June 15, 2009

My Turn

I am no Polanksi or anything, and my camera is pretty weak, but that didn't stop me from capturing shots around Whistler. Whenever I saw some type of story possible I pressed record. Below are the results of the day and some findings I discovered along the way...

First up is my favourite house on my morning walk. Here I learned that, just like any story, each shot has a beginning, a middle, and an end. We start off with a view of the brook to give the audience an idea as to the type of environment we're in. The camera catches a car (invisible here) moving across the bridge, which causes us to change panning directions. Finally, the car speeds out of frame, leaving the audience with a view of the house where the car is supposedly headed.

Below are the quilted BGs. One as the camera sees it, and another with a potential (but very crude) animation layer.

The following shot is a little more complex, but once I put it together it made a lot more sense. The idea is that we are following the character up the stairs and around the corner to the phonebooth. In the end, the trickiest part (aside from warping the layout properly) would be making sure the character maintained its volume and stayed planted on the ground. I have to thank the English Patient work I did for helping me with that task.

This was a happy accident. I just wanted to film a busy intersection to contrast with the peaceful mountains, but when the Purolator truck entered the frame a better story developed; it seems like the Purolator truck is delivering something up the mountain! lol Lesson here: what is at the beginning of a shot will unavoidably relate to the end of the shot, and vice versa.

Next up, I discovered that it looks really cool to move from an interior to an exterior. It feels really sneaky, as if someone has a secret or someone is the target of an evil plot. Here I thought it looked like the protagonist (again, invisible, but seen in crude drawings) was sitting on a bench inside with his reflection in the mirror while the antagonist was making a call to his boss on the payphone to say "I got him".

Also, it's awesome that you can move from a bright set to a dark set in one shot.

You know, there are much fewer verticle pans than there are horizontal or diagonal pans. Perhaps we don't look up or down as often as we stare straight ahead. Here, I stood on a bridge and caught this cyclist from above and followed him into the distance. Creepy...maybe...yes--but effective.

And finally, another deceptful-looking shot moving from an exterior to an interior this time. I'm not sure if I nailed the porportions of the character or not, but you get the idea. It seemed to me like he was going to his car to begin a mission.

It's key to remember that the character continues moving even when a large forground element covers him. He will most likely change porportions and/or direction by the time he gets out the other side.

And there you have it! After this first session I feel a teensy bit more knowledgeable and hopefully next time out in the field I will be able to capture more ambitious shots.


Sam! said...

Hey Jamie,

These are great. Are you planning on taking them any further? Maybe doing a rough location design and a few boards, based on one of the scenes?

Anyhow, keep it up! It's great that you're keeping your observational skills in check in a less than traditional manner.

Jamie said...

Thanks Sam (exclamation mark). Yeah, I thought about actually drawing out the layout(s) for my favourite one(s). I'll try to get to that soon. I also want to take some more shots that are a little more challenging. So much to do, so little time, y'know? :)

Edo Avenir said...

these are pretty cool camera moves! Did you do these exercises for storyboarding?

Jamie said...

Hey Ed, no these weren't for storyboarding or school specifically. I just did them on my own this summer because I had this layout discovery. I'm hoping to get some more time to capture and analyze more scenes.

How are you? Are you still in Ottawa?

Tapan Gandhi said...

very awesome, jamie. i learned a lot from this post! i love that you can see the world this way.. as a shot in a film. i really need to develop my eye for that. keep it up!! i need to learn more too!

Edo Avenir said...

Yep I'm still in ottawa as I write this post, but I'll be moving back soon because I want to try and find work in Toronto. Plus I miss my talented classmates and want to maybe draw/sketch w/ them again and also possibly mooch a spot in the open lifedrawing area every so often come september >__>