I've got a show that needs a camera move though cosmetic bottles. The
bottles vary in size from hand lotion to lipstick. I've never done a shot
of this sort before, and I'm hoping for some of the grand CML guidance.
It's a Super 16 shoot, and my Aaton is about 700% too big to actually
do the move though. My idea was to under sling the camera on a jib and
use a snorkel to get down between the products, but the snorkel I located
will be a bit big. What I imagine would work is a thin snorkel with a
C-mount sized prime on the end, but I don't know if such a thing exists,
or where I would get one.
Perhaps there are better ideas to be had out in CML land, or maybe someone
knows where I could get an appropriate lens as described.
>What I imagine would work is
a thin snorkel with a C-mount sized prime >on the end, but
I don't know if such a thing exists, or where I would get
There are a few such lenses, each of varying size/quality. CPT was one
of the first US makers (of the smaller C-mount type) back in the late
80's. Made some with right-angle attachments and waterproof shroud and
little Tamron's on the end (not certain if its different glass now).
Revolution's a tad bigger, but is better quality optics than some of the
older mount-mount probes. Century also has some thin probes and the 2000
is excellent. Lots of options.
One reminder: you need lots o' lumens, not only for DoF, but also because
the light loss of the scopes, and the thicker stop you should have for
some of the little glass on the end. The CPT probes used to have re-labelled
f/stops, but they were essentially t-stops, so what was labelled f/11
was actually more like f/2.8 if you were calculating DoF !
On top of that, when I tested them for a miniature gig a while back I
found that none of the lenses were of highest quality and they all vignetted
to some degree (its not like you have S4's or Primos on the end) and I
liked to thicken the neg even more than usual, so that was another 3rd
of a stop more light I needed.
LA based DP
This sounds perfect for the Innovision Probe 2+ with their small objectives,
not the PL mount lenses. Use the right-angle end making it a T4 periscope,
not a straight probe. Great quality, not a ridiculously small stop and
pretty small; about the size of a quarter, Um....maybe a little bit bigger;
1.8 inches diameter lens. But the new Probe 2+ system looks great on film.
We've used it a bunch recently. You can rent it directly from Innovision
and they'll ship it to you. Good guys.
Motion Picture First Camera Assistant
‘Camera move through miniatures’ I did a shot like this a
few years ago for the opening titles for "Marvin's Room". The
shot was an almost 4 minute long journey through hundreds of prescription
drug bottles on a kitchen counter top, and required precise timing for
title plament, absolute smoothness for titles, and precise focus at minimal
depth of field; all things you will still likely encounter.
The table top set through which we travelled the lens was approximately
30" deep by 6 feet wide. Bottles passed so close to the lens that
sometimes the lens pushed them, other times some bottles had to be pulled
as soon as they were off camera. We did it motion control using an Innovision
right-angle snorkel. Still, it took days to complete, and there was even
a re-shoot after seeing dailies that had to be scheduled some weeks later.
It was shot at 24 FPS for theatrical release, so the depth of field was
touchy. Reasons for shooting real-time was the rain storm in the background
and the fact that some of the bottles were hand-removed as soon as the
camera moved of them to make room for the lens to pass through maze of
The re-shoot was for creative reasons. The first shoot did not contain
the richness the production required in their opening sequence, especially
in the background visible out the kitchen window beyond the countertop.
The length of time it took to shoot was largely due to the requirement
that it be one long continuous shot...I think it just fit on a 400 foot
35mm load. There were many elements besides the motion control that caused
the length of time...Precise focus, rain elements, precise replacement
of removed bottles on subsequent takes, live lighting cues. Motion control
actually probably made things take less time in the long run because it
removed the variables of camera move problems and miss-focus.
If your shot is of this length kind of, I suggest you try to find cut
points and avoid extreme focus throws if you do this live on a jib. The
Innovision snorkel has really small objective lenses (an inch or 2 across).
An alternative is the CPT Super scope. Most other right angle snorkels
are still large, or use larger objective lenses. Possibly you might consider
the Revolution, or even a Kenworthy snorkel system.