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pulling focus and markings


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#1 Jim Nelson

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 05:40 AM

Hi,

When the 1st AC pulls the focus, and we use a dolly, does he always have to put markings on the ground on the different positions of the dolly and the different positions of the actor?


Thanks for your help.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 09:13 AM

Hi,

When the 1st AC pulls the focus, and we use a dolly, does he always have to put markings on the ground on the different positions of the dolly and the different positions of the actor?


Thanks for your help.


No, not always, just usually. Just depends. How would YOU do it?
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#3 Tom Jensen

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 09:14 AM

Hi,

When the 1st AC pulls the focus, and we use a dolly, does he always have to put markings on the ground on the different positions of the dolly and the different positions of the actor?


Thanks for your help.


Both
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 12:52 PM

I don't know how else you would "chart" the distance between two moving objects.
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#5 Tom Jensen

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:58 PM

Dana Gonzales was the best focus puller I ever knew. Him and John Bocaccio always just seemed to know the distance. That's not easy.
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#6 Spencer Hutchins

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 08:24 PM

Someday Tom, someday ;)
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#7 Tom Jensen

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 10:09 PM

Someday Tom, someday ;)


Go Spencer, Go!
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#8 Jim Nelson

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:14 PM

I've never been 1st AC, I just wanted to know these answers so I would be ready to be a 1st AC.

I've seen some 1st ACs just measure the distance from the subject at different camera positions and then pull the focus. They didn't put any markings on the dolly. Is this a bad way of doing it?
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#9 Chris Keth

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:44 PM

I've never been 1st AC, I just wanted to know these answers so I would be ready to be a 1st AC.

I've seen some 1st ACs just measure the distance from the subject at different camera positions and then pull the focus. They didn't put any markings on the dolly. Is this a bad way of doing it?


It depends a lot on the shot. If the shot has both talent and dolly movement, I will lay marks for both so I know where everything should be at certain points in the shot and the focus distance for those points. If the shot is a dolly into or out of something, I'll usually take measurements of distance from the first position and from the end position and then quickly lay 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 marks for the dolly. That will help me get the pace of the pull correct.
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#10 Jim Nelson

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 07:01 PM

Thanks for your reply. I understood that clearly.

The 1st ACs that I was talking about just pulled focus without putting markings on the actor's different positions or dolly positions and this was for shots that involved a dolly move or just a static shot with just the actor moving or both.
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#11 Chris Keth

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 07:11 PM

Thanks for your reply. I understood that clearly.

The 1st ACs that I was talking about just pulled focus without putting markings on the actor's different positions or dolly positions and this was for shots that involved a dolly move or just a static shot with just the actor moving or both.


What format was that with?
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#12 Jim Nelson

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 10:43 PM

It was HD I think. I know it's much easier to use markings but when you have a shot that involves movement can you just measure the distance and pull focus without always putting markings on the different dolly positions and the different actor positions?
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#13 Chris Keth

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 10:46 PM

It was HD I think. I know it's much easier to use markings but when you have a shot that involves movement can you just measure the distance and pull focus without always putting markings on the different dolly positions and the different actor positions?


"HD" is not a camera format.

What you can do depends on how good you are at pulling focus and estimating distance, and how much or how little depth of field you have to deal with. I don't know anybody that can do much flying by the seat of their pants like that when shooting 35mm or 35mm size sensors.
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#14 David Rakoczy

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 06:54 AM

or S16 for that matter.....
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#15 Dan Diaconu M

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 11:39 PM

quote: The only focus reference that is worth anything is one that doesn't move. end quote.
more sound advice here:
http://www.cinematog...es/FOCUSING.HTM
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#16 K Borowski

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 10:16 AM

Or R16, or S8.

Unless you're shooting at F/16 on a wide-angle lens, focus always matters. . .
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#17 Jim Nelson

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 04:04 PM

thanks everyone for your help
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