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-   -   How to shoot invisibly edited "one take" Shots (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/techniques-independent-production/470052-how-shoot-invisibly-edited-one-take-shots.html)

Melvin Harris December 26th, 2009 10:39 PM

How to shoot invisibly edited "one take" Shots
I am sure that many have seen Children of Men or the fight scene from Irreversible... I really want to know how to plan that, shoot it and edit it using Sony Vegas, Adobe After Effects, and any other program necessary for the morphing or CG necessary to make it work. Especially the fight scene from Irreversible.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I would love to begin testing Monday.

Please come to our rescue...


Brian Drysdale December 27th, 2009 06:48 AM

The simplest method is just to get some on screen object to wipe the frame and use the wiping object on either side of the cut. You can move this object so that the incoming location has nothing to do with the original outgoing location. The wipe itself has only to last a few frames and can easily be a moving object.

An alternative is to match frame the incoming and outgoing scenes.

Melvin Harris December 27th, 2009 10:30 AM

Ok, but in the case of irreversible there was a lot of movement, how do I control the foreground and background and still keep the illusion of realism.

Charles Papert December 27th, 2009 02:26 PM

Easiest "in-camera" method to disguise a cut is a whip pan; Children of Men used a few of these. Usually a very short dissolve, around 3 frames, helps hide the cut in the pan. Avoid whipping in or out of bright lights as these will cause a streak in the frame that will be more noticeable when it disappears on the other side of the cut.

Melvin Harris December 27th, 2009 04:44 PM

Ok, I'll try setting up the whip pan method today. Any other tricks I can add to the arsenal?

Brian Drysdale December 27th, 2009 04:51 PM

Unless you've got a lot of resources I'd pick the moments when there isn't a lot of background and foreground action to make the cuts, you don't want to make life complicated for the sake of it. The effects guys on these films will go for the easiest cutting methods, you need to plan your action knowing where the "cuts" are going to be. Fights scenes are always planned in advance anyway.

As Charles mentioned very short dissolves will hide these joins, it's very much slight of hand stuff.

From memory, the "Children of Men" DVD shows where they joined their shots, that might give you some ideas.

Melvin Harris December 27th, 2009 08:57 PM

Alright. We are going to work on it. I'll try to post some results but it's a bit like putting together a puzzle. @Charles- thanks for that! I watch the trailer for The Perfect Sleep every day I can and look at the stills you posted to study.
@Brian- that's the hard part! planning the cuts are the thing, getting in close to the action in order to pull the tricks and see that stuff is killing me. I like the 300 thing where action zooms in to get detail and pulls back out but that is too difficult.

I'll try it and post the results, they will be raw but it's about the illusion.

Cole McDonald December 27th, 2009 09:56 PM

See Hitchcock's "Rope"

Charles Papert December 28th, 2009 01:20 AM

Ooof--Cole, "Rope" was ingenious in its day but last I saw it, the transitions didn't hold up too well to modern eyes. Ducking behind walls/pillars/people's backs is a bit clumsy these days unless you can make it very quick.

p.s. Melvin, if you have a Netflix account you can stream "The Perfect Sleep" for free from their site (or of course order it as a regular rental)--lots more to look at than is in the trailer!!

Peter Ralph December 28th, 2009 12:16 PM

Charles - equally in 2009 does a whip pan hide a cut?

Matt Champagne December 28th, 2009 05:16 PM

There is another dirty trick you can do in post. Let any actors and/or moving foreground elements leave frame so that you have only the background in the shot for a frame or two. Here is where you'd make your cut.

When you restart you get in approximately the same exact framing, lens, lighting, etc. In post you perform a morph (using something like RE:vision motion morph, or something similar) between the end frame of the final frame of the first shot and the first frame of the second shot.

This method is used quite a bit in Irreversible, as well as in the 4 minute fight scene in Ong Bok.

Believe it or not, Children of Men really is almost entirely one take.

Charles Papert December 28th, 2009 06:04 PM


Originally Posted by Peter Ralph (Post 1465368)
Charles - equally in 2009 does a whip pan hide a cut?

I think so, but only if it is appropriate to the style of the scene. In the middle of sedentary dialogue it might stick out, but if the camera is already quite active, as it was in the scene towards the end of "Children of Men", it's easy to hide and doesn't call attention to itself. Having the camera nosedive into someone's jacket and then re-emerge elsewhere is much more of a giveaway.

When I worked on "Scrubs" there were a lot of these types of transitions inbetween scenes. Sometimes the directors would be quite ambitious and have us dolly into a setpiece or prop like a table lamp and then days later we'd place the same item in another scene and dolly out of it. After seeing what it took to marry the two on the post side of things, I ended up bringing in a little switcher and lining up the footage from the previous scene with a split wipe to make sure that we were in the ballpark.

I used the device in one of my old Instant Films--a double whip pan, at 5:18. Had a lot of people asking "how did you do that?". But of course that was 7 years ago...!

Cole McDonald December 28th, 2009 08:17 PM


Originally Posted by Charles Papert (Post 1465224)
Ooof--Cole, "Rope" was ingenious in its day but last I saw it, the transitions didn't hold up too well to modern eyes. Ducking behind walls/pillars/people's backs is a bit clumsy these days unless you can make it very quick.

This method is still used often today, but the reason for my addressing with this example is the fact that other than the transitions, the whole film is single takes (many, many single takes). I've seen the person wiping camera used often to hide jump cuts in the various crime dramas, except that today, instead of cutting through black, they actually wipe the camera, then use a mask tool to shape the wipe to the person or object wiping revealing the second shot. These happen often during the interrogations to reframe.

I've used a double whip pan to go from one static shot to another by framing each shot, then whip panning off of it: first shot of XCU eyes of actor frame left - whip right, second shot of XCU eyes of actor frame right - whip left. In the NLE, I reversed the second shot and did a dissolve between the two shots making a whip pan from one actors eyes to the others. As the background is the same between the two shots, the whip pan is virtually seamless as I faded between the same parts of the background.

( http://yafiunderground.com/Video/heinz_sm.mov )

Charles Papert December 28th, 2009 08:26 PM

That's funny Cole, for all the whip pans I've done in my career, I've never had the "luxury" of reversing the second one (it's a great idea though--just don't think it's ever come up)! Might have to pitch that for an exceptional hard one. Nailing a whip-on is always a crap shoot. The other brutal one of those is the snap zoom into someone's face, where you have to reframe as you are zooming (unless their face happens to be in the center of the frame, rarely the case).

Peter Ralph December 28th, 2009 10:09 PM

I take it back - it fooled me!

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