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#1 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 10:35 AM

hi everybody,

i've been called to shoot a music video and the director gave me as main reference the official trailer of zombieland:



i think the effects he wants is also very similar to the "like a rolling stone" music video directed by michel gondry a few years ago (was lance acord the dop? i dont remember though).

is this effect done in camera or mostly in post?

can anyone give me some more infos about such special motion effects? is this effect done in camera or mostly in post?i remember i've read about it somewhere and i've seen it in many, many commercials but i cannot recall more precise infos.

thanks for your help
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#2 Matt Read

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 12:14 PM

Vincenzo,
What effect in the Zombieland trailer are you referring to? The only thing I saw were a few speed ramps (going from normal speed to slow-motion in the same shot), which would have been done in camera, using a variable speed motor.

However, this is in no way similar to the effect in the Rolling Stones' "Like a Rolling Stone" video directed by Michel Gondry. I could only find some low-res examples of the video, but it looks like it is a combination of stills taken with a SLR camera and a morphing effect in post.

If you're more specific about which effect you are curious about, other people in this forum and I can give you a better answer.
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#3 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 12:22 PM

sorry matt you're very right...in fact i rewatched the 2like a rolling stone" music video and i've noticed myself that i posted something wrong (my memory's fault)...indeed my main reference should be the speed ramps in the zombieland trailer that's what the director wants.

we'll be shooting with two hvx + mini35 adapter and some arri zeiss primes...shooting at 720p i'd be able to change the frame speed, however i've never done anything similar to that with such cameras before...i wonder if it is possible, but i doubt that it is on the hvx.

what do you reckon?

what would be a viable alternative apart from doing it in post?

thanks again for your reply and sorry for the mess

Edited by Vincenzo Condorelli, 01 September 2009 - 12:24 PM.

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#4 Matt Read

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 01:03 PM

It's been a while since I've shot with the HVX, but I'm fairly certain that you can't do speed ramps with it. Also, I don't think that it shoots any higher than 60 fps.

If you really want to avoid post work, the only thing I can think of is to put the two cameras as close together as possible. Put the same focal length lens (I think this will work better the wider the lenses are) on each camera and match their framing as best as possible. Then set one camera to shoot 30/24/25 fps (whatever you are using as normal) and set the other camera to 60 fps. Shoot the action with both cameras simultaneously. In editing you should be able to cut from one camera to the next with only a small jump in perspective; add in a frame of white and you might get away with it. It's sort of a poor-man's version of what was done in 300 (they used a prism so that several cameras with different frame rates could all shoot through the same lens at once).

The other options for you involve some post work. You could shoot the whole shot with one camera at 60 fps and then in post speed up part of the shot so that movement will appear to be at a normal speed, while leaving the other part of the shot alone so it will be in slow-mo. This won't be perfect though, you'll end up not having the correct amount of motion blur on the part of the footage you "normalize." The other option would be to shoot the whole shot at 30/24/25 fps and then slow part of the shot down in post. The normal part of your footage will look good, but then the slow-mo part will have that stuttering effect that you get when you slow down footage shot at a normal speed. There are some programs that can help alleviate this effect to some degree, but they can often create weird artifacts, especially with faces.

Whatever you do, I would suggest going out and doing some tests before you start principle photography.
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#5 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 07:27 PM

thanks for the feedback matt...what about shooting at 60 fps and then selectively taking out frames one by one? could this give me a better quality?

what would be the most economic alternative camera-wise? i mean is there a hd camera on the low medium end of the market that allows speed ramping, considering that d21 or genesis are out of our budget?
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#6 Jeremy M Lundborg

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:50 AM

I can offer that attempting to ramp HVX footage in post is a poor way to achieve the look you are going for in your project.

Matt has it proper. The HVX200 will only shoot up to 60fps in 720p and you do not have the option of ramping during the shot. His suggestion of shooting similar angles with two cameras is the most realistic, as Larry Fong did in '300' for those iconic zoom/ramp shots(albeit with much more resolution).

Excuse me for not having the knowledge to suggest another camera, in your budgetary range, better suited to your needs.
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#7 Matt Read

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:39 AM

Vincenzo, unfortunately I'm not aware of any prosumer HD camera that can change frame rate during recording. If you can, you might want to consider using a film camera for this shot. I know that the Arri S, Arri M, Arri SR2 (with additional speed ramp controller) and possibly the Bolex can all change frame rate while recording. You should be able to rent one of any of those cameras for less than $100 a day.

As for removing frames one by one, this would be a time consuming version of what your editing program would do when you tell it to speed up the footage and you'll still be left with an image with not enough motion blur. The problem is not in how you remove the frames, it's how they were recorded. Normal 24 fps footage takes 1/48 of a second to capture an image. At 60 fps an image is recorded in 1/120 of a second. Because it's a shorter amount of time, the subject has less time to move and thus the image has less motion blur.
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#8 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 07:14 PM

Vincenzo, unfortunately I'm not aware of any prosumer HD camera that can change frame rate during recording. If you can, you might want to consider using a film camera for this shot. I know that the Arri S, Arri M, Arri SR2 (with additional speed ramp controller) and possibly the Bolex can all change frame rate while recording. You should be able to rent one of any of those cameras for less than $100 a day.

As for removing frames one by one, this would be a time consuming version of what your editing program would do when you tell it to speed up the footage and you'll still be left with an image with not enough motion blur. The problem is not in how you remove the frames, it's how they were recorded. Normal 24 fps footage takes 1/48 of a second to capture an image. At 60 fps an image is recorded in 1/120 of a second. Because it's a shorter amount of time, the subject has less time to move and thus the image has less motion blur.


honestly my first choice would be to shoot s16mm for this project with the iris control unit...here in italy film is still more convenient than video for quality work, but this guy (the director/producer) is one of those "film is dead" believers and there's no way i can convince him to shoot film i fear (but i'll keep trying), even though it is a good project and the budget is not too low.

now, to do such effect on hd camera, i think there's not much choice left besides the d21 or the genesis...apart from budgetary issues, it's very tough to get this cameras here in italy, the booking list is infinite. another option is the phantom, but as far as i know, nobody rents the phantom here.

so, i'm a bit concerned...maybe i'd try to use the two cameras aligned with a similar dof and different fps if i cant manage to convince him to shoot s16mm...
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#9 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 05:35 PM

has anyone tried the casio exilim EX-F1? it is said go up to 1200 fps movie capture...
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#10 Dan Marrero

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:36 PM

The slo-mo shots in the trailer were 1000 fps @ 1920x1080, using the Phantom HD camera.
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#11 alfredoparra

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 04:18 PM

three ways to do it

1: panasonic P2 can do it, you can change the speed

2: adobe after effects

3. adobe premiere cs4

you get more options with after effect and you can play with it until you get what you want.
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