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Camera Continuity in film POSEIDON


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#1 deno rama

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 10:26 AM

alright people. So, i recently saw this movie, poseidon. The film actually starts off with "Josh Lucas" taking a jog on the huge ship. The initial position of the camera is high up in the sky..and it slowly zooms down while moving, and according to the motion and direction of Josh lucas.

Interesting, the camera even goes under a flight of stairs in between.. in smooth continuity right from the beginning.

And the camera goes on, and goes all around the huge big ship, without any breaks in shots between. I mean, teh continuity of the camera was superb!

So, my questions is: How do they shoot such a shot without breaks in between?? I mean.. the camera starts from right from high up in the air, zooms down..and continously follows josh lucas from teh back, from the front angle..etc..etc until the end! with no breaks??

can somebody plz help me understand this?? I am a newbie :)
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#2 Dominik Muench

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 10:40 AM

without having seen the movie, obviously this is NOT done continuously.

often this is done with several different devices playing together, for example the camera starts of on a crane and moves from position A in the air to position B on the ground, then from position B, another camera on a steadycam or dolly moves on...and so on and so on.
these days you can get pretty accurate positions for your camera and reproduce them (motion control).

often shots like these are also a combination of realtime and 3D animation combined. cameras moving through 3D environments....

Edited by Dmuench, 06 June 2006 - 10:42 AM.

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#3 Max Jacoby

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 12:12 PM

Have a look at the 'Panic Room' dvd to see how these kinds of shots are done. That film features a very long shot going through the whole house accross several floors. They take several motion control shots a stitch them together with more 3D CGI thrown in than one would have thought.
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#4 Ellen D. McCarn

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 12:31 PM

It's almost entirely CG, actually. The first part where Josh Lucas is running and the last bit when the camera catches up with him aren't. Pretty much everything in between is CG, in fact, most of him running was CG as well. The last bit when he is looking at the sunrise is greenscreen with a CG background. When a friend who worked on the shot at ILM told me this, I was really impressed because it looked so good. Then, I realized how difficult it would be to do that kind of shot logistically, and it made sense to do it that way.
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#5 Michael Most

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 08:19 PM

It's almost entirely CG, actually. The first part where Josh Lucas is running and the last bit when the camera catches up with him aren't. Pretty much everything in between is CG, in fact, most of him running was CG as well. The last bit when he is looking at the sunrise is greenscreen with a CG background. When a friend who worked on the shot at ILM told me this, I was really impressed because it looked so good. Then, I realized how difficult it would be to do that kind of shot logistically, and it made sense to do it that way.


Everything in the shot was CG except for Josh Lucas, who was shot running in front of a partial green screen at the Sepulveda Dam. Personally, I'm pretty bored with shots of this type these days, primarily because I just don't see the point - regardless of how stellar the CG work might be.
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#6 Mike Rizos

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 09:07 PM

Is the shot the title sequence? I'm trying to figure out what would be the point of a shot like this.
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#7 Max Jacoby

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 02:51 AM

I haven't seen the film, but I would guess that they want to introduce the ship with this kind of shot.

Obvioulsy when I see this kind of expensive and effects heavy shot in a Hollywood, I inevitably ask myself if that was really necessary or did they just do it because they had the money? That question rises a lot in David Fincher's films for instance.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 03:27 AM

Yes, the shot shows off the ship exterior and introduces the character, but despite how well it was done, it made me feel like I was playing the "Poseidon" Playstation Game... plus the exterior was awfully empty of other people. It wasn't a complex bit of staging that was used to propel the narrative, like the opening of "Touch of Evil" or "The Player" or even the ballroom waltz in "Age of Innocence" did. It was simply a cool, show-offy shot.
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 03:40 AM

Watch the long opening of "Soy Cuba", one shot, no CG.

They passed the camera from operator to operator, first filming a fashion show on a hotel roof, then passing it down from the roof two stories to the ground, and then underwater in a swimming pool. The shot cuts there in the movie but apparently it continued on through the pool and out the other side but the last part ended up on the cutting room floor. There's also a bird's eye shot where they flew the camera out over a city street on a wire.

To say nothing of all the shots in sugar cane fields, flying over the jungle, etc. that used infra-red film to give the foliage a "bright/hot" look.

It ain't easy to do it the "commie" way but they sure knew how to get a shot in real time.
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