POV shots with hand in frame...
Posted 18 March 2008 - 11:53 PM
I'm (hopefully) directing a short film that relies strongly on POV shots and, in particular, a few shots where we see someone pick something up and use it from his point of view and we see his hand in frame. In one scene he picks up a plunger, for instance, and pokes things with it.
I've done similar things before but the trick here is the restrictions. I'm going to be using (again, hopefully) a pretty big, maybe 20 pound camera. Also, all the POV shots in this part of the movie are handheld and shot with a 50mm lens. I can't use any rigs or any other lenses for this part.
But I want a sightly wider shot scale than a 50mm lens provides. Any tricks for this or just back the camera up and have the actor perform actions and move his head and legs in sync with the operator?
This may sound dumb but I don't want it to look fake or unnatural...he moves quickly once he sees the monster.
Posted 19 March 2008 - 01:40 AM
Why not? Is it simply because you have no budget or are there "rules" that say you can't use them for whatever reason?
Also, all the POV shots in this part of the movie are handheld and shot with a 50mm lens. I can't use any rigs or any other lenses for this part.
I would think that the easiest way to get the shot would be to have the operator pick up the objects and manipulate them himself, but that's going to be tough if he has to balance the full weight of a heavy camera on his shoulder at the same time. If he could use something like an easy rig that removes some or all of the weight of the camera from the shoulder, that would be ideal. A really cheap rig you can use is to attach a monopod to the camera and stick the end of it into an open fanny pack around your waist to take some of the camera's weight. One DP I work with does this with an F900 and it seems to work okay.
If you can't afford to rent a wider lens, then how about using a wide angle adapter or converter on the lens that you do have? Depending on the diameter of the 50mm, you might be able to get away with a cheap one made for DV cameras. Just be aware that converters require the taking lens to macro focus in order to work.
But I want a sightly wider shot scale than a 50mm lens provides.
Posted 19 March 2008 - 02:19 AM
Did I mention I don't have much of a budget, either? Maybe I will practice on miniDV before the shoot?
Thanks for the help, though; your advice makes a lot of sense.
Posted 19 March 2008 - 02:36 AM
Getting it to look natural is just a matter of taking the time in rehearsal to get it right or now if you can use the 35 it might be easier to have the op be the hand and feet in the shot. Op should be able to take the weight, and easy rig is good idea tho (they're usually not too pricey) or maybe the op should start hitting the gym.
Posted 19 March 2008 - 05:47 AM
I think in this case, the "rules" have ruled out doing shots like this, unless you can find a creative and easy way to do it. The key is easy. There are ways to do it (the actor is a few feet in front of camera and just offscreen), but it won't be easy. My one thought is that maybe you could set the frame with the actor's hand in frame, and then tie a rope between the actor and operator to control distance, and then do a bunch of takes until you get in right. I've never tried something like that, but it could conceivably work I think.
My best advice would be to put a 28mm or a 20mm up and do it that way. POV shots do not have to be done with "THE" perfect POV lens (whatever that is). They are done with wider and longer lenses all the time and work fine.
What format are you shooting on? I think with anything other than a 35mm field of view this shot is out of the question with a 50mm if you want it to happen in a reasonable amount of time.
Posted 19 March 2008 - 12:10 PM
I suppose since there are only two shots where a hand in frame is important, and only one involves complex motion, I'll try something like the rope, which sounds like a smart solution, and also a shoulder rig. As for format, yes, these are in 35mm 1.85:1 terms. Ultimately, I think I may just have to build a set for this scene, because it's in a small space, which sucks since the rest of the shoot is on location and this is a small scene.
Anyhow, thanks for the help. I'm starting to get an idea of what's involved here.
Posted 19 March 2008 - 11:51 PM
Posted 21 March 2008 - 10:10 PM
Steel pipe....that would be heavy! I'm not sure there would be much benefit to adding that much weight to a reasonably light camera. 20lbs is not very heavy for a 35mm camera. Normal handheld shouldn't be a problem.
I would rig a goal post with steel pipe, and hang the camera off of it with surgical tubing. Then, you have a "supported" hand-held camera.
Posted 22 March 2008 - 11:34 AM
Posted 22 March 2008 - 12:53 PM
Posted 24 March 2008 - 02:13 PM
You can see that shot here, but the gun is CG, so while the idea is the same, the restrictions weren't. This looks to be a lens somewhere in the range of a 25mm to 35mm, at least to my eye.
For another example I'd also recommend 'Doom', there's a great, long POV sequence of one of the characters shooting monsters.