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Thread: I have a theory about tripods

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    Default I have a theory about tripods

    In all the movies and tv shows I've been watching lately, I've noticed that the shots that look the best are the ones that don't look like they had the steadiness of a tripod. There's always a minute bit of movement back and forth, up and down. This makes me wonder if all these shots aren't done with shoulder rigs rather than tripods. Of course there's the exception with the crane and dolly shots, but the rest always has that little bit of movement. Anyone else notice that? And if so, can anyone account for it?

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    Legend Almohada's Avatar
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    You've been watching too many new movies and tv shows. Cinematography is utter crap nowadays. Check out 60s/70s/80s/90s shows and just think about all the hard work that was put into it back then. It was a true art form alright. A lot of heart put into everything. Sadly those days are long gone.
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    Legend Janke's Avatar
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    I just hate Shaky camera!


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    Bertzie, Handheld camera work in cinema has been around for many many decades, somehow there's a notion that's it's only a current thing. It's entirely a matter of choice, however, there are periodic attempts to convince us that handheld is somehow intrinsically wrong... I, for instance, am not a fan of the "slider" aesthetic, but would never argue against its use.

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    Legend Almohada's Avatar
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    I know that its been used for decades. Just now more than ever before. To an extremely ridiculous level.
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    Legend Janke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almohada View Post
    To an extremely ridiculous level.
    Some TV shows are unwatchable, in fact...


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    I suppose I should clarify a little bit. I didn't mean full-on blair-witch/cloverfield shaking. I was referring to shots where there's just enough movement to show that it wasn't perfectly still. More like a steadicam shot, but with less movement overall. It (in my opinion) feels more organic than the sterile perfectly steady shots a tripod gives.

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    Do you have any examples?
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    This cut from Breaking Bad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqkYr5uIreg If you keep an eye along the top of the screen, you'll see the movement. If I had to guess, it probably is steadicam footage, but I'd like confirmation on that first.

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    Legend Almohada's Avatar
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    You never know they could always add it in post. I'd prefer adding it in post myself. Gives me much more control.
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    Would be a rather odd thing to add in post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almohada View Post
    Do you have any examples?
    Any episode of House or Law & Order is full of subtle movements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bertzie View Post
    Would be a rather odd thing to add in post.
    I think it's a smart idea... think about it... you have TOTAL CONTROL
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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bertzie View Post
    In all the movies and tv shows I've been watching lately, I've noticed that the shots that look the best are the ones that don't look like they had the steadiness of a tripod. There's always a minute bit of movement back and forth, up and down.
    Steadycam, monopod...or shoulder rig, depending on what they're shooting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Almohada View Post
    You've been watching too many new movies and tv shows. Cinematography is utter crap nowadays.
    Unfortunately, I think you're right. It's not that cinematography in general is crap, just that some people took what they liked and overused it in everything, so we notice it even more now because of that. Teal & Orange is another good example.
    Quote Originally Posted by Janke View Post
    I just hate Shaky camera!
    Yeah, like that:

    Quote Originally Posted by vadis View Post
    It's entirely a matter of choice, however, [..] I, for instance, am not a fan of the "slider" aesthetic, but would never argue against its use.
    Exactly. It's only a choice, and some just focused on that particular method for their whole work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Almohada View Post
    To an extremely ridiculous level.
    Again, unfortunately true my friend...
    Quote Originally Posted by Janke View Post
    Some TV shows are unwatchable, in fact...
    I've almost stop watching BlueBloods with Tom Selleck because of that. The first episode was like cloverfield, and for no reason. Then it's a little more subtle...not perfect, but at least, better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bertzie View Post
    I suppose I should clarify a little bit. [...] It (in my opinion) feels more organic than the sterile perfectly steady shots a tripod gives.
    Depends what's you're shooting. I couldn't stand some movies with shots like that, where the camera is moving that much. Alien as an example wouldn't be great shot that way. So depending what's you're shooting...it can work, or ruin the shot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Benway View Post
    Any episode of House or Law & Order is full of subtle movements.
    I never found it disturbing in House, and I only remember dolly shots except "handheld" ones. A good camera operator is another good option if you decide to go handheld in your production.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almohada View Post
    You never know they could always add it in post. I'd prefer adding it in post myself. Gives me much more control.
    I have a friend who absolutely shoots EVERYTHING on a tripod, slider or crane. No hand held or steadycam at all. But, he often adds the "handheld effect" in post.

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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    What's the point of doing everything on a perfect stability when you'll shake it in post.
    Better to do it straight when shooting.
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.

  17. #17
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    Put a beanbag on top of your tripod and rest the camera on it for long lens shots. If you try to keep the camera as still as possible you will get the subtle movements that prevent the shot feeling dead.

    Works great, try it next time you are shooting.

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    Not a bad idea, AJUK.


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    Cool! I'll pick one up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by drapeama View Post
    What's the point of doing everything on a perfect stability when you'll shake it in post.
    Better to do it straight when shooting.
    No. If you want to do any work in AE or C4D with your shot you make life way easier for yourself if you lock it down. Now, go into AE or C4D and composite in your elements. Finally, add some camera movement and some selective blurring and you can create a realistic illusion.

    See this video and read post #11 in this thread discussing the video.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bertzie View Post
    This cut from Breaking Bad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqkYr5uIreg If you keep an eye along the top of the screen, you'll see the movement. If I had to guess, it probably is steadicam footage, but I'd like confirmation on that first.
    It looks to me like very smooth steadycam work or one of those "dolly" carts with pneumatic tires that the camera op sits on and one or two people pull it. The movement I really noticed was where the woman with the cell phone moved away from the group, the camera moved at close the same pace just ahead of her, maintaining pretty much the same camera to subject distance.

    The purpose of the movement was obviously to keep the viewer with the woman and concentrate increasing attention on her as she moved.

    To me it was very well done, quite smooth and added viewer interest and involvement in the scene.

    I think I need to find and watch the movie now. That scene pulls at me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bif View Post
    It looks to me like very smooth steadycam work or one of those "dolly" carts with pneumatic tires that the camera op sits on and one or two people pull it. The movement I really noticed was where the woman with the cell phone moved away from the group, the camera moved at close the same pace just ahead of her, maintaining pretty much the same camera to subject distance.

    The purpose of the movement was obviously to keep the viewer with the woman and concentrate increasing attention on her as she moved.

    To me it was very well done, quite smooth and added viewer interest and involvement in the scene.

    I think I need to find and watch the movie now. That scene pulls at me.

    Bruce Foreman
    It's a tv show. The first 3 seasons are on Netflix, that scene is from season 4.

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    Senior Member homestar_kevin's Avatar
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    Bif,

    Breaking Bad really is my favorite show on television.

    It's soo good on so many levels. I wish I could see it all for the first time again!

    Enjoy

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