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Old January 11th, 2019, 04:56 PM   #46
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Re: Is it possible to pull focus on a lens while crash zooming?

Well I thought that a surprise would be better. The thing is, is that the main character is a cop and his police co-workers are getting killed, so he is on real ticking time bomb scenario, and I thought that he wouldn't just pause to wait a for a dolly move to finish.

Plus it's a fast moving scene in general, with all these other fast camera moves so I thought that a slow reveal may suddenly feel out of place, if everything else if fast.
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Old January 11th, 2019, 05:53 PM   #47
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Re: Is it possible to pull focus on a lens while crash zooming?

If it was a place of possible danger the cop wouldn't just rush in, he'd use his senses, listening ,watching before he/she makes their move. Camera moves should be motivated and the character wouldn't wait, the camera would move at the pace the tension requires.

I'd read up on Hitchcock, he knew how to hold an audience on the edge of their seat and top directors still use the same techniques .
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Old January 11th, 2019, 06:21 PM   #48
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Re: Is it possible to pull focus on a lens while crash zooming?

Not to continue to tell you how to shoot your own movie but another approach might be cu shot or tracking/leading shot with the guy slowly proceeding through the room, thinking heís alone, then CUT to a wider shot of the room showing the guys hiding around corners/behind pillars/wherever. A sour sounding music cue accompanying the cut tell us things are about to get nasty.

If theyre hiding physically close where hes peaking around corners a tiny cam move rather than a dramatic zoom can reveal them...thats down to blocking.

There are really an almost infinite number of ways to approach any filmmaking scenario. Your mind is locked into this one idea. Look stuff up on Youtube. There are probably many clips of scenes just like this from shows and movies from the 80s onward with every possible approach, not to mention stuff from other indie filmmakers.
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Old January 11th, 2019, 06:24 PM   #49
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Re: Is it possible to pull focus on a lens while crash zooming?

Well I guess I just feel that there is the way to shoot something that feels right and every other way does not feel as good, and the less compromises I make, the better I feel.
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Old January 11th, 2019, 06:32 PM   #50
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Re: Is it possible to pull focus on a lens while crash zooming?

I suspect you're caught up in what the camera is doing rather than what the audience is doing and emoting. You can have changes of pace within fast action.


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Old January 11th, 2019, 06:42 PM   #51
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Re: Is it possible to pull focus on a lens while crash zooming?

Yeah that's true. I mean I could possibly rent a lens that could do the zoom but it was said on here that even if I could that tracking shots still look better, even if slower. So if that's true, maybe I should just track it really fast, and see if I can speed it up in post without the actors looking like they are moving fast. If I can't then just live with it being slower compared to a crash zoom then maybe.

But if I was able to get a crash zoom lens, would tracking it still look better do you think?
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Old January 11th, 2019, 07:24 PM   #52
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Re: Is it possible to pull focus on a lens while crash zooming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
Not to continue to tell you how to shoot your own movie but another approach
There are really an almost infinite number of ways to approach any filmmaking scenario. Your mind is locked into this one idea. Look stuff up on Youtube.
This.

Reminds me of in art school that teachers would repeatedly try to break students predilection of falling in love with their first idea.

I can see many other approaches that would work. But somethings you need discover it for yourself.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; January 11th, 2019 at 10:20 PM.
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Old January 11th, 2019, 10:10 PM   #53
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Re: Is it possible to pull focus on a lens while crash zooming?

That is true. I have been that obstinate guy before and probably will be again. But at least take a look at other examples from scenes in movies and shows via youtube/vimeo/etc. just to see if thereís something you hadnt thought of that might work, before you spend money to rent a lens (especially given the long time before the shoot that you have to book the gear and the fact that if you have tp reschedule due to a actor conflicts or whatever you lose that money).

Thatís one thing I have learned over the years that I feel strongly about...using references to judge your work against or get ideas...see where others suceeded or didnt and see how you might use a similar (not IDENTICAL, we dont want to be thieves) approach.
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Old January 11th, 2019, 11:03 PM   #54
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Re: Is it possible to pull focus on a lens while crash zooming?

Okay thanks. I actually saw this type of reveal shot with a crash zoom before in movies like The Wild Bunch, where they did a similar reveal, which is why I thought it would work the best cause you can move so far in such a fast speed. The store is actually selling a Sigma 18mm-300mm for cheap, and if I sold my lens and got that one, I wouldn't be out any money. Unless the notion that Sigma lenses not being better at being parfocal while zooming are not true :).

But I can do the tracking fast if that's better. I could cut it but I feel this type of reveal should be done with a point of view move, rather than a cut perhaps.
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Old January 17th, 2019, 05:25 PM   #55
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Re: Is it possible to pull focus on a lens while crash zooming?

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Originally Posted by Ryan Wray View Post
Okay thanks, but I didn't have the autofocus on in the video. If I put the autofocus on, then the lens cannot zoom back as fast, and it does it slower.
I'm not familiar with the particular lens you're using, but this statement - along with the sample you posted - makes it sound like your lens is a focus-by-wire type lens (ie everything is controlled electronically by motors). Even when you're using manual focus, turning the ring simply tells the AF motors when and how to engage in order to zoom or focus the lens elements, meaning you never actually have repeatable, fully manual control. So the short answer is you cannot do what you want with this type of lens. Any of the 70-200 variants should be able to do this much better though, as you can preset your zoom and focus marks and they'll be fairly close each time.

Having said that, I agree with others that there are probably better solutions than just sticking to your guns and doing the crash zoom. Solve problems with either story, or blocking, before you try to fix them with camera gear.

eg: You say there is not time for him to stop and peer around the corner? Well, give him some other motivation to pause - he flicks the light switch as he enters the parking lot, but the lights don't come on. Or a cat scampers away knocking over some discarded beer bottles and giving him a fright. These are things that can not only solve your pacing issues, but also add tension to the scene - because by the point we see the other people creeping out of the shadows, our protagonist is totally distracted by something else. (Think of the scene in Aliens, where Ripley and Hicks are rushing to the landing pad and get into the elevator - it's an extremely fast paced race for survival, they get in the elevator, push the button.... and nothing happens! They're vulnerable and distracted and the tension builds)

Or, another solution, is that you don't need to do a camera move or edit at all. Use blocking to put your creepers in the foreground in the shadows. Hide them in plain sight, amongst other foreground objects and barely visible until they start moving (again, another example from Aliens is the first encounter in the hive. We see a low angle shot of one of the Marines with the hive wall behind them. When the alien emerges from the wall we realise we were staring right at it the whole time).
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