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Shooting 2 actors jogging ?


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#1 John Thomas

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 10:46 AM

I've got a day exterior scene in my script with two actors talking and running for 2 pages. I'm not afraid of the wide shots, but as we get tighter I'm worried about strobing as the actors are bouncing in the frame. I can't really do tests, does anyone have any experience or can you recommend a film with a succesful jogging sequence? How tight can I get?

Thanks,

JT
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#2 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 12:04 PM

I've got a day exterior scene in my script with two actors talking and running for 2 pages.  I'm not afraid of the wide shots, but as we get tighter I'm worried about strobing as the actors are bouncing in the frame.  I can't really do tests, does anyone have any experience or can you recommend a film with a succesful jogging sequence?  How tight can I get?

Thanks,

JT

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John,
Do u have to track in to an CU , or you can cut?
Usyally u can ask the actors for the close ups to smooth down a bit,
I am not sure if smaller shutter will help. Funny thing is that most of the times the close-ups usually happens in the end when they stop to take a breath till carry on in the GS.
Is it a stedicam shot?
Dimitrios Koukas
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#3 Greg Gross

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 12:29 PM

I'm not as experienced as Mr. Koukas but I agree with him. I think most films
I've seen have the close-ups after they stop running,jogging. I recall having seen
people out of breath in close-ups. Its seems to me that a good steadicam operator
could get for you what you want. I had to except the fact that I cannot use a stead-
cam operator in Oct. due to budget constraints. What I do like though about your set
up is that you dare to be different. I going to look up that "smaller shutter" idea in my
American Cinematographer's Manual. I like to make note of these shooting techniques
in my little black book. Best wishes for success with set-up!

Greg Gross
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 01:56 PM

Since all of my jobs are low or no budget, I usually try and shoot any running with long telephoto lenses. A poor mans way of tracking. With a little budget, a camera car or a 4 wheel drive ATV with a steady cam mounted to the back would be terrific.

I haven't had any strobing issues come up but I wonder about the previous suggestion to making the shutter smaller. Wouldn't that make the exposure shorter, thus sharper and less blurred and there by increasing the chance of strobing?

I can't recall having seen any films with dialogue during running recently, but I would think you could only get in so tight that would cover the up and down motion of a persons head with out constantly tilting up and down. An operator would have some difficulty with that.

I think most films that show people talking after they finished running simply choose that as it is easy way out of a scene.

I use to do a lot of running in the past and one challanging aspect will be able to find actors that are healthy and active enough to perform and talk during rigorous exercise. And actors who can do multiple takes. An actor doesn't have to be a marathon runner but hey couldn't be a couch potatoe either. But that is a problem for another forum (and production).

Best

Tim
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#5 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 02:54 PM

if you're short on resources and/or time, you can shoot walking/running "faux-tracking" side shots by using a pretty long lens from a tripod, then have the actors walk/run in a arc equidistant from the camera (orbit around the camera). i've done this myself and as long as the arc is fairly big (and your lens is long enough to frame them the way you want), it can have the same visual feel (to the viewer, at least) as a parallel dolly tracking shot. of course, the location has a great effect on this... it wouldn't work on a straight city street.

hope this helps,
jaan
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#6 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 02:58 PM

... also, shooting jogging actors with dialogue will be a mild nightmare for your sound crew. you should talk to them in advance. unless you're open to ADR (yucky), then you might find that the audio needs might limit the way you can shoot them.
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#7 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 03:08 PM

... also, shooting jogging actors with dialogue will be a mild nightmare for your sound crew. you should talk to them in advance. unless you're open to ADR (yucky), then you might find that the audio needs might limit the way you can shoot them.

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Jaan,
I guess they will use wireless mics?
Anyway, we are waiting to tell us if u have the budget or not, there are many solutions as they allready posted, but depends on budget and aesthetics.
Dimitrios Koukas
e.g I would have sudgested 50fps, but I know it's a sound scene too.
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#8 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 03:26 PM

i'm stupid and veered completely away from your actual question... in my experience, the issue of keeping their heads properly framed is more dependant on how good your camera operator is and your actors' abilities to adjust their performance for the camera-- something some actors absolutely hate or are ill-suited to. in my experiences, if they have a lot of screen experience then they may be better/more used to altering their performance for such things, but i've found that stage actors often have difficulty adjusting for camera variables. of course, i'm generalizing.

my gut instincts say that framing two or more jogging actors fairly tight, when head placement is crucial, is going to be difficult no matter what, because the actors will undoubtedly jog differently and at different rythms. but i applaud your intent to shoot it this way. whenever seeing actors settle to a halt before talking (whether walking or running), it always feels incredibly stale and contrived to me, like a soap opera.

also, decreasing the shutter angle is not really going to fix your problem, just change it into a different kind of problem. instead of the faces bobbing up and down, veiled in motion blur, they'll be strobing up and down (like action sequences in saving private ryan & gladiator) giving their jog the illusion of more energy & tenacity, though that may work for your scene.

hope this helps,
jaan
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#9 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 05:21 PM

Jaan,
I guess they will use wireless mics?
Anyway, we are waiting to tell us if u have the budget or not, there are many solutions as they allready posted, but depends on budget and aesthetics.
Dimitrios Koukas
e.g I would have sudgested 50fps, but I know it's a sound scene too.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



i'm no sound person, but i think wireless mics mounted on clothing would be problematic on actors who are jogging. though they could have the mic mounted on an object being held by one of the joggers, though this may not work with the scene. and a boom mic would be more challenging than usual because they're moving faster, their heads are bobbing, their breathing is heavier, their feet are making more impact noise, and the proximity between the actors will probably vary more than if just walking. again, i'm not a sound person, so i don't know the right solution. but i've learned enough firsthand to anticipate what kind of problems might arise.
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#10 Greg Gross

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 12:39 AM

Does anyone know if its practical to use wireless mics on actors running?
You know actually clipped/fastened on the person some how.
Just want to make note in my black book.

Greg Gross
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#11 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:43 AM

Does anyone know if its practical to use wireless mics on actors running?
You know actually clipped/fastened on the person some how.
Just want to make note in my black book.

Greg Gross

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Friend,
The american cinematographer Video manual first edition has an article on this on pge 167 ''hiding lavalier mics'', if you want I can send you the page scanned.
Dimitrios


And by the way we are out of topic here, so please ask some sound engineers about this.
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#12 John Thomas

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 06:32 AM

Thanks for the help...I guess I'll get as tight as I can until I think it's strobing.

JT
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