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Old March 22nd, 2007, 09:39 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Best way to pick up a man with a spoon...

Hi Everyone,

I've got a bit of a tricky question for you all today!

The Shot:
A person is chopping up vegetables in a classroom kitchen. Suddenly a giant wooden spoon picks him up and lifts him out of shot.

Actually, it's a bit more complicated than that... It lifts him out of one location and "puts" him in another. Basically, imagine the person is in the middle of the frame as the background (location one) "scrolls" down the screen revealing location two directly above it (which will also be scrolling down). Imagine a high rise building cut in half and the camera rises from floor one to floor two.

Anyway... Just thinking about the first bit (ignoring the whole changing location thing for now), what is the best way to film it?

I tried to think of ways to do it in camera, but I have come to the conclusion that chroma keying is the only real option.

The way I see it, I need to shot the background plates first (i.e. location one and two), then some "sample" footage of the person in both environments. Then using the same lighting, lenses, distance, etc. shoot the man against a blue/green screen, and finally shoot a close up of a spoon against a blue/green/black/white screen.

Question 1: Which Camera?
Panasonic HVX202, Panasonic DVX100 or Sony Z1P

I had briefly thought about shooting it on 16mm, but I'm not confident enough that I can pull it off to spend so much money on film.

Question 2: Blue, Green, White or Black Screen

I'm suggesting green for the man and white for the spoon. Your thoughts?

Question 3: How can I ensure consistent lighting?

This is going to be especially hard as I will be changing locations within the one shot!

Question 4: What's the best way to achieve the "rising from one floor to the one above" look? I've seen it done on feature films before, I just can't remember where! Panic Room used some similar techniques.

Question 5: Real spoon or 3D Computer Generated Spoon?

I would prefer to use the real thing, but would 3D be more suitable?

Any advice, ideas, and suggestions would be much appreciated!

Thanks for your time!

Chris Hocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2007, 08:12 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 29
Have you got any storyboards for the shot there mate?
As for the colour of the screen. It all depends on the colour of the subject you wish to key out.
Green is the most common colour, especially when shooting on DV or HDV.

Also if you use a real spoon, filmed against green, then keyed and blown up to a much larger size then you're going to run into trouble. First off, if the lighting dosn't match then you're screwed and have to reshoot it (unliked in CG), secondly you have to make sure the movements all match up on all the seperate elements, plus you have to take into account shadows etc...and let's not forget the fact that you'll have to get a spoon detailed enough to be blown up to a large size.
Kiss me...I'm Irish
Elliot Press is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2007, 10:15 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chehalis, WA
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Get Stu Maschwitz's book called 'The DV Rebel's Guide'

Read the sections on Effects. You will be able to make a fairly believable shot using his techniques.

Shoot both the cook and the spoon in the same room with the same lighting.

Hope this helps,

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Old March 26th, 2007, 11:09 PM   #4
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check out combustion 4.. in particular GSplines...
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 04:31 AM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Thanks for all your comments and advice!

I've been caught up with other things, so this has been put on the back burner.

I'll post some storyboards within the next couple of days...

I've got Stu's book...

I'll have a look into GSplines too...


Chris Hocking is offline   Reply

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