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90mins one shot feature


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#1 Dev Varma

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 06:22 AM

Hi Guys,

I am DP and shooting a feature in london in the month of october, its a one shot 90mins video film. will come on big screen.

I am shooting on RED camera, still working on the format, but my main issue is steadycam and the operator.

my questions are.

1. what all problem can operator face?
2. how can we reduce weight (any gears with less weight)


I need really some good sugessions...and most welcome to share any experience (about longest shot you have taken)

thanks in advance
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#2 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:19 AM

Hi Dev,

I did a '90 minute one-shot' feature in London which is in Post at the moment, so I'm probably qualified to answer a few of your queries.

Being a low budget film, the camera choice was fortunately restricted for us and we shot on a lightweight HDV package with lens adapter and primes, recording to Firestore on board the rig.

The obvious problems are tiredness / exhaustion (blocking it out in rehearsals and then a few takes is something that we achieved in two days; but rehearsals prior were broken down into sections, primarily with the 'talent' and also handheld operating to get the movement right.

Drinks - plenty where possible!

Cues - it took a lot of work to remember lines and cues which I took from the talent. My moves were mostly motivated by their moves, but sometimes my movement needed to trigger their moves, or I needed to move when a certain line of dialogue was delivered - so I had a lot to remember! We also wrote out a crib sheet of cues and moves which was attached to the back of my vest. The DoP, who was spotting for me for the actual final take, then had the facility to cue me if I ever forgot -which I didn't, I'm pleased to say!

Wireless links - before the advent of affordable microwave links, we did this with handheld LCDs for the relevant people. The design of the shot meant we entered a building from the outside, and we couldn't have a video village, as we visited every corridor and room in the old theatre - so the core crew travelled with me for the shoot, whilst the Gaffer / Sparks and Trainees were busy re-rigging lights and cables. Makeup and effects people were also running round behind the scenes, to install things that the camera would eventually find (it was a developing murder plot, so you can imagine how it would develop...)

If you're shooting on the RED, I'd certainly advise to strip it down as much as possible to the very bare minimum. Use a HD Steadicam rig to eliminate the need for a downconverter. Microwave links which will happily transmit through walls non-line of sight are now available - this could be a good way to go. I do think that handheld LCDs are a good idea though - it worked for us...

If you would like any more info about how we handled the shoot and how I prepped as an Operator, do drop me an email to jason@steadicam-facilities.co.uk and I'll be happy to help.

I'll also happily post more here as and when I have the time.

Cheers
Jason
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#3 Nitin Rao

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:31 AM

Hi Dev
Its nice to hear someone trying to do a single long take. I happen to do one which was 111 mins long. I think, it did get itself registered in the Guinness books as well. If u really ask i was with a heavy system but yes we did quite a few run through, in fact we also had a flashback placed in the end as a single take.
its imp for the operator to be given cues during the take so as to the actors off camera. Try and keep minimum crew during the shot helps keep the operator in control.
there a quite a few steadicams now with the least possible weight and also go with the back mounted harness, from walter klassen.
if u need any help u could just buzz me.
All the best,
Regards
Nitin
+919820051071
getagrip07@gmail.com
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#4 Charles Papert

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:02 AM

I think one of the easier parts in all this is configuring the rig (see my recent post on this here: http://www.steadicam...showtopic=9692), while the hardest part is designing the shot itself to maintain interest for the viewer over that length of time...!
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#5 Iain Baird

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 07:55 PM

the hardest part is designing the shot itself to maintain interest for the viewer over that length of time...!


I couldn't agree more. I remember watching "Russian Ark" and being thrilled by the first ten minutes - bored for the next 80 - and then slightly impressed again for the ending. Not to take anything away from the achievement, they were pioneering a lot of what we take for granted now and the sheer magnitude of the choreography must have been overwhelming, but visually it left me wanting.
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#6 Stephen Press

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 10:29 PM

Now I'm having flashbacks.

http://video.google....859494305587285

Make sure the actors have rehearsed it all as much as they can and know the cues. I had one guy who had just one line 40min in and he blew it every time.
Also we had power problems. One location popped a fuse as I went in the door and we lost the light. I actually though it was looking better, freak bounce from a building next door... but the producer walked in and called it. I could have killed him, it should have been my call.
One door way we went in locked behind us and we couldn't get out... the actor thought fast an improvised it in... worked.
I was running sidelines for rugby games at the time so was in the best shape of my life but even so it was a long time to fly.
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#7 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:55 PM

Hi Guys,

I am DP and shooting a feature in london in the month of october, its a one shot 90mins video film. will come on big screen.

