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Pulling Focus on Steadicam Shot

Sam Oddo

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Hey Guys,

I've been tasked to pull focus for a short film that consists of one 12-minute Steadicam shot. The director wants to use only natural light and practicals, in addition to shooting wide open on an Arri/Zeiss Master Prime 18 mm lens. Do you guys have any suggestions on how I can achieve the best results?





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Well, besides just being excellent at estimating distance and having a good artistic feel for the focus pulls - do a blocking rehearsal and a marking rehearsal with stops and starts so you can get your measurements. Watch playback on a large HD monitor after every take and make adjustments.


T1.3 on Master Primes leaves no margin for error, so you've certainly got your work cut out for you. Your DP would be smart to stop down to at least a T2/2.8 to give you a fighting chance. I would request any and all tools to help you out - a good 2nd AC, Preston FIZ3, Cinetape, HD transmitter, a large HD monitor, even a Preston Light Ranger 2 if you can get one. Even so, I think even a very experienced 1st AC would have a tough time on a 12min oner with Master Primes wide open. Good luck!

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