Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gran Torino


Part of what I like to do on this page is praise good dolly work. DP's get it. Directors get it. Operators even have their own awards. So, when I see good work behind the dolly (and we all know what bad work looks like), I like to point it out. I saw Gran Torino tonight and aside from being a really good picture, the work by my buddy Greg Brooks was well done. I knew he had grabbed a much coveted spot on Eastwood's crew a couple of years ago and was glad to hear it. The movie has a lot of almost imperceptible staging moves, including one scene in a garden with Eastwood and another actor where the camera has to go a long way back and forth to hold a nice over, that I, if I hadn't been a Dolly Grip myself, would have never noticed, which is kind of the point.. There are a lot of compound moves and all are nicely done with no sudden "top-offs" or "Bottom -outs." It's one of those movies that you see and wish you had worked on. Flashy moves ain't really Eastwood's style, so it takes a really steady hand to make all those slow creeps imperceptable. Nice work. Check it out.

7 comments:

christo said...

speakin of slow creaps i took your advice and levelled my track on a slight downslope.you could do the move with one finger.
it was great until the director said do the same thing coming out i wasn't ready and had bad positioning. i kind of sucked but after a few times it was cool.
then some relighting happened and my peewee with the bad breaks started slowly moving down the track and i was headed after over twenty years behind a dolly it going off the track for the first time.

i turned around to see the stand in holding on to the dolly like it was an out of control lawn mower.

lesson learned always be attentive when you go with the grade

D said...

Good story. Sometimes the grade works for you, and sometimes it works against you. The trick is to make it not too steep if it turns against you. Thanks for the comments!

danworx said...

On the very steep slopes, always have somebody holding on the dolly. I try not to leave the dolly in those cases or have at least my assistent holding it.

Haven't seen the Eastwood yet but are looking forward to it..
The imperceptable creeps are a vavourite of mine.
The best compliment is an operator who says if you did the move on the last take because he couldn't feel it.

Greetz danworx

Onno said...

Just recently an operator interrupted a take since he was sure I was not moving the dolly, though we were halfway already..:-).
I do love the trackings were there is a small distinction between standing still or moving and still hit your marks during a dialog: It makes our work fun and glorious!!

Onno

Azurgrip said...

"Can you make a 8" move last 8 minutes?" That's when counting tires rotations is hipnotizing.

D said...

...And painful. I've always thought creeps were the hardest and most grueling shots to do. I try to do them from my knees if I can and put a finger on a wheel for resistance.

GHB said...

Hey D, thanks for the compliments. Coming from you it means a great deal to me. And thanks for feeling my pain on that garden sequence....that was a killer.

Slow creeps are the best. Nothing like trying to time the dialogue and then nailing it purely by accident.

Oh and Christo...It's my belief that any dolly grip (that is to say, anyone who pushes one for many years) who says they've never accidentally pushed the dolly off the end of the track...is a liar....