I am shooting on RED camera, still working on the format, but my main issue is steadycam and the operator.

my questions are.

1. what all problem can operator face?
2. how can we reduce weight (any gears with less weight)


I need really some good sugessions...and most welcome to share any experience (about longest shot you have taken)

thanks in advance


Dev,
I can't really comment on doing a shot like this but I can throw in my two cents being that most shows I do last longer than two hours and many more hours in the vest.

Jason spoke about cues, it seems to me that using an IFB with an AD in his ear would make the operators life much better and less worrying about what to shoot next and more about getting the shot at hand.

Stephens comments about having the actors rehearse, rehearse, rehearse would be my main concern, I think all of us have done long shots, not 90 min long but long shots that had to be retakes due to talent screwing up.

And lastly Charles said in past threads that he has rehearsed long shots with his little steadicam Pilot to get the movement and timing right without beating the crap out of himself.

But the bottom line is we all love the idea of a 90 min long steadicam shot, but is it really that necessary? Can you keep one shot that engaging?

Maybe your movie is that engaging and for all of us I really hope it is !

Fly Safe and keep us updated, and shoot a behind the scenes tape for us to see!
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#8 Michael Stumpf

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 04:42 PM

I think one of the easier parts in all this is configuring the rig (see my recent post on this here: http://www.steadicam...showtopic=9692), while the hardest part is designing the shot itself to maintain interest for the viewer over that length of time...!


Ditto.
And Ditto about the "Russian Ark" too. I remember when it was first released and there was about 30-40 of us Steadicam operators that they screened it for and the operator (forgive me I forgot his name) was there too to answer our questions afterward. Set a precedence for sure, but it was boring for most of the movie.
Not quite sure why anybody feels the need to do a 90 minute oner of a movie (other than to just say they did it).
A 4-5 minute oner is long enough to keep the interest of the view, but much longer and boredom will set in for sure.
Not sure how you are going to power the RED camera for 90 minutes of run time anyway.
Good luck on the project.
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#9 Amando Crespo

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 09:30 PM

Hi!.
I´m little scared and plenty of fear....
Full gear (Ultra2...or other)+Red-one+Batts+Hard disk+All gadgets+actors::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 90 minutes shot?....
Tonight I´ll go to sleep gotten depressed. I´m not worth for anything.
May be, my bad english was.....my trouble. I can´t understand it. Sorry.
Well.... If some one do it.... Well... He´s doing a long movie, one shot,.... BIG money for him pocket.....
Uf!. I love to be a poor man.
Nightmares are waitting for me tonight....
I´ve envy about it...
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#10 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 09:43 PM

Red is power hungry, can you even get 90min out of her is one question you have to ask?
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#11 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 09:07 AM

Red is power hungry, can you even get 90min out of her is one question you have to ask?

Taking a stab at this... please jump in if I'm off (like I had to ask!)

Playing around thursday night (9 hours and not a single shot for b-cam/steadi) I some what recall my Volt Meter on the U2 reading around 7.5 Amp drawing from the Sled, Ultra Bright monitor, MDR2, 2 Motors and Red. When putting the motor into constant violent action, the gage jumped to a max of 8 Amps.

With my sled in parallel using 2 Power Cubes (rated 14.8V and Max constant discharge of 10A), 6000mAh each, should yeld 12000mAh = 12Ah
So in theory, 12Ah x 60 min = 720 Am / 90 min = 8 Amps

I was running the CamWave HD, but off its own battery, which is 12W draw which would add another 1.4Ah for the 90 minutes.

9.4 Amps needed for the 90 minutes of running time. Can I make it?

I did notice that the Preston would start to get choppy when around the 12V mark on the voltmeter and the Red's LCD would stop working before the camera gave out once the power dropped below 12V.

If you were to fly the Red Brick which they say is 140Wh x 12V = 11.6 Ah. For 90 minutes that would be a draw around 7.73A Thats a little close.
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#12 RonBaldwin

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 04:53 PM

I can't really comment on doing a shot like this but I can throw in my two cents being that most shows I do last longer than two hours and many more hours in the vest.


wow -- do you really do more than 2 hours straight without even putting the rig on your shoulder? My experience doing live shows is minimal, but there was always a little moment or two here/there for a quick sip of water, rig on the shoulder. Time for me to hit the gym, get that artery in my leg re-routed and buy janice's new gismo!

I agree with Charles that holding the audience's attention for more than a 5 minute shot is a feat in and of itself. Try to list movies/tv shows that have done it well...it's a short list.

rb
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