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mike spragg

Camera movement in Bad Boys 2

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Hi,

 

I am shooting an action show in South Africa and have been watching the car pursuit/chase in Bad Boys 2. Most of the shots including car rig material has vibration and an 'unstable' camera feel. Does anyone know if any particular technique was used to achieve this look ?

 

Thanks

 

Mike Spragg

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Most of the car chase stuff done in Michael Bay's films is done practically. For wide shots, chase shots, etc. cameras are usually mounted directly to vehicles and the natural vibration from the speed and movement of the cars adds the necessary effect. Almost every show M.B. does also uses the Pursuit Systems Porsche Cayenne to get more dynamic chase moves. http://www.pursuitsystems.com/

 

Close ups of actors in vehicles are done all the same way with Mr. Bay. He said in an interview years ago he picked it up from his low budget music video days and still uses it. Basically you put the actor in the vehicle and zoom the camera in and out rapidly while the camera operator shakes the film mag. See here: Bad Boys II Chase Skip to 1:37 and watch all the head on CU's from there on for examples of this in practice. The Hummer chase in The Rock uses this technique a lot as well. Once you know, it's easy to spot.

 

It's also good for causing viewers to vomit and get headaches. Enjoy.

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Thanks Kevin, it's pretty much what I thought and am planning for Strike Back

 

Mike

 

 

quote name='Kevin W Wilson' timestamp='1338525865' post='371871']

Most of the car chase stuff done in Michael Bay's films is done practically. For wide shots, chase shots, etc. cameras are usually mounted directly to vehicles and the natural vibration from the speed and movement of the cars adds the necessary effect. Almost every show M.B. does also uses the Pursuit Systems Porsche Cayenne to get more dynamic chase moves. http://www.pursuitsystems.com/

 

Close ups of actors in vehicles are done all the same way with Mr. Bay. He said in an interview years ago he picked it up from his low budget music video days and still uses it. Basically you put the actor in the vehicle and zoom the camera in and out rapidly while the camera operator shakes the film mag. See here: Bad Boys II Chase Skip to 1:37 and watch all the head on CU's from there on for examples of this in practice. The Hummer chase in The Rock uses this technique a lot as well. Once you know, it's easy to spot.

 

It's also good for causing viewers to vomit and get headaches. Enjoy.

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Just on the other side of this, It's something I'd like to avoid.

 

What would someone suggest in order to get completely smooth shots with little or no vibration at all? This has been on my mind for about a month.

Edited by Rex Orwell

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A experienced grip crew will get you shots with no vibration. A quick search through the forum for "vehicle mounts" will turn up dozens of posts loaded with pictures of frighteningly complex rigs and small subtle ones as well, I'd recommend taking a look through some old posts.

 

There's also things like stabilized heads and gyro mounts that can remove most or all of the external vibrations that a camera picks up.

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Sorry that I'm late to this but I just read the thread. I was one of the First ACs on the First Unit. It was what all of the above observations have stated, ie., shaky camera, fast camera movement, etc. it also has other dynamics such as top notch special effects (physical effects) as well as great visual effects. But most of all, we shot so much material for this sequence, Michael had a luxury of footage to cut the chase with high energy. Just watch and notice just how long each cut lasts on the screen. For me, that is the key. You must have great editing to match your great footage.

 

G

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Speaking of Michael Bay Car Chases, has anyone spotted that he used the same footage on The Island and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon? Just CGI a busted transformer and bobs your uncle.

Edited by Markshaw

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Hi Greg, always good to see you on the forum!

 

I was one of the First ACs on the First Unit.

 

Just one question - how long did they spend shooting that? It's the sort of thing I'd be expected to crank out in a morning, if I ever worked on anything amusing enough to involve car chases! I can imagine it being a week's work on a big show like that.

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Hi Greg, always good to see you on the foru

 

 

Just one question - how long did they spend shooting that? It's the sort of thing I'd be expected to crank out in a morning, if I ever worked on anything amusing enough to involve car chases! I can imagine it being a week's work on a big show like that.

 

Hi Phil,

That sequence was extremely complex. We took about 10-12 days to shoot that chase. And those were full on shooting days of at least 14 hours/ day. My camera department consisted of about 30 people. A lot of camera people, a lot of gear and a lot of logistics.

 

It's strange to be discussing this now 10 year old movie because I just got home from Miami Beach 3 days ago from working on Michael Bay's latest picture called "PAIN & GAIN". I hadn't been back to Miami since " BAD BOYS 2".

 

G

Edited by Gregory Irwin

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Here is a good behind the scenes view of the intersection shoot out. At the beginning of the video, you will see me standing with my hand on my hip on the left side of frame with a white ball cap on. Moments later I show off a lens that had gotten a direct hit from one of the stunt cars. Overall, it shows the amount of work that went into this sequence. Enjoy...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-atyfinYP8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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Not much opportunity to admit "uh, sorry, I buzzed that one, can we go again?", is there?

 

Although I'm sort of pleased to see my "endlessly dolly up and down for action scenes" approach validated.

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Thanks for the input Greg, always great to have people who were there verify information. Stellar work as well, focus pulling at it's absolute best!

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I always loved that particular scene in the movie so it's great to see some behind the scenes footage of it. Hope that makes it into the Bad Boys II Blu-ray should it EVER come out.

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Seriously impressed Gregory. what type of movie is his new one, action I take it.

 

 

Thanks for the very kind words. Bay's new pic, called PAIN & GAIN, is a dark comedy about 3 Miami Beach body builders who unsuccessfully kidnap and extort a wealthy Miami man for all of his assets. It's based on a true story. Mark Wahlberg, Duane Johnson, Anthony Mackie and Ed Harris are in it. Should be terrific.

 

G

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Nicely done Greg. It's interesting to see Bay's operating compared to the other operators.

I think I spotted Mike Watson banging a slate at one point. Do my eyes deceive me?

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Here is a good behind the scenes view of the intersection shoot out. At the beginning of the video, you will see me standing with my hand on my hip on the left side of frame with a white ball cap on. Moments later I show off a lens that had gotten a direct hit from one of the stunt cars. Overall, it shows the amount of work that went into this sequence. Enjoy...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-atyfinYP8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Hi Greg. Im curious about the gear you used on this show. I think I noticed a Bartech being used by the focus puller at 5:00?

What remote focus were you using at the time? And what are you pulling on these days?

also, how do you split up your time pulling remotely vs. off of the barrel? which do you prefer?

 

Thanks

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Hi Greg. Im curious about the gear you used on this show. I think I noticed a Bartech being used by the focus puller at 5:00?

What remote focus were you using at the time? And what are you pulling on these days?

also, how do you split up your time pulling remotely vs. off of the barrel? which do you prefer?

Thanks

Hello Duncan,

We used all Panavision, super 35, 2.40:1 XL cameras. Primo lenses. You probably did see a Bartech. We also had several Preston's as well. These days I use only a Preston III. I pretty much live on it full time. I like the flexibility of not being tied to the camera and being able to move around to where I can see better. I have one handset that is set up for only me and I just change channels to whichever camera I'm pulling on at the time. Hope this answers your question.

 

G

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