View Full Version : How would you shoot this sequence?

12-26-2005, 03:24 PM
I'm looking to shoot the following scene:
Person is sleeping on bed, very close up shot of only his eyes. Then his eyes open up, and the camera slowly zooms out and begins to show his surroundings, where he is laying down, bed, then further surroundings. Yes, like the opening shot for Lost's first season pilot. I tried to shoot this just holding the camera, but it comes out way too shaky. My tripod doesn't work either for such a vertical shot..... any ideias to make it steady?

12-26-2005, 04:16 PM
Built a rig near the ceiling over the bed, a frame of 2x4s or whatever, then use the remote control to start the camera and do the zoom.

You'll have to set the focus beforehand, of course. And use as much light as needed to close down the iris so you don't have to worry about focus as much.

Probably best to run a cable to an external monitor, too. Saves trial and error time. :)

(Don't remember the opening of Lost, so that might not be what you mean....)

Nathan Buxton
12-26-2005, 04:21 PM
A ladder, and a cheap phtoography tripod where you can remove the head and angle it 90 degrees. tape the tripod to the ladder with the tripod's legs together (thus giving you reach with the tripod for widest possible without the ladder in frame.

Michael Wisniewski
12-26-2005, 04:30 PM
Or you can forget the zoom, and do a crane up movement, manually, with your tripod.

Hold the tripod/camera over your actor's head like a large axe, with the camera as the axe head, and the tripod as the axe handle. Then just pull the whole thing up to do the reveal.

Plus you can keep your camera on wide, so there'll be less shakiness. Even better if you use a wide angle lens.

12-27-2005, 07:08 PM
Thanx, that's a lot of help and ideias. I'm going to try either getting a small step ladder or do the horizontal tripod thing. How would you do this shot if you were outside??

01-06-2006, 01:00 AM
the shot you are describing would be a boom up on a crane, not a zoom. The optics are different. Remember, humans can walk backwards, but the human eye cannot zoom out. So a zoom is unnatural to a human. Thus in this day and age they are very rarely used in traditional narrative.

For the bed shot, if you can't get a dolly with a jib arm, I would go so far as to recommend doing some tricks. Like standing the matress up against a wall, taping the sheet, and having the actor stand, pretending to be asleep. Then you can get a wheelchair or skateboard and stand on it with a monopod or something, have a friend pull you back, and get the shot.

Or, I once shot pointing down at a bed by rivoting a hook into my ceiling, tying some rope to my camera, and looping it over the hook. Then you could pull back on the rope and the camera would come up. You'de need to pump the feed out to a monitor so you can see what you are doing, and make sure your ceiling is strong enough to manage the weight.

Another option. Find a film rental facility in your area. Rent a few C-sands, they should only be about 5 bucks a day. You could rig some c-stand to mount your camera on them pointing down, then raise them up while recording.

The only thing is, I doubt you'll have a wide enough lens on your camera to get all that much, even if the camera is all the way up on the top of your ceiling, unless you have a lofted high ceiling where you are shooting.



01-06-2006, 02:42 PM
Thanks Zoo! The mattress up against the wall is very original, a fantastic ideia! I have already shot the outside scene, but that's what I'll be doing for the inside one. Thanks man!! peace