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How to pull focus?


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#1 Ed Sarkissian

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 02:43 PM

Hi all,

I'm a wannabe AC and was wondering if someone could please explain the process of pulling focus? I'm sure hands-on is the best way to learn, but I'd kinda like to have an idea of what I'm doing before attempting it. ie. how to set focus marks, actual pulling of focus, etc.

Thank you!

Ed
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#2 Michael Collier

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 03:35 PM

basicly you set your marks (little peices of tape on the floor etc.) measure from the focal plane to the mark and using your follow focus, dial that into the lense. now make a mark on the dial so you can remember. then when the talent is walking through the scene you should hit your focus mark as they hit their tape mark and you interpolate the rest. sometimes you need a sharp monitor to check by eye as you go, as talent doesnt always hit their mark.
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#3 David Sweetman

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 04:01 PM

I would highly reccomend "The Camera Assistant's Manual." It will give you a comprehensive understanding of the job of the 1st AC, including focus pulling.
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#4 David Silverstein

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 05:06 PM

Wow the seems like a hard job. Which is very crucial to the look of your movie.
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#5 Ed Sarkissian

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 06:08 PM

Thanks Michael for the instructions, and thanks David for the book recommendation- just ordered it from Amazon.

Ed
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#6 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 11:24 PM

I noticed on my last show that between set-ups my second AC would toss marks out in front of him, tell the first how far he thought it was, then measure it out with a measuring tape. By the end of the show (about 4 weeks) he was getting really accurate. My usual first AC only measures once or twice during a set-up and then eye-balls the rest of it; estimating distance is a skill I think is vitally important for an AC.

What's bothersome is when an AC sets down a great MANY marks and is constantly re-measuring their distances; I've rarely seen set-ups that require that level of constantly re-checking yourself.
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Aerial Filmworks

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