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How to do close up circling shot?


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#1 Sean Seah

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 03:01 AM

I am trying to do a tight shot on a couple kissing and circle around them in a fast manner with a steadicam pilot. The frame is only their heads above the shoulder. The background should be moving pretty fast for a dramatic effect.

I have been having difficulty framing and holding the headroom as i have to zoom in quite a bit and move pretty fast from a distance of about 3m away from them.

Is there a better way to do it then zooming in? Or I simply need a lot more practice?

I have tried doing it slowly and speed up in post but i cant get the fast moving background effect as I have seen before. I am working with an EX1.

Thanks!
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#2 Sean Seah

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:21 AM

I am trying to do a tight shot on a couple kissing and circle around them in a fast manner with a steadicam pilot. The frame is only their heads above the shoulder. The background should be moving pretty fast for a dramatic effect.

I have been having difficulty framing and holding the headroom as i have to zoom in quite a bit and move pretty fast from a distance of about 3m away from them.

Is there a better way to do it then zooming in? Or I simply need a lot more practice?

I have tried doing it slowly and speed up in post but i cant get the fast moving background effect as I have seen before. I am working with an EX1.

Thanks!


anyone?
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#3 Matteo Quagliano

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:34 AM

Hi Sean,

get closer and don't zoom in... doing it faster should help instead of speeding it up in post... set the arm tension at the height you want it, use a very fast drop time (like 1 sec) and voila'...

matteo
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#4 Jerry Holway

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 10:42 AM

Sean-

The less you have to do once you start the pan, the better.

Normal drop time. Balance (trim) for the headroom - biggest help. Without being trimmed for headroom (which includes arm at proper float for the subject as Matteo said), it will never be good.

Dynamic balance will also help (Fewer corrections form you if your rig pans flat).

Background movement greatest with longer lens; be sure this is what director wants.

Tape a circle on the floor around the subject if you want subject to remain the same size.... and practice.

Jerry
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#5 Sean Seah

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 08:12 PM

Thank u Matteo and Jerry!! Never expected to hear from Jerry himself! My drop time is 2.5sec. The EX1 is pretty light on the Pilot but I have loaded it to the max payload alr. Gimbal is 2" from the stage. The couple was a little taller than me so if I trim the arms to be higher (both arms tilting upwards) would it cause any instability?

I will practice by getting closer and trimming the arms without zooming and try it out.

Edited by Sean Seah, 27 April 2009 - 08:16 PM.

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#6 montaser abou saada

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:25 AM

Hi Sean,

get closer and don't zoom in... doing it faster should help instead of speeding it up in post... set the arm tension at the height you want it, use a very fast drop time (like 1 sec) and voila'...

matteo


fast drop time when circling is better ? wouldn't this effect the horizontal level ?
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#7 RobinThwaites

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:53 AM

Hi Monty

Go with Jerry's advice, normal drop time. This is a place where your DB question from the other post may help if you consider a circle as a continuous pan.

Robin
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#8 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:58 PM

Circling shots can be challenging but fun. There is a great example of one in this old clip reel from when I was operating on "Angel" http://dl.dropbox.co.../Steadireel.mp4 (1:42 into the reel) That shot was done from a distance of 4 feet on a 75mm lens. 3m (10 feet) is a pretty large circle and that would require a pretty long lens, at least a 180mm in 35mm.

Some interesting (Okay Bad) advice making this more difficult than it needs to be. A circling shot is NOT a pan, done right the camera never pans, you are walking a curved line around a fixed spot. The only pans would be hand offs between the two people and that's such a small move that you don't need to be dynamically balanced. DB is only for when the rig is spinning on the pan bearing and we are not doing that here.

Taping a circle on the floor is both impractical and un-needed. You need to be looking at your monitor for framing and since you are moving quickly you WILL get dizzy and if you try to transfer your look from your monitor to your tape line you will lose your balance faster and the shot will suffer. Maintain your distance with your framing. If your shot starts as the couple closes into each other you will need to be describing a larger circle than you will once they embrace.

