Monday, June 06, 2011

Repost of an Oldie but a Goodie.

I'm into night work in a town that's over an hour away. I  just don't have much time to come up with a post. So here is an older one some (most) of you have probably not seen.

The Take They Use...

...Is not always the best take for you. I recently came across a trailer for a movie I did a while back (the fact that we shot it two years ago and it's coming out in January should tell you something). The first shot in the trailer is a boom down on a cell phone. I remember this shot well. We did it on a Lambda Head so we could get down low on a profile of the phone. We must have done 6 takes on this thing before the operator said it was good. The reason? The shake involved in an offset Lambda on a quick boom down. Anyway, we finally got the shot (I even reviewed it on playback) and it was fine. Then I saw the trailer. Boom down---shaky, shaky. I couldn't believe it. They used one of the shakey takes. This is an unfortunate occurance in this line of work, however (I'm sure camera operators and ACs deal with it too). Once we do our job, it's out of our hands and sometimes a take is used for reasons of performance, or whatever, that shows our work in a less-than-favorable light. I did a tv series years ago where there was a scene invloving a lot of extras at a party and a long dance floor move. We did a couple of takes and it was fine. Then we did one more and one extra suddenly decided to change his route. You got it, I nailed him. The whole dolly shook and he was fine, but I was sure we would never see this take. A couple of weeks later I caught the episode on tv. Guess which take they used? Yep, out of three good takes, we saw the one with the enormous jarring bump at the end. Another time I was doing this big budget movie and... well let's just say they used the crane shot where the hotgears developed a jarring glitch. It's still there in the DVD (no, I won't say which movie it was). That's why over the years I've learned not to judge AC, operator or dolly work too harshly in the final product. Sometimes, they're looking at other things and I guess they choose the lesser of two evils.