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September 1996, Week 4


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Michael Sime <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 21 Sep 1996 12:16:36 -0400
text/plain (54 lines)
>Flash pans are used in a subjective manner...when the director wants you to
>focus first on one thing, then quickly on another. It's the way our head and
>brain work when we wtch and listen to a conversation...or there's a sharp
>noise away from our current point of focus. In such circumstances we don't
>take the time to examine the the backgrounds between the two points of
>All of this is made much easier since SteadyCam came into common usage. You
>could also do it with a Mitchell fluid head, but it's almost impossible with
>a Worral (sp?) on a dolly mount, which is most often used on stages in
>feature production.
>All of this MIGHT answer at least part of your question.
>Rolf Brandis
You're talking about SWISHpans, and they are very common on high energy
shows/films. They are VERY difficult to do with a STEADICAM (spell it
right, Garett would appreciate it), control is oh-so-important, and being
able to lock it off on the subject at the end of the pan is less than
easy. It is usually employed when the subject being tracked passes very
close to the lens, which tracks with a PAN only (no truck/dolly moves). A
counter move is when a subject moving one way, is tracked by the camera
moving in the opposite direction, this takes the movement and exaggerates
the motion in the scene exponetionaly.
You can do it on a gear head with all the drag lifted off (also with a
fluid head) but you have the same problem...finding your frame at the end
of the gotta be good to do it (I can, sometimes) and practice,
practice, practice that shot...oh, and try not to do it on a 100mm lens
at a subject 10yds away...
Anyhoo, it's just another style thing...kinda like dissolves inferring a
passage of time, the swishpan can infer a build up of frenetic/kenitic
action in the story. As with any other technique, if overused, it will
lose it's effectiveness. To see somoe of it check out some of the
Steadicam work on "ER".
Mike the Production Guru
Michael Sime        <[log in to unmask]>
Video Schmideo!      <[log in to unmask]>
It's not the time it takes to take the takes,
it's the time it takes BETWEEN the takes,
that takes the time to take the takes.
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