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How do they get clear, smooth, motion blurless shaky footage for action shots in the films?

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Gabriel Zybutz
How do they get clear, smooth, motion blurless shaky footage for action shots in the films?
on Jan 2, 2015 at 7:33:37 pm

I use the panasonic gh4 with a small rig and am shooting at 24fps

I want to achieve shaky handheld footage for action shots and walking shots with as little motion blur as possible (a very clear image), however I can't seem to do this. I've tried shooting at 100/second (any more and the lights flicker) but there is still motion blur over the entire frame from the camera movement, and the motion is very jagged. I can achieve a similar effect to what I am aiming at by shooting at 60fps, however I am editing in 24. How do I get clear, shaky footage such as seen at 53 seconds in this clip from harry potter:





More specifically, if you have seen the movie Spring Breakers, I want to achieve a similar effect to the walking shots of faith in the beginning of the film (very shacky however very clear with no motion blur or flickering), however I cant find this clip online.

Any ideas appreciated, thank you.


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Todd Terry
Re: How do they get clear, smooth, motion blurless shaky footage for action shots in the films?
on Jan 2, 2015 at 10:51:05 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Jan 2, 2015 at 10:52:59 pm

The "narrow shutter" look is really very simple, you just shoot at a higher shutter speed.

1/100 isn't cutting it... that's just not fast enough. Depending on how fast your action is, I'd try 1/250th as a starting point.

You say higher than 1/100th makes your lights flicker... obviously your lighting is not tungsten, but a non-continuous source (flos, or HMI, or AC-powered LED, etc.), and you are getting phasing because the shutter and the lighting are out of sync. You combat this by shooting in "clear scan" mode (I'm just going to assume that your GH4 will shoot clearscan, I have never used the camera and do not know its capabilities, but these days most high-end and pro cameras will shoot clearscan).

In this mode, shutter speed is not expressed in fractions of a second, but rather in cycles per second, or hertz (Hz). In this mode you can dial in a very very exact shutter speed and find one that exactly matches your source lighting and eliminates the flicker.

So... you need the combination of shooting in clearscan, and at a high enough shutter speed to eliminate the motion blur and at a precise speed that syncs with your lighting instruments.

You might also consider different lighting choices, as continuous sources (tungsten or DC-powered LED) or sync-able non-continuous sources (such as HMIs with electronic ballasts) will be easier to deal with.

T2

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



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