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Shaky Cam


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#1 Steve McBride

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:39 PM

I've been reading in posts (District 9 topic in the On Screen board) about people really hating the shaky cam. But what I want to know is if this is just like big movements or even just the smaller ones?

I'm DPing a short in two weeks and most of it is going to be handheld (HD on an EX1 or HVX200) and minus a few dolly and jib shots the feel of the movie would definitely be added to with a little bit of a shaky cam.

In the past most of my handheld work just looks flat out shaky because my hand does shake quite a bit after holding it for awhile. I don't think that for this movie that using completely locked off shots would work for the feel that I want to give to it, so I'm wondering if I should go handheld (possibly with a figrig) and add a very little bit of shake, almost like a breathing to it or if I should put it up on a tripod and turn the drag on the pan and tilt very low and give a little bit with that.

It's a short thriller giving a very personal view of the action including a few point of view shots if that helps.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:16 AM

I think it has to do with overuse of the shaky hand-held look as well as big motions. don't forget, when you're watching on a big screen, everything is much magnified, including the motion. For example, I can stand Cloverfield on my home TV, but I don't know if I could handle it on a giant screen. In general, it's best to err on the side of smaller "motion" than large shakes if you're going for a big screen.
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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 08:14 AM

Perfect answer, Adrian. While we're here, I've been thinking about Dancer in the Dark. Lars often breaks the rules of framing by letting the subject fall out of frame. It happens on the train number and the prison cell number. I've become fascinated by this technique's effect on me. Have you seen this movie? Do you recall these scenes? I'd like your's or anyone's opinion on this technique.
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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 02:37 PM

Perfect answer, Adrian. While we're here, I've been thinking about Dancer in the Dark. Lars often breaks the rules of framing by letting the subject fall out of frame. It happens on the train number and the prison cell number. I've become fascinated by this technique's effect on me. Have you seen this movie? Do you recall these scenes? I'd like your's or anyone's opinion on this technique.


the musical numbers were done with with dozens, supposedly a hundred, locked off, remote contrled cameras.

Thus no operator to adjust framing while shooting.

Since there were so many angles to cut to
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 03:47 PM

Can't say I've seen Dance in the Dark but i'll have to check it out. I'm almost embarrassingly behind in my "film watching"
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 08:47 AM

Can't say I've seen Dance in the Dark but i'll have to check it out. I'm almost embarrassingly behind in my "film watching"


I recommend it. It will rip your guts out. Or, at least, that's the kind of words everyone says to me when I mention it. There's a particular scene where Byork and Stormare are on the train tracks. Byork does a song and dance on the slow moving train. I am stunned every time I see it.


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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 08:50 AM

I'll add it up to the "buy me dvd list" somewhere 'round the top. Thanks for the heads up on it Paul-- though if i keep this buying DVD thing up I'm going to run out of shelf space...
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