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Motion picture lenses


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#1 smokin

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 06:43 PM

I have noticed that in a lot of movies that the actors appear much thinner than they do in real life. I was wondering if this is an illusion or if special lenses are used to create the effect and, if so what are they?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 08:18 PM

Usually they say that the camera ADDS pounds to an actor...

No, there are not special "thinning" lenses used in motion picture work. There are anamorphic lenses that squeeze the image by half horizontally, to be unsqueezed by twice in projection, and sometimes depending on the focus, there can be a little distortion from process.

Now for material being transferred to video, there have been cases of partial electronic squeezing being done to make someone look skinnier. There was a Paula Abdul music video that was infamous for that effect.

It's not done much for narrative work though for fear of looking ridiculous.

Usually an actress looks thinner in a movie because they've lost weight for the part, and then gained it back between movie shoots.
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#3 Hal Smith

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 08:33 PM

Usually they say that the camera ADDS pounds to an actor...

I met Candace Bergen on a shoot in Chicago years ago and was shocked by how thin she appeared in the flesh, face and all. I wouldn't say she was anorexic, just as thin as a rail.
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