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Straight-on Shower Shot in PSYCHO


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#1 Cory Smith

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 05:20 PM

I'm looking to achieve the shot in the shower scene in psycho where the camera shoots up towards the shower head. Wikipedia and other sources say this about how it was accomplished:
In order to capture the straight-on shot of the shower head, the camera had to be equipped with a long lens. The inner holes on the spout were blocked and the camera placed farther back, so that the water appears to be hitting the lens but actually went around and past it.

Does anybody have any more details on how this was accomplished? Im confused how one would go about filming this, even with a long lens.

Here's a link to the scene:

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#2 Ira Ratner

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 05:39 PM

What you said makes total sense if it's a constructed shower head and wall just for that shot. But if you're using a regular-sized shower, damn.

You sure don't want to get that wrong for your camera's sake, not to mention electrocution if using improper lights. (So see the "Lighting" forum here for the right lights to use!)

If it's a regular shower, I would think you would want to wrap your camera water-tight. Also, make a rough cardboard mockup of your camera to lay on the tripod with its footprints marked with tape on the shower floor and the tripod height and focal length already decided on. In other words, replicate the real shooting situation with your dummy camera.

Then turn your water on and off and play with that for awhile to see where the water goes.

The big danger is water pressure, because as it builds up to full force and down to off, the water will go everywhere.
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#3 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 08:50 PM

They may have had the combination of a splash housing and a spinning spray deflector for that shot. I can guarantee they at least used SOME water protection for the camera. They didn't just stick it in there and hope no water hit it, that's for sure. I believe spray defectors were used on I Am Cuba (1964), so they were likely around at the time Psycho was shot, although I'm not 100% about that.
The lens used for that shot looks like about a 50mm to me.
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