I'm curious if anyone knows of an example of this technique used in a film. I've read that it's used in the movie Speed RAcer, but I've yet to see that movie. I know it's kind of a lame reason to want to watch a movie, but now I want to see it just to see how this effect plays on screen.
For those who aren't familiar with the concept; Let us imagine a shot in which a character is rather close to the lens in about a MCU. The focus is on him, we're at a F/1.4 or maybe a F/2 with an Variable ND 2.1 in front of the lens. Two shadowy figures walk up behind our foreground character and stand to his left and right, also facing the camera. As one of the shadowy figures begins to speak, we seamlessly iris rack to F/22 or F/16 while simultaneously opening up the variable ND to as clear as it will go (in a perfect world it would be totally clear, but maybe the best we'll get is a ND 0.3) This would increase the depth-of field so that now the shadowy figures are in focus, as well as our main character in the foreground.
So, if you know of any example of this type of effect, please let me know. Also, if you know of some apparatus that would make this a smooth transition, let me know. I'm imagining some gear or rod that would connect the iris to the variable ND so both can be pulled simultaneously.
Cheers, and thanks.