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Extreme CU to Wide with 7D

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olaf steel
Extreme CU to Wide with 7D
on Oct 18, 2011 at 5:30:55 am

Hi,

I'm about to shoot a music video which has a huge tracking shot - from an extreme close-up of a left eye, to a wide full-body shot. I'm trying to find the best way to do this, so any advice would be great. To help you understand a little what it's supposed to look like, check out the video for POWER by Kanye West.

We will be shooting with a 7D, and renting lenses - which I'm hoping someone on this forum can help me with finding. I'm not sure what lens would work best for this, and then how the shot itself can be achieved. It can go in and out of focus as the camera moves back, or zooms out if necessary. We will be shooting on a large flat rooftop, so there is a lot of space to track back. Unfortunately I do not have measurements.

There will be other stuff intercut with this sequence, so it would be possible to, say start the shot with a Zeiss 100mm f/2 macro lens, then pull out until a point I know I'll cut away from in the edit, then change to another lens, say a Csnon 70-200mm zoom - I know the lenses will look different - so I'm hoping someone here can help out with this.

I'm sorry I can't be more specific, and that this is obviously a logistical nightmare, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Olaf


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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: Extreme CU to Wide with 7D
on Oct 18, 2011 at 7:44:50 am

I would consider getting a set of Zeiss primes for the video shoot.

The 100mm macro will be fine up until your first cut away, then you can go to an 85mm, then cut to a 50mm, then a 35mm or 28 to finish it.

It's a slightly more expensive route but you'll probably be happier for two reasons:

1. Zeiss primes are excellent looking on the 5D/7D rigs, used them a number of times.
2. You avoid the issue of depth expansion while you move back because you won't be zooming the optics. Unless you like that look, generally it's avoided.
3. You won't get a really obvious lens mismatch going back to the Canon in what you could consider a "continuous" shot.
4. Canon EF lenses are NOT designed for video use. In the majority of cases, because of the electronic iris, you will get exposure jumps as you move through the zoom range if you pull a zoom while filming. You cannot hide these in post.
5. It's still less expensive than getting a proper cinema zoom, the iris rods and support system, and a proper zoom and focus control system.

- Angelo Lorenzo
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- http://FilmsFor.Us Sell your film and connect with your audience


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Todd Terry
Re: Extreme CU to Wide with 7D
on Oct 18, 2011 at 2:28:04 pm

I was also going to recommend primes only... and yes, real cine primes as suggested, definitely NOT SLR primes... and I would definitely not use any zoom lenses either.

You'll also need some really top-notch, smooth, and repeatable dolly gear, too, as I'm sure you know. A follow-focus rig too will be just about a must, so make sure the lenses you rent have gear rings (although if you rent cine lenses, they almost always will have gearing, although it's not a bad idea to ask the rental house in advance).

Very ambitious, especially with a DSLR. Post the results so we can see.

Oh, and, yeah, very little of the Kanye West video is a real practical done-in-camera dolly (the vast majority of it is compositing voodoo), but I'm assuming you are going for a more realistic look and not something as "cartoony."

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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olaf steel
Re: Extreme CU to Wide with 7D
on Oct 18, 2011 at 3:29:34 pm

Thanks for your help everyone. The unanimous response seems to be to use a combination of primes.
There is no room in the budget for all those lenses, as well as a dolly system that is high enough quality - probably would need to be electronic so I can set a constant speed for it to track back.

With much regret, I think I might have to think of an alternative way to shoot this. And yes, I don't want it to have a 'cartoony' look. Things going in an out of focus as the camera moves back would be fine though. Could sort of use that style that was used in the Tyler The Creator "Goblin" video where the moving in and out of focus is done to the rhythm of the song, which worked well since there isn't many cuts (at least as far as I can remember).

If anyone has any other suggestions as to how this shot might be achieved on a shoestring budget, I'd be delighted to hear from you. But for now, I'll work on replanning the scene.

Thanks again for your comments so far.

Olaf


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Todd Terry
Re: Extreme CU to Wide with 7D
on Oct 18, 2011 at 4:04:24 pm

Well, you don't need a motion-controlled dolly, since the shot is that slow and doesn't have to be exactly repeatable.

But you do need a good smoooooth dolly. A skateboard wheel dolly is fine, as long as the wheels (and track) are clean and smooth as glass. I'd also pile as many sandbags as are handy on the dolly deck... more weight equals smoother shots.

Your focus puller would focus by distance. As you rehearse the shot, every foot or so take accurate measurements (from the film plane to the talent's eyeballs, using a tape measure), and make corresponding marks on the floor by the dolly (just use camera tape for spike marks, and write on them with a Sharpie what the exact distance would be). You should probably also put a spike mark on the dolly somewhere, on the deck or near the wheels or something), so when that mark lines up with the mark on the floor you'll know the exact distance for focusing. The shot moves so slowly it shouldn't be a problem for your focus puller to watch the floor marks and make sure the lens is always at the right distance setting. You could mark the follow focus wheel with marks, but in this case it's probably just as easy NOT to mark it, and have the focus puller watch the readings on the actual lens barrel to keep it lined up with the lens' witness mark.

In a perfect world, you'd probably want a geared head as well, since the shot is also very slowly tilting as it is dollying backwards. When you rent lenses, ask the rental house if they have any decent deals on a geared head. If that's not in the budget, make sure you have a really good fluid head... since the DSLR is sooo lightweight (compared to a full-size "real" video or film camera), you'll need a really good head to keep the tilt move smooth.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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olaf steel
Re: Extreme CU to Wide with 7D
on Oct 18, 2011 at 4:41:39 pm

Thanks Todd. That was reassuring.
I've had a look at the rental company's website, and they have two brands of lenses that I could rent that are in the 100mm, 85mm, 50mm, 35mm categories. The brands are Zeiss, and Nikon. I know the Zeiss lenses would give me a more cinematic look, however I would save a lot of money using the Nikon set.

Also, they don't have a 10omm Nikon lens. Instead they offer a 135mm f/2.8 lens. I presume this has a macro feature?

Would these lenses work, or do you think I should avoid and definitely go with the Zeiss?

Thanks again for all you help.

Olaf


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Richard Herd
Re: Extreme CU to Wide with 7D
on Oct 18, 2011 at 5:11:59 pm

I watched the video. That's probably just a very high resolution still shot. Or a 3D model.

Be sure to check the lens' minimum focus distance to make sure you get the look you want.


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Todd Terry
Re: Extreme CU to Wide with 7D
on Oct 18, 2011 at 6:10:05 pm

I would unquestionably go with the Zeiss... unless there is a budget issue that makes it just impractical. Nikkor lenses are very good glass... but those are Nikon SLR lenses, not cine lenses, and you'll have a beast of a time wrestling with focusing them during your dolly moves.

As to whether that one lens is a macro... I dunno, impossible to say without looking at it. Ask the rental house if it is, and/or what its nearest available focus is. I don't ever do any macro work with lenses nearly that long (I only ever do macro with wide lenses), so I'm not familiar enough with them to say.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Extreme CU to Wide with 7D
on Oct 18, 2011 at 6:33:54 pm

What is the actor doing; moving? singing? Just staring at the lens?


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olaf steel
Re: Extreme CU to Wide with 7D
on Oct 18, 2011 at 7:16:18 pm

The actor is basically just standing still. He will be singing, but not moving around.

Yes, I really want to go with the Zeiss but the budget is very limited.
I'll have to see.

Thanks for all your help. Really appreciated.

I'll try to post a link to the video here once it's done so you can see if I was successful.

Olaf


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