recently added a couple shots from "The X-Files" to SteadiShots. Chris Carter provides a pretty good commentary describing how they accomplished most of the shoot. Except for......

At the end of one shot, David Luckenbach (Steadicam) follows Gillian Anderson through a parking garage, a VW Bus pulls up, and both actress and camera get on. The shot continues from the interior as the van drives away. The squeeze seems extremely tight for a full rig. Forgetting about space, it would seem like the operator would need to bend himself into a position to enter the vehicle that might easily result in injury. I was wondering if anyone had any insight as to how this, or any other vehicle entry/exits are performed.

This specific shot can be seen here:

Much thanks!
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#2 Marc_Abernathy


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Posted 05 June 2006 - 08:48 PM

d@mn that shot was superb! i never watched xfiles but that was a very nice shot. the edits were obvious but that did not takw away from the superior operating. the VW shot is pretty slick and leveled throughout that drive. maybe he got on his knees? id like to know the answer to this one also...
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#3 Hervé Colosio

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 01:02 PM

splendid shot ! very long .
i think he goes inside the ww on his knees too . the sled have to be in very short configuration .
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#4 Marcin Brauer

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 01:17 PM

The shot have a few cuts smartly putted in pans (every exit from elevator).

Additionally you can see greenscreen monitor reflection on sliding door window of the VW when the door are closed by the chatacter.

Anyway the whole episode is one big steadicam masterpiece!
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#5 David Luckenbach

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 07:40 PM

Thanks guys!
This was a fun, challenging and very exhausting episode that shot for approx. 10 days. We were shooting 12 to 14 hr. a day with the steadicam and by day three I seriously had my doubts that I could hold up for the duration of the shoot, but after that day the fatigue factor seemed to level off.
Getting in the VW van was a big challenge. Tommy Doherty the key grip built a wooden bench inside the van with a very slick surface for me to sit on. The plan was for me to sit down and then slide across into the car. The problem was, as soon as I took one foot off the ground my momentum would completely stop. To get the shot my Assistant Trevor Loomois had to stop pulling focus at the point of entering the car and literally push me into the van, then he would jump in. Yes it was very tight and I did have to bend a little and lower my head to enter. On the first take the actor who was driving popped the clutch which sent me flying right at Gillian Anderson, I stopped myself by extending my left arm ( I operate"goofy") and grabbing the seat back behind her. Initially I was very worried because a few days prior to shooting this part of the sequence I confidently stated ?It shouldn?t be a problem to get into the van?.
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#6 Marcin Brauer

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 01:52 AM

Hey David!

Thanks for shareing the insights with us!

In day to day work, our takes are cuted into small pieces to make the scene interesting. I think that the episode you shoot is a great example for directors/dops/producers/editors of how to use this amazing tool (which steadicam most surly is) to amplify the excitment and attention of the scene.

So again - Great work David!

Thanks from all off us :)
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