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Whip Pan tips

whip pan

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#1 Michael Ognisanti

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 10:35 PM

Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone had tips on how to achieve a whip pan done practically in camera.  I have a sequence for an upcoming shoot that requires the camera in the middle of a dinner table whip panning to different people.  Sometimes going from one end to the other.

 

Is there a specific fluid head, lens or shutter angle that would help make the move smooth and precise?

 

I'd prefer to do this practically but I think we'd have the option to hide a cut in the blur or speed up the pan in post.

 

Thanks

Michael


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 12:07 AM

Just takes skill and practice.  You can sometimes create a stop for the end of the whip with some tape or string.  Momentum tends to cause you to overshoot.

 

Using a geared head allows you to stop precisely but they are hard to whip fast enough but if you can speed it up in post, then you could try a geared head if you are good with one.

 

BTW, the whip pans in Wes Anderson films done by Robert Yeoman are apparently done with a fluid head, he has some sort of trick to feel with his fingers when the pan should stop.


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#3 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 04:46 AM

Just make sure your angles and speed are consistent and you'll rarely ever have a problem making it cut.


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#4 Michael Ognisanti

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 10:53 AM

Just takes skill and practice.  You can sometimes create a stop for the end of the whip with some tape or string.  Momentum tends to cause you to overshoot.
 
Using a geared head allows you to stop precisely but they are hard to whip fast enough but if you can speed it up in post, then you could try a geared head if you are good with one.
 
BTW, the whip pans in Wes Anderson films done by Robert Yeoman are apparently done with a fluid head, he has some sort of trick to feel with his fingers when the pan should stop.


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#5 Michael Ognisanti

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 10:58 AM

Thanks for the tips

I was thinking about a geared head and speeding it up in post but id like to keep it as natural as possible.

I read this article with Robert Yeoman discussing whip pans on Grand Budapest. It sounds like fluid head and practice is the magic ingredient!

https://www.fastcomp...-budapest-hotel

Thanks
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#6 Bruce Greene

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 03:20 PM

I needed to do this recently on remote head (crane shot).  It turned out to be nearly impossible to nail it live.  We ended up doing two takes.  One, a fast whip off the first part.  And a second take not so fast into the landing on the second part.  The shots are combined in post to make it look like a single whip pan.  If you get really stuck, try this method. Or, do a slower pan and speed ramp in post.

 

Up to 45 degree pan you may get good enough with the fluid head.  A 180 degree pan will be extremely difficult to nail as one tends to get lost in the blurring image.

 

Good luck:)


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#7 Michael Ognisanti

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 11:15 PM

Just did the scout today.  We are now doing a dolly shot along the length of the table to a person at the head THEN we whip pan (180 degrees) to the other side.  YIKES!

 

We are thinking of having the dolly run parallel to the table and underslinging the camera off a fisher jib over the table.  Then mounting a ronin or movi with remote wheels  for the whip pan.  

 

The wheels will help with the precise landing but I'm not sure how fast we'll be able to pan.  We can always speed it up in post though.

 

That's my plan at this point  :unsure:


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#8 Reggie A Brown

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 12:29 PM

I've had to do a couple of whip pans recently. I used a fluid head without any resistance, instead I used my hand for the resistance, squeezing the head tighter as I got closer to the stopping point. I did a few trial runs to practice and then I was ready to shoot. It's a lot easier on wide angle lens. Depending on the camera you're using, on longer lens you may get rolling shutter. And exactly what David said, it's easy to over shoot so I stopped a little earlier than anticipated...once again, I practiced it before rolling.
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#9 Bruce Greene

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 03:51 PM

Just did the scout today.  We are now doing a dolly shot along the length of the table to a person at the head THEN we whip pan (180 degrees) to the other side.  YIKES!

 

We are thinking of having the dolly run parallel to the table and underslinging the camera off a fisher jib over the table.  Then mounting a ronin or movi with remote wheels  for the whip pan.  

 

The wheels will help with the precise landing but I'm not sure how fast we'll be able to pan.  We can always speed it up in post though.

 

That's my plan at this point  :unsure:

Don't expect the wheels controller to make a precise landing like a real geared head...  That has not been my experience.


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#10 Timothy Fransky

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 12:32 PM

I'm not a camera op, but had you considered handheld/steadicam? There are a good amount of these types of scenes in "The Office" UK.


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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 07:05 PM

With a fluid head, I find the trick is to cradle the camera as close as possible to your body and get comfortable in the 'stop' position and then twist back to the 'start' position. Practice the move a few times to get used to where your body has to end up for you to get the right frame. It's all about muscle memory.


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#12 Bruce Greene

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 11:29 AM

I just color corrected one of my whip pans from the technocrane/remote head.  It was accomplished by doing a slow pan and adding the speed ramp in post.  Worked like a charm!  It whips to a dead stop.  Pretty cool.


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#13 Michael Ognisanti

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 12:35 PM

I ended up using a Ronin 2 over the table that was underslung with speed rail mounted to the dolly running parallel to the table.  I'm happy to say it worked great!  We were able to configure the Ronin to have stop points 180 degrees apart so it landed at the same spot every time.  I used the wheels and was able to get a good speed for the pan.  They will probably still speed it up in post but tt would be the same with a fluid head pan.

 

Thanks for all the good advice.


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#14 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 09:59 PM

I needed to do this recently on remote head (crane shot).  It turned out to be nearly impossible to nail it live.  We ended up doing two takes.  One, a fast whip off the first part.  And a second take not so fast into the landing on the second part.  The shots are combined in post to make it look like a single whip pan.  If you get really stuck, try this method. Or, do a slower pan and speed ramp in post.
 
Up to 45 degree pan you may get good enough with the fluid head.  A 180 degree pan will be extremely difficult to nail as one tends to get lost in the blurring image.
 
Good luck:)


What a great, simple solution! Thanks Bruce. Ill keep that one in the back pocket.

A trick Ive used in the past, I getting a c-stand (or better yet something more solid like a combo), positioned beside the tripod so that it acts as a hard stop for the pan bar.

Tape some foam or fabric on to cushion the impact a smidge, and it works quite well.
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#15 Bruce Greene

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Posted Yesterday, 05:29 PM

What a great, simple solution! Thanks Bruce. Ill keep that one in the back pocket.

A trick Ive used in the past, I getting a c-stand (or better yet something more solid like a combo), positioned beside the tripod so that it acts as a hard stop for the pan bar.

Tape some foam or fabric on to cushion the impact a smidge, and it works quite well.

We were using a remote head on a technocrane, so your solution, while a very good one, would not have worked for us :)


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