Trim for headroom and use your normal drop time, no need to change what you're training to, that's the fastest and easiest way to screw the shot. "Train like you fight and fight like you train" DO NOT make your drop time 1 second

Practice, that's what makes it work.
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#9 Twojay Dhillon

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:01 PM

Trim for headroom and use your normal drop time, no need to change what you're training to, that's the fastest and easiest way to screw the shot. "Train like you fight and fight like you train" DO NOT make your drop time 1 second

Practice, that's what makes it work.


THIS. Moving quickly in a circular/lateral motion with a fast drop-time will yield the lower end of the rig swinging at/away from you, causing you to exert more influence into the rig (read: bad) and vis-a-vis the shot/framing.
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#10 Charles Papert

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:51 AM

Taping a circle on the floor is both impractical and un-needed. You need to be looking at your monitor for framing and since you are moving quickly you WILL get dizzy and if you try to transfer your look from your monitor to your tape line you will lose your balance faster and the shot will suffer.


I feel like I should use a mysterious nom de plume when I post here about operating a Steadicam...regardless, I generally found a tape circle helpful. I didn't have to look at it any more than I would look at V's as I walked back into them, all were glimpsed in peripheral vision behind the monitor.

There is a significant added benefit of a tape circle and that is that it helps the focus puller considerably, especially if they don't have a Cinetape. Half the marks I used to drop were for their use. Whatever helps them get it done so you don't have do any extra takes.

best,

Frederick von Gimbletorque
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#11 AndySchwartz

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:28 AM

Hey Sean

I dont want to debate opinions here because none are fact, and one might work for one and not for another. And opinions on opinions on opinions are not going to help you see straight, or in a circle in this case.

My opinion is that being in dynamic balance, or close to it, will never hurt your shot in this case. Will it help? It definitely could depending on your experience, because unless you are walking at exactly the speed you want your shot to be circling your subject, you will be compensating by panning. So being in dynamic balance will probably help you at the very least if you pan at all during your shot, and it should not hurt what you are trying to accomplish. Is it necessary? No, but few things are, so it just comes down to what it helpful to you as the person operating the camera for the shot.

That goes for marks as well. Getting dizzy is a physiological effect, and some people dont feel the sensation as much as others when spinning about or looking at moving objects and so on. So yes, tape a circle around something that is cut off before the top of your frame, and then go around it and keep the headroom, and then take the tape up, and see how you do.

Bottom line, a fact, is that do what works for you, and read the advice and opinions of others here, try them, test things, and hopefully you will get your shot and come back and tell everyone what worked so the next guy or girl can learn from your experiences.

I personally like the visual of a long lens on a moving camera for shots, and it while you might have to operate more carefully for it, it will probably achieve the look you need with possibly less aerobic work.
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#12 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:44 AM

Everyone needs to remember that Dynamic balance ONLY comes into play during very fast or whip pans, you won't see the problem in a slow pan.

In a circle shot you will NEVER be panning fast enough to have a dynamic balance issue. If you are having to do very large pans in a circling shot you have much bigger problems and yes Andy that's a fact.
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#13 RobinThwaites

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 05:16 AM

"A circling shot is NOT a pan, done right the camera never pans,"

True relative to the operator, untrue relative to planet earth.
Robin
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#14 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:52 AM

A circling shot is a body pan, where your whole body is turning around the Z axis.
I realized that I get dizzy very quickly when doing them (tips for that anyone?)
The best tip I can give is training. the hardest thing for me is not the spin itself but getting out of it and continuing the shot.

Also, made me think about this shot (talking about fast spinning)
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#15 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

"A circling shot is NOT a pan, done right the camera never pans,"

True relative to the operator, untrue relative to planet earth.
Robin


Exactly the sort of answer a salesman would give. Seeing that the shot is being operated by the operator and not planet earth your answer is pointless
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