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A.J. Rickert-Epstein

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About A.J. Rickert-Epstein

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    Los Angeles
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    Action, VFX.

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  1. Hi, I just finished a new reel this week and wanted to share. Thanks for checking it out.
  2. Another thing to consider: you will almost certainly see the reflections of yourself / the camera / equipment / and any lights in the eye at that close of range, so since you will have to erase those anyway or replace them with what you want, you may be better off isolating the eye element and shooting that on it's own for VFX until you get that piece exactly right. If concerned with eye movement or time between blinks, shoot that part in high speed so any movement or blinking would be minimized. Afterwards, you can take that eye element and start it zoomed in digitally to where you want it...then begin your pull back to 1:1 or 0% digital zoom of the element (i.e. the eye is full frame just as you shot it) at the pace you want. From the raw 1:1 size of the eyeball element...you can continue pulling back by comping the eye element over the main pull back take on the 11mm or whatever you will use for that and track/zoom the eye digitally as you pull back so the size and placement are perfect. The main pull back take could be starting as close as you can get he/she in focus (and then zooming in digitally to match similar framing to the 1:1 size of the VFX eye element). You'd want to start the take before the camera move and give it some time for your digital zoom out, then slowly feather a dolly move into your intended pace back to the end of the room. With this method, there are some parts that might give your effect away if you don't get the details right...for example you may have trouble with background perspective on the digital zoom out from the eye element until your start frame 1:1 size on the main pull back take. If so, you can lock off the camera at your closest position on the main pull back take, and have the actor step out to get a clean plate of the background. With that, you can then manipulate the background during that time between the digital zoom and the real move, simulating perspective and parallax shift on the digital zoom out and hiding your seams. Since the background will likely be out of focus during that period of the shot, you will be able to get away with a lot of zooming/moving/manipulating with that. Then once the actor either blinks or you find another way to get out of the eye element needing to be comp'd in, the rest of the pull back is just in-camera easy peasy. The idea of blinking is good because you can get rid of the eye element easily during your main pull back take again without revealing the seam or trying to match a dissolve, or do something else fancy and time consuming. You might want to also use the main pull back take to lay over into the eyeball element digital zoom out so the portion of his/her face and eyelids zoom out too, hiding that seam I hope that last part is clear. If not, I can describe it more. I did something similar to this shot one time but not all the way into the eye. The kid acting in it was a trooper, he had to keep his eyes open and not blink while one of those air blowers that fill up inflatable boucy houses was shooting at his face emulating the movement of air coming from very loud speakers (a la old school Maxell commercial). It was one of the hardest things I've ever shot. I'm hesitant to post a link because the video is really violent and offensive to many, but since that stuff is only after the shot I'm speaking of I will point you in the right direction if you want to see it. If you're inclined to search for it it's on youtube - it's a video for the song Gutter by Yelawolf. It's the one with the warning that says do not watch this. I recommend pressing stop as the camera begins to pan around and reveal what they're watching. If you continue to watch, you cannot unsee what is there. Be warned.
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