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How do you achieve the POV effect?


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#1 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 09:28 AM

Sort of similiar to that new film, Enter the Void, but there's also this old school detective film Lady in the Lake which is quite interesting before any steadicam, it seemed like it was just a dolly rolling around the studio as a character.

But back to the original question, what is your take on this technique, is it a Helmet-cam? Steadicam?

I was also curious about the hands, today are they primarily done CGI, like in that Doom film? There is a fantastically crazy Kathryn Bigelow movie with the exact effect that I'm interested in.

Thanks for any help on this.
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#2 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 08:30 PM

Any opinions?
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#3 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:09 PM

I'm quite sure that nobody in their right mind would use Steadicam for a shot like that. The camera was most likely rigged to the actor's body in some fashion. I don't think a helmet can be used, as the camera with the magazine is too heavy for the helmet to carry.

Edited by Ben Brahem Ziryab, 26 November 2011 - 11:11 PM.

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#4 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 08:16 AM

I'm quite sure that nobody in their right mind would use Steadicam for a shot like that. The camera was most likely rigged to the actor's body in some fashion. I don't think a helmet can be used, as the camera with the magazine is too heavy for the helmet to carry.

Yeah that certainly is understandable, but check out this clip as well



What are your opinions on a point of view shot, for me it's like you're watching it so you accept it as is and especially if it's a fast action scene you ignore any of the shaky actor's movements, or fast cuts, but then again it can sometimes take you out of the film a bit and make me almost disinterested in what's happening. Another thing that backs this up is when we look around it's steady as a rock. Maybe an approach similar to Lady in the Lake with a steadicam wouldn't be such a bad idea, but these are two extreme sides of POV shots. Maybe a steadicam on an actors (or operators) body could give something just as surreal. An example where they did use a steadicam for POV was the opening of Halloween, from memory it was done quite well.
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#5 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 12:03 AM

Also Ben, I was just about to ask about a shot in Strange Days where a girl puts on lipstick directly in a car mirror and I couldn't work out how they pulled it off.

A trip to IMDB trivia gave me most of the answers...

The opening sequence of the film was shot at four separate locations, as one contiguous location could not be found. The cuts between shots were disguised by rapidly panning the camera around. Due to the pace of the scene, the sound men could not effectively record any of the actual sound on the set. All of the sound and dialogue in the sequence had to be overdubbed during post production.

Director Kathryn Bigelow found that no existing camera system could accomplish the shots necessary for the point-of-view sequences, so Lightstorm Entertainment's research division spent a full year designing and fabricating a special camera for the production. Weighing only 8 pounds, the 35mm camera literally fit in the palm of the hand and featured interchangeable lenses, remote follow focus, and video assist (necessary since the camera had no viewfinder). The camera was then mounted on a SteadiCam-style portable rig, which gave the camera stability and mobility similar to the human eye.


Very interesting stuff, I will be indulging this information for a while.
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#6 James Brown

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 07:17 AM

I did a really simple POV commercial with an Epic (4kHD) and all on a 10mm Ultra Prime. The lens choice for FOV is super hard, we didn't want the distortion of the 10mm within the space but the 12 and 14 just didnt see enough of the actors arms.

Check it out.



another ad from the same campaign again, super wide lenses but a whole bunch of tricks to be the Bunnies POV.

Cheers, james
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#7 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:35 AM

James those were great, I'm surprised I haven't seen them on TV, it'd make me consider buying fisher & paykel.

Did you just mount a camera rig onto the actor and control the scene from there, or was a camera operator running the scene? The Epic is an interesting choice as well since you were shooting 4K, is that 1.6x crop factor? So a 10mm = 16mm? And from what I understand, it's slightly larger at 5K?

But from what I've seen of the Epic it looks like a small camera, great for tight spaces and fast action.
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#8 James Brown

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 10:58 PM

James those were great, I'm surprised I haven't seen them on TV, it'd make me consider buying fisher & paykel.

Did you just mount a camera rig onto the actor and control the scene from there, or was a camera operator running the scene? The Epic is an interesting choice as well since you were shooting 4K, is that 1.6x crop factor? So a 10mm = 16mm? And from what I understand, it's slightly larger at 5K?

But from what I've seen of the Epic it looks like a small camera, great for tight spaces and fast action.


Hey Marcus,

Because it was shooting at 4kHD its the same as shooting the REDMX. 5k with the same lens was to wide and and there was quite alot of distortion in the verticals in frame when we panned. If i wanted to i could have used a longer lens and gone to 5k but the 10mm Ultra is a beautiful lens and was happy to use it.

We mounted the camera directly on the operator, it was quite difficult to operate and an actor wouldn't have done a suitable job, just the way the hand / eye works when you are watching a monitor rather then your hands is super difficult.

I was lucky the epic came into sydney the week we had that shoot because otherwise it would have been SI2k or 5d and lighting for a 10mm lens i needed all the help i could get in the grade.


Good luck.
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#9 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 07:56 AM

Hey Marcus,

Because it was shooting at 4kHD its the same as shooting the REDMX. 5k with the same lens was to wide and and there was quite alot of distortion in the verticals in frame when we panned. If i wanted to i could have used a longer lens and gone to 5k but the 10mm Ultra is a beautiful lens and was happy to use it.

We mounted the camera directly on the operator, it was quite difficult to operate and an actor wouldn't have done a suitable job, just the way the hand / eye works when you are watching a monitor rather then your hands is super difficult.

I was lucky the epic came into sydney the week we had that shoot because otherwise it would have been SI2k or 5d and lighting for a 10mm lens i needed all the help i could get in the grade.


Good luck.

Yeah that sounds lucky, would have been tricky to grade something like the 5D. The size would be a positive for that route, but the whole compression and focus becomes a bit of an issue. I'm looking into doing a short film in POV, but figuring the logistics of it all is so far the hardest part. Looking into formats and so far, the Epic/Scarlet, or the still in development Alexa M would be great for this sort of thing.

Are you ever hanging around at the ACS headquarters by any chance? Maybe we could have a chat about this sometime.
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Visual Products

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