I'm fairly new to the world of filmmaking and have a question about focussing that I was hoping someone could help me out on.
I come from a commercial stills background but used to use zone focussing to shoot street photography as a hobby years ago.
I understand Hyperfocal is used sometimes, but I was wondering if zone focussing is something that is used/factored into in some shots, particularly follow shots or leading shots for example.
On a shoot recently pulling focus myself I found I lost focus sometimes on the moving subject and there were times it was a bit too soft. I got to wondering if zone focussing was a thing in filmmaking since it seems it would lend itself perfectly to moving shots like follow, orbit or leading type shots on say a Steadicam or gimbal. I understand that for most productions there is a focus puller, but in the case of working alone, could it make sense to use zone focussing?
Say you have a follow shot and you decide on walking behind the subject a few feet using a 35mm lens and f 2.8. The DOF is not going to be great and if you are pulling focus yourself there is most likely going to be a lot of drifting in and out of critical focus, so in cases like that, do cinematographers grab a DOF calculator and decide on a lens, distance and aperture in the cases they can't use a focus puller and roll with an acceptable level of sharpness by just keeping the subject(s) within the depth of field, instead of constantly trying to track the subject and keep them as sharp as possible?