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POV Techniques?


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#1 Joe Lotuaco

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 11:10 PM

This both a newbie question, but it's regarding operating so I figured I'd post it here. Also, I couldn't find anything on this in searching (even the archives)...so here goes...

I took Peter Abraham's two day flyer workshop a few months ago and I have since been hired to shoot some promo spots for a major record label. Anyway, the shots are supposed to be the artist's POV as he walks through different situations (ie. walking through a bar/club, walking down a sidewalk, etc.). The production company has hired me back to shoot the full music video (the other stuff was very quick 30-40 second one-shot deals) and the director has requested that the full video be "all steadicam" continuing the aesthetic of the camera being the artist's POV.

I noticed that part of the longer Steadicam workshops, like the 5-day one, there's a section of the syllabus dedicated to "POV" techniques. So that got me wondering, what are some pointers that get discussed during this section of the workshop? Are POV steadicam shots inherently a bit more "floaty" than usual? I read the thread about the director asking the operator to make the shot more "floaty" and I wonder if this is something that is tolerable for POV shots. I shouldn't have a problem making it "floaty" since I'm still so new to operating, that most of my shots are just naturally floaty :blink:

Obviously this is no substitution for the workshop, but the shoot is coming up in a couple days and I really want to make this look good, especially since they're giving me a rate that I frankly don't think I deserve just yet having literally just barely come out of Peter's workshop.
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#2 Lohengrin Zapiain

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 01:03 AM

" especially since they're giving me a rate that I frankly don't think I deserve just yet having literally just barely come out of Peter's workshop. "

NEVER tell them that you don't deserve the rate and especcially NEVER let them know that this is one of your first jobs... just go there and do you best... otherwise you will only live to their new expectections
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#3 Stephen Press

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 02:20 AM

Unless specifically asked I don?t like the floaty look for POV?s.
To me the two big things are get the height right and get the verticals right unless the guy you are doing a POV for walks around half stoned, hunched over with their head to one side? but then this is a music video so who knows?
The third big thing is corners and looking left or right. Corners and POV looking left or right are hard to make look realistic. It?s a lot to do with pacing. Shoot some fast and some slow and then watch them to decide what works best for the song, fast or slow, then do one more slightly faster than the best looking one? it just seems to work out for me on music shoots that that will be the one they use. Good luck.
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#4 Joe Lotuaco

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 09:26 PM

NEVER tell them that you don't deserve the rate and especcially NEVER let them know that this is one of your first jobs... just go there and do you best...


For sure, I don't/won't tell them that I don't deserve what they have offered me, but it was definitely a difficult moment when they originally asked me what my rate was. I basically hesitated just long enough for them to throw out the first number and when it was several times the figure I had in my head, I had no problem accepting :) I know what I do is specialized and it's more than just simply operating the shot. Thus far it has been a great experience and I've been working very closely with the director designing shots. It's just that I'm so new to this that it's the feeling that if I ask for what they're used to normally paying an operator and then I don't deliver the goods, I don't want them thinking "What the hell are we paying this guy all this money for?" But as I've successfully completed shots for them and they've gradually increased the rate, I'm definitely starting to feel more confident in every aspect.


To me the two big things are get the height right and get the verticals right.


The height thing is an issue I have had to deal with as I'm pretty short (5'6", 5'7" in the morning) so the camera is naturally lower. I've had to just boom up a bit and hold it there, but it feels a bit odd after awhile. Any pointers on how to make this easier, is it a good idea to just adjust the lift knobs to hold the camera at the height I need or does that have an adverse affect on the overall balance? (I'm using the Flyer by the way)?

Thanks for the advice guys!

Joe
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#5 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 12:37 AM

It's just that I'm so new to this that it's the feeling that if I ask for what they're used to normally paying an operator and then I don't deliver the goods, I don't want them thinking "What the hell are we paying this guy all this money for?" But as I've successfully completed shots for them and they've gradually increased the rate, I'm definitely starting to feel more confident in every aspect.


This may sound weird, but the more they pay you the more likely they are to like the results. If they think you aren't that great and are using you because you are cheap then they will expect cheap results and no matter how great of a job you do they will assume someone more expensive/experienced could have done better. If they are paying you a lot then they will assume that the work you are doing is great until proven otherwise. If something doesn't go as planned they will also be less likely to blame it on you if they consider you a professional. People don't like making mistakes; If they are paying you a lot of money and the footage doesn't turn out that great they are not going to want to admit to themselves that they made a mistake. Instead they will likely convince them self either that the footage is better than it is, or that there was some external factor that caused it to not be as good as it could have been.

Of course this is all just my opinion, and will not be true in all circumstances. If you use this as an excuse to demand a greater rate than someone wants to pay they may start out thinking that they are paying you too much and instead of acting like I described above they may be looking for something to prove that they are paying you too much.

~Jess
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