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Anyone know what equipment you use to pull off Robert Yeoman/Wes Anderson top-down shots


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#1 Orestes Mitas

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 06:27 PM

I have always wondered what equipment is used to create those top-down shots in so many of his films such as the first shot of the book being stamped in Royal Tenenbaums, and the top-down dolly shot of the letter Owen Wilson is reading in Life Aquatic as he's walking toward the helicopter. It's done again in The Darjeeling Limited when Jason Schwartzman is reading the itinerary - his feet are seen walking below (just as Owen Wilson's). Anyone know what equipment this actually is?
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 06:37 PM

Probably done on a dolly with an offset mount for the camera so it can extend out and over the actor. The dolly is pushed alongside with the actor so there's no track visible.
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#3 Orestes Mitas

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 05:58 AM

Probably done on a dolly with an offset mount for the camera so it can extend out and over the actor. The dolly is pushed alongside with the actor so there's no track visible.


What's an offset mount? do you have any picture references? Or a site that has more detail?

Cheers
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#4 Darryl Richard Humber

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:13 PM

What's an offset mount? do you have any picture references? Or a site that has more detail?

Cheers

An off set is just a flat piece of metal anywhere from 18" to 4' feet long or so that has mitchell mounts on each end so that one end is mounted to the dolly and a camera on the other- getting it out away from the dolly. This shot can also be done with a jib arm to get higher and wider. You can probably find a picture off an offset at "jlfisher.com" or "chapman-leonard.com." Sanjay, the key grip/dolly grip on Darjeeling Limited, frequents this site and you'll probably get a definite answer from him in a day or two. (sorry, I just woke and am a little fuzzy).
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#5 Orestes Mitas

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:45 PM

An off set is just a flat piece of metal anywhere from 18" to 4' feet long or so that has mitchell mounts on each end so that one end is mounted to the dolly and a camera on the other- getting it out away from the dolly. This shot can also be done with a jib arm to get higher and wider. You can probably find a picture off an offset at "jlfisher.com" or "chapman-leonard.com." Sanjay, the key grip/dolly grip on Darjeeling Limited, frequents this site and you'll probably get a definite answer from him in a day or two. (sorry, I just woke and am a little fuzzy).



thanks man! thats helped loads!
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#6 Onno Perdijk

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 10:17 PM

Hello Orestes,

Sanjay will surely drop on by to tell how they did it on the Darjeeling. I have done it quite some times by using my TrussDollySystem. There is a "making of" available at my website where you can also find some other pics.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for tips.

Good Luck,

Onno
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#7 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:55 AM

Orestes,
Please change your user name to your real first and last night. It's a rule on this site. Thanks.
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#8 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 01:01 AM

Hi, I was the Key Grip on The Darjeeling Limited. For the shot of the itinerary we had a few problems, the biggest one being the space available, and the second being Wes's insistence on shooting this shot while the train was moving which made life more difficult. I had an overhead track rigged to the ceiling of the train, with an underslung dolly and a Weaver Steadman on it with the camera pointing straight down. I then attached a pushbar to the dolly (which was riding above Jason Shwartzman's head) and brought it down to rest in front of Jasons shoulder so that as he walked forward he would push the camera at exactly the speed he was walking at, and he hold the itinerary right under the camera at the right distance and his feet would always be in shot.

I dont have a picture of the shot being taken , but I have pictures of the rig being used for other shots.

http://www.thegripwo...arjeeling2.html

Hope that helps

Sanjay Sami
www.thegripworks.com
thegripworks@yahoo.com
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#9 Orestes Mitas

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 08:06 AM

Hi, I was the Key Grip on The Darjeeling Limited. For the shot of the itinerary we had a few problems, the biggest one being the space available, and the second being Wes's insistence on shooting this shot while the train was moving which made life more difficult. I had an overhead track rigged to the ceiling of the train, with an underslung dolly and a Weaver Steadman on it with the camera pointing straight down. I then attached a pushbar to the dolly (which was riding above Jason Shwartzman's head) and brought it down to rest in front of Jasons shoulder so that as he walked forward he would push the camera at exactly the speed he was walking at, and he hold the itinerary right under the camera at the right distance and his feet would always be in shot.

I dont have a picture of the shot being taken , but I have pictures of the rig being used for other shots.

http://www.thegripwo...arjeeling2.html

Hope that helps

Sanjay Sami
www.thegripworks.com
thegripworks@yahoo.com


Cheers for the reply, but itll probly be done on a dolly & jib. Awesome site though!
By the way I saw you on the special features of Darjeeling LTD, you looked so cheerful!
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#10 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 12:22 PM

Hi Sanjay :)
Do you have any links/other pictures to the specific dolly and type of track used for this sequence?
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#11 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 11:25 PM

Cheers for the reply, but itll probly be done on a dolly & jib. Awesome site though!
By the way I saw you on the special features of Darjeeling LTD, you looked so cheerful!


Thank you Orestes,
I LOVE my job. Being a grip is like being paid to play !! Easy to be cheerful :lol:

Cheers
Sanjay
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#12 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 11:37 PM

Hi Sanjay :)
Do you have any links/other pictures to the specific dolly and type of track used for this sequence?



Hi Dan !
I made the track to fit the train. I drew a profile based on what would fit in the recess between the rows of florescent lighting. It was a kind of 'I' profile, narrow at the top and wider below. I then had a die made and had about 500 ft of monorail extruded out of aluminium. I needed about 300 ft to rig the entire train, but I made 500 incase i damaged some during instalation. The dolly I built myself in my shop to fit the track. It had to be a captive dolly, so it was based on the type of rig they use in factories - the girder winch dollies - because they also run on 'I' beam.
It was a case of building everything to fit the train.
The track is visible in all the shots, so it had to look like it belonged in the train.
The other issue is height. If you use truss or something else like it, by the time you undersling the dolly and the weaver steadman, your lens height is pretty low, because the ceiling is not that high to begin with, and you would wind up looking up the actors noses :lol:
It worked very well.

I can send you some pictures if you like.

Cheers

Sanjay
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#13 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:53 AM

Yeah, pictures would be great. Do you still have my email address?
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#14 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 06:43 PM

Sanjay,

So, you owned the train and could bolt through the ceiling?
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#15 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:30 PM

Sanjay,

So, you owned the train and could bolt through the ceiling?


Unfortunately not. We could not put a single hole in the train. Everything we did had to be clamped. I built pinch plates to hold the track to a wiring duct overhead.
Dan send me your email again, I will mail you the pics.

Cheers
Sanjay
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#16 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 01:41 AM

I had an overhead track rigged to the ceiling of the train...


Ahh yes, I remember this now from the "making of" on the DVD.
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