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Follow focus question.


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#1 Adam Paul

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 10:26 AM

I have a very basic question about follow focus units. How do they work? Turning the knob clockwise (towards the camera body) brings the focus closer or the opposite?

Thanks in advance.
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#2 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 02:11 PM

It's not so simple to say, since follow focus comes with the knobs on both sides of the camera. Just hook it up (very simple, goes on the rods), and take note of where you are (if you are an ac or operator), and which direction gives which kind of focus.

Use the white ring on the follow focus as well. That's your best friend when it actually comes to follow focus. Leave marks with eraseable marker, and set marks on the floor, so your ac can match his marks on the follow focus to the marks the actor is hitting.
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#3 Mike Panczenko

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 02:52 PM

A lot of ACs mark directly on the lens barrel with a grease pencil, because they feel that the white ring has too much play to be accurate.
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#4 John Carreon

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 04:31 AM

I think we need a Assistant Camera section in this place...as somewhat of a newbie to AC'ing I would love to pick the brain of every other focus puller out there...

I'm surprised at how much I like doing it...when going to film school I don't think you meet anyone with a silly grin on their face waxing poetic about being a 1st AC...it's a skill untaught...at least where I graduated from...

Any of you AC's out there have any book recommendations (besides Doug Hart or David Elkins) or other suggestions to someone starting out. Also, where do most of you guys get your gear...I scrounge most of my stuff from art supply stores, home depot, and office depot...

Thanks,

John

P.S. Is there a right side or a wrong side to pull focus from...I always find myself gravitating to the left side of camera (next to the eye-piece) unless adverse conditions prohibit me...
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#5 Dominik Muench

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 07:02 AM

I think we need a Assistant Camera section in this place...as somewhat of a newbie to AC'ing I would love to pick the brain of every other focus puller out there...

I'm surprised at how much I like doing it...when going to film school I don't think you meet anyone with a silly grin on their face waxing poetic about being a 1st AC...it's a skill untaught...at least where I graduated from...

Any of you AC's out there have any book recommendations (besides Doug Hart or David Elkins) or other suggestions to someone starting out. Also, where do most of you guys get your gear...I scrounge most of my stuff from art supply stores, home depot, and office depot...

Thanks,

John

P.S. Is there a right side or a wrong side to pull focus from...I always find myself gravitating to the left side of camera (next to the eye-piece) unless adverse conditions prohibit me...



david elkins book is indeed fantastic and a very good resource. do you have the asc manual ? thats always pretty handy too.

i dont think there usually is a right or wrong side, even though left is pretty common it depends on the camera setup and where you are placing your shot, space restrictions and so on.
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#6 BritLoader

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 12:07 PM

just like to back the call for an AC section in the forum.

BL
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#7 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 06:59 AM

Yes. The knob in your left hand if you're operating is like that - turn it "forward" (anti-clockwise) and the focus plane will come closer and the opposite in the other direction. I often pull a bit of focus myself when I'm handheld, and once you've done it a little bit it get's quite intuitive.
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#8 Tammo van Hoorn

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 11:14 AM

I think we need a Assistant Camera section in this place...as somewhat of a newbie to AC'ing I would love to pick the brain of every other focus puller out there...

I'm surprised at how much I like doing it...when going to film school I don't think you meet anyone with a silly grin on their face waxing poetic about being a 1st AC...it's a skill untaught...at least where I graduated from...

Any of you AC's out there have any book recommendations (besides Doug Hart or David Elkins) or other suggestions to someone starting out. Also, where do most of you guys get your gear...I scrounge most of my stuff from art supply stores, home depot, and office depot...

Thanks,

John

P.S. Is there a right side or a wrong side to pull focus from...I always find myself gravitating to the left side of camera (next to the eye-piece) unless adverse conditions prohibit me...


Hi

The operator's side (the left-side) should be your 'default' side. From there you can see clearly all the camera functions; footage counter, menu displays etc and allows you to listen to any comments made to you by the operator when he/she is looking through the eyepiece. There are times when you cannot be that side because of some obstruction or you get a better view of the focal relationship between the camera and the subject from the right side.

As for suggestions to 1st AC'ing, yes, there are books, but the best practice is to be there on set and watch, listen and learn. A little tip that will help you in later career is start to visualize distances. In bored moments at home (believe me you will have a few of these) get yourself a steel tape measure and try and guess how far you are from certain objects. Then measure it and see how you faired. Keep doing this over time and you will find that it will help you. There are times where you will need to 'wing' it (ie guess distances because you cannot put marks down or measure for various reasons) and you may find that the tip I mentioned pays off.

Good luck!
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#9 Daniel Stigler

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 07:51 PM

Any of you AC's out there have any book recommendations (besides Doug Hart or David Elkins) or other suggestions to someone starting out. Also, where do most of you guys get your gear...I scrounge most of my stuff from art supply stores, home depot, and office depot...

Thanks,

John

P.S. Is there a right side or a wrong side to pull focus from...I always find myself gravitating to the left side of camera (next to the eye-piece) unless adverse conditions prohibit me...


I got/get my gear at photo stores, hardware stores, rental places, yacht supply stores, outdoor/camping stores and the likes. If you're interested i can put together a list of my gear.
Jon Fauer's books give good information and are an entertaining read as well.
It always depends on the shot which side i choose for pulling focus.
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#10 Adam Paul

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 07:31 PM

I know this is a year old thread, but I thought it was better to bring it up then to open a new one just to ask another simple FF question. Even though now we have an AC forum but still, I think it's better than opening a new one. My question is, how do hard stops work with FF units? It seems different brands have different ways, but what's the basic system? I have heard of using paper clamps but there are also built in hard stops in some models right? How do they work? Thanks.
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Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Glidecam

Tai Audio

The Slider

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Wooden Camera