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Can someone Help Me to Solve this Issue Practically

Dolly-Zoom Camera Op

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#1 Samuel Cannan

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 09:38 AM

Hi,

 

Im new to the website so I hope this is the correct area to post this question.

 

Im looking to take advantage of a Dolly-Zoom (Vertigo Zoom) down a long hallway for my next film and I'm keen to put a character in the foreground. This would be easily done, however, im wondering if there a practical way to achieve the dolly zoom effect if the character is running down the hallway with the camera following the character? Simply put he runs down the hallway whilst the camera follows him on tracks yet the characters surroundings warp. Im aware this is easy to do in post-production, but the director wants as much to be practical effects as possible.

 

I Preemptively thank anyone who helps me out or sends me in a direction to solve this

 

Sam.


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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 09:45 AM

Well, it's doable, you just need to ensure that you are overtaking the character on the track as he runs, and zooming out to compensate.

 

(Or allowing him to overtake you, and zooming in.)

 

The situation is the same as normal, it's just that the camera and the character are both in motion.

 

P


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#3 Samuel Cannan

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 09:56 AM

Okay, awesome! Thanks, Phil. I wasn't sure if it was going to be as simple as that. Props to you!


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 10:45 AM

They did that in “Poltergeist” when Jobeth Williams runs down the hallway.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 11:37 AM

You have some challenges to deal with...

 

#1. if you are tracking straight down the hall, then you can only lay so much track before it comes into the shot in front of the lens, but you may be helped by #2.

 

#2. Dolly-zoom shots either dolly forward + zoom out (tele-to-wide) or dolly backwards + zoom in (wide-to-tele).  It would be odd to do the second if your character has to stay in frame as they run since the move would start at the opposite end of their run and be pulling backwards.  So if you are doing the first, your camera will be backed down to the head of the track but the lens zoomed in to the far end of the hallway, so the shot will gradually be more and more wide-angle as you reach the end of the move.  

 

#3. If you are dollying forward while zooming out, then your shot starts as a telephoto one, so it will be harder to get your character into frame unless they are running close to the center (ideally right down the center so their back is in frame most of the time).  This means your actor is going to be running along the inside of the track, which is awkward.  You could lay the track to one side and use a 3' offset to get back to center but you'll probably have more visible bounce to the shot at the telephoto end of the move (the first part).

 

#4. A long run requires a long zoom otherwise you aren't zooming as much as you are dollying.  So most likely you'll have to use 11:1 like a 24-290mm if shooting on a 35mm sensor camera.


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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 01:13 PM

If you go with #3, and assuming you're on one of the more high res cameras out there, you can frame a little wider (with the intent to crop in in post) and use the extra room for a slight image stabilization.


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#7 Samuel Cannan

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 08:30 AM

Thanks to all for the help! Its brought up some new elements I need to consider so thank you David for the thorough answer, ill make sure to have a watch of the scene in "Poltergeist" again for reference.


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