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Old June 7th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #1
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dolly shots in interviews

Hi All,

I have ben watching alot of docs recently which seem to incorporate a subtle dolly shot during interviews.

The camera is always in constant motion and the subject is kept on the right side of the frame by a slow pan.

I would like to use this technique in a shoot I have coming up so would be interested to hear of anyone who has tried it or has some best practice tips.

I have seen a gadget advertised in TV Bay magazine called the Slider which fits to the head of the tripod and allows the camera to slowly 'slide' in a given direction.

Does anybody know anything about this and if the technique has a name?

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Old June 7th, 2010, 03:08 PM   #2
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Have a look here - The HBS Group - Index This forum is really useful for all things to do with stabilisng and camera movement. Products like Glidetrack ? Portable video camera dolly system for film makers can be bought or made if you're ok with basic metalwork.

These things work rather nicely - and come in many lengths and even ready made are not too expensive.

One cameraman I used to work with was an ex-BBC man and could do amazing compound movements where he could track a moving subject going across the set, changing height, panning, tilting and pulling focus all at the same time. I spent hours practicing and never got that good. That said, he couldn't do it with a rubbish ped, an uneven floor, or rotten head. A neat trick we do whenever we have budget in theatres, is remove a row of seats, put track down and do stage width longshots with constant movement. The longshot is always a good get out of trouble cut while the closeup cams are reframing or moving, and a static longshot is always a bit dull - just having it moving injects interest. All these things cost something, but are worth it.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 07:22 PM   #3
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I have only had real success with this kind of shot when using a real ride on dolly - me concentrating on framing, the grip concentrating on slow, smooth dolly moves.
When I've used a basic pipe dolly for the camera and tried to get smooth dolly & counter pan there has always been a jerky-ness to one or the other and sometimes both.
I have a similar slider to the glide track, with mine I find that any pan movement causes the slider rail to bite making the dolly move jump. The length is also not really long enough for an interview type move.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #4
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Guys we'd like to see your shts!Links please!!!!
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Old June 27th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #5
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My personal preference, if shooting a long interview in an uncontrolled environment with a single camera and minimal resources is NOT to move the camera at all, except of course if the subject looks like weaving in and out of the frame.

The moment you have to cull something or re-assemble to a better composition of the wordstuff you might discover in the paper edit, you have a jump cut to manage with a cutaway or a dissolve. It is probably just a balance of convenience thing for most.

If you have a second camera view to fall back on, - fine.

I agree though that motion is more interesting and can serve to focus viewer attention.

There is an ethical issue to consider. When you do the moves, you are no longer being impartial but are manipulating the audience and its focus on facts, be it with intent or otherwise.
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