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How much can you cheat compression without the audience noticing?

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ryan elder
How much can you cheat compression without the audience noticing?
on Dec 8, 2018 at 11:54:56 pm

There are shots I want to do for projects, where I want high compression but I wonder how much I can cheat it without the audience noticing.

One shot I want to do is to have a close up of an actors face as he is pointing a gun towards the camera. But it's difficult to get this shot because I would need an expensive telephoto lens to make the gun look really close to the face, in order to get really close to the face.

So I wonder if I can have an actor cheat it by instead shooting an maybe a cheaper 105mm lens or around there, and have the actor just hold the pistol really close to his face, thus making the audience think he is extending his arm out when he is not, and it's actually held really close.

Or another shot I want to have two character sitting at a dinner table talking, and I want to be able to OTS shots, but I want to make the actors look really close as the camera is over one of their shoulders. But instead of using a telephoto for this, could I use a cheaper lens, and just have the actors sit really really close to each other.

You don't see the table in between them in this shot, so could I have a table in a wide master shot, but then cut to an OTS shot, and have the actors then more really close to each other, making it look like a high compression shot, when in fact they are just really close, but the audience assumes it's high compression?

What do you think? Is it possible to cheat compression this way, to save on budget for longer lenses?


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Gary Huff
Re: How much can you cheat compression without the audience noticing?
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:04:57 am

That's what testing is for. Test more, post less.


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ryan elder
Re: How much can you cheat compression without the audience noticing?
on Jan 4, 2019 at 1:39:13 am

Okay thanks, here are tests I did, but it's hard to tell if the cheating works:







Like I know it's cheating compression but will an audience or average viewer be able to tell?


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