Saturday, August 01, 2015

Rhythm

 (I had to look up this word like, three times to spell it correctly, and I'm a spelling freak.)
 Rhythm is a very important concept when talking of camera movement. Now you may think I'm speaking of the beats of a move or any such high-minded ideas ( what an awful sentence. I really have dranken too much,). I'm talking about the rhythms of the set. In other words, the flow of work from one take to the next. When you do a difficult shot, with many variables- focus, framing, actors, dolly-, you get into a rhythm.  You rehearse, and get 50% of it if you're good. If you're really good, you get 90% of it on the first take. By the second or third take you nail it. Unless the rhythm is off. Twenty minute delays between takes are a killer.  I know the director needs to talk to actors and lighting needs to be tweaked blah blah blah. But you have to establish a rhythm to the shot and once it is interrupted, it's hard to get it back.
   I'm doing B camera on a show now. It's basically a fill-in job until my next one. But the concept of rhythm has really been re-emphasized on this one. It's what allows us as dolly grips to pull off a multi-point dance floor move. It grounds us and keeps seemingly impossible shots from becoming overwhelming. I've always said that the way to master dance floor moves is to think of them in separate chunks of movement. If you try to visualize the whole move at once, it will freak you out. Establishing a rhythm is just as important. Once it's broken, by a wardrobe malfunction, or a lighting adjustment, it's hard to keep it. That's where the true pro shines. Remembering the speed twenty minutes later. Work on that.

D

The Captain has spoken.

3 comments:

Sanjay Sami said...

Aye aye Captn. I agree.

Michael Taylor said...

I always have to look up "rhythm" too -- thank God for spell-check...

Onno said...

I just finished a shoot with 12 minutes at least between takes, negotiating of the suggested changes on how to get the shot. After a couple of takes and a lot of tips and suggestions I suggested to do the shot 3 times in a row and then elaborate all the options. No need for after that; take 3 was the winner :- 0