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robert weldoff

whip panns

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hi all

 

sorry to ask again my noob questions, but i was wondering about whip pans and trimming for headroom?

 

i did a small job last week and i had to do a whip pan for the first time.

 

the shot involved walking(backwards) in front of actor, stopping and whip pan to right to get other actor.

 

now i trimmed for head room as the actor was short but i couldnt whip pan smoothly (i imagine because its out of dynamic balance)

i struggled with it.

i then put sled back in dynamic balance and boomed down instead of tilting and i could whip pan smoothly.

is there a way to do a whip pan with a camera thats tilted?

this was a video camera so the weight didnt change,

how do u do it with film cameras as the weight is always changing?

 

kindest

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is there a way to do a whip pan with a camera thats tilted?

this was a video camera so the weight didnt change,

how do u do it with film cameras as the weight is always changing?

 

kindest

 

Hello,

 

The only way to do a whip pan with a tilted camera is to use a tilt head,

 

I understand that only Ultra I and II have these (tilt heads) as Tiffen stills holds the patent for them.

 

Only if your post is not tilted and if the sled is in dynamic balanced you will achieve a proper whip pan, You can have a tilted camera with a non tilted sled if you have a tilt head.

 

Hope this makes sense

 

cheers

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that's correct, you can best do a whip pan with a tilted camera while the rig is perfectly vertical.... now some great operators managed to make great whip pans in very long opening shots in big movies, often the first shot of the film..... and the TILT HEAD was not invented yet!

 

Today we rely heavily on technical improvements and while it does make a difference in the ease of operating, it is still experience , practice, practice, practice and experience that is needed!!!

 

Whip that rig! left right, to your girlfriend, the cat, anything, keep it level, balance dynamically , check headroom and anticipate on the headroom of the endshot, practice practice!

 

Rob

 

(and you can build your own leveling head like it did..... no issues with patents as I do not sell, besides, mine is "different"

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thanks all

at last im grasping the art

 

with film cameras would you just have to anticipate where the film in the mag is?

i.e if whip pan is in middle of shot hopefully u can balance it for that moment with the film in the correct place in the mag?

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thanks all

at last im grasping the art

 

with film cameras would you just have to anticipate where the film in the mag is?

i.e if whip pan is in middle of shot hopefully u can balance it for that moment with the film in the correct place in the mag?

 

Whip pans have to be done with a post level to the axis of rotation... so as you found out, you need to trim by adjusting your boom on your arm and not tilting on a whip pan. That said... you can trim and tilt your post IF your in the rare situation of whipping between two actors a complete 180˚ and you are trim it directly in the middle of the two heights (good luck with that one.)

 

Yes, with a film camera you need to kind of plan for your whip pan... so if your whip is at the beginning of the take then DB at the top of the take... like wise if the whip is at the end of your take, then adjust your DB for the displacement of the film mag.

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Robert-

 

Good question and you are barking up the right tree in trying to understand the problem and issues.

 

With a "proper" film magazine - either vertical displacement or zero displacement (Aaton), you shouldn't have to worry too much about changing dynamic balance as the film runs through the camera.

 

If you have a "normal" film magazine, it's awful for all balancing.

 

Jerry

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hi all

 

thanking all for replies its much appreciated!!

 

with regards to the film mag (vertical displacement) is it best to balance the sled for the end of the roll or beginning?

As its balance is gonna change througout the shot, so is it better to start out of dynamic balance and allow it to move into dynamic balance or the other way around?

 

i know at the end of the roll the sled will tilt up? is there a way to avoid this happening?

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A good way to do better whip pans is to slow it down a bit when you do it. The temptation is to go as fast as you can and try to regain control at the end. If you take it a little slower it will still look fast on screen but you will be more in control through the whole thing so likely to get the end framing right on the money.

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True that! The first time I ever needed to do any I had to do 15 in 45 seconds!!! I had to do them absurdly fast, and now my habit is to do them that fast. I've only had to do a handful since then and it always takes me a couple takes to get it right cause I start super fast.

 

And no, there is no reason to do 15 whip pans in 45 seconds, or 15 in a row at any speed. The beauty about whip pans (and the most common reason for them as I've seen) is that you can cut into them without noticing. And that was in fact the reason we were doing them on that job. I tried to explain to the director it was unnecessary, but he would not hear it. As a result, I got really good at them, I just always try it too fast.

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If for whatever reason you absolutely must trim for headroom try a body pan instead of a whip pan. It isn't quite as fast and being out of dynamic balance still sucks but I have done rather fast pans this way with good results.

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Do you all find that whip pans can be cut together? I suggested to some clients that we can use whip pans as points to make cuts for longer sequences in order to give the editor more options and cutting the takes together. practice practice practice.

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Absolutely! When I used to edit a lot I found that I could use hard cuts and no one would notice. I still put a several frame dissolve in for safety though.

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Do you all find that whip pans can be cut together?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJcCvKhMuGM

 

Originally, this video was meant to be edited together to look like one long take, but we'd have to hide multiple edits. When the editor started reviewing the footage, everyone felt they needed to cut it up (mostly due to poor planning and the singer looked a bit bored in some shots). When I showed up the first day, I basically had to help them find the edit points and create the moments/blocking that would allow for the edits.

 

Around 2:19, you can see how I approach the edit from behind them, but we needed to get in front of them. So, at the tail of the shot, where I knew we'd create an edit, I crashed into the wall. At the head of the shot, it began with me walking backwards while blurring across the wall, and whip panning over to the kids. I felt like the edit worked fairly well.

 

I think what makes whip pans really cut together well is motion blur, so whatever you can do to help add to the blur the better. Faster whip, snapping the focus, etc gives the editor room to hide it.

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