Time for another week of the Anamorphic Cinematography Challenge! So the assignment this week was to do a portrait without showing the subject’s face. This type of shot is actually one of my favorites.
There are so many different ways to film someone without showing their face while still expressing a story.
You might simply shoot from the back of the subject, you can have them looking away from the camera at something in the background, or their face can actually be hidden by an object such as something they are carrying.
For this shot I knew right off the bat that I had to incorporate movement. Whenever I film a faceless portrait type of shot I always like it to be moving. I also have a tendency to shoot this type of shot for slow motion...so that’s what I did for this one! WOOOO! SLO-MO!
Without further ado, let us watch!
I shot this on my BMPCC once again (I only keep specifying because I’m sure at some point I’ll end up busting out my DSLR).
It was filmed in 1080 24P compressed CinemaDNG RAW, 400ASA, 180 degree shutter, with my vintage Kamero 35mm SLR lens at f11 with the adapted B&L 2X Anamorphic Projector lens attached.
The location where this was filmed was one that I’ve had in mind to film at for a while. This week’s subject matter simply stood out to me as a great time to film at these stairs.
I like this spot a lot simply because it is a huge set of stairs. This makes for a great background while also creating a lot of motion in a short distance. Because of all the options that this location provided,
I ended up shooting a few different shots of varied motion. The motion varied in both how my subject moved, and how/where the camera moved.
The biggest challenge of this shoot was the camera motion. This was the first shoot with the anamorphic lens set up in which I went “hand-held’.
In order to get a smooth shot for this I decided to utilize a monopod to move my hand away from the camera. This is also one of my favorite riggings because it makes it easy to get great low angle shots by flipping the camera upside down...which is exactly what I did.
One thing that I have learned about this system for filming is that in order to get footage that looks stable, I have to have any support being used mounted directly under the lens currently.
This is because due to the specialized mounting that I have set up for this adapted lens set-up, there is a mounting point directly under the lens. This basically mounts the lens directly to the support and the rest of the rail system is attached to that mount.
I then did the best I could to balance the camera rig on the monopod to create the most stable shot that I could.
One other difficulty to add into the challenges section was my brain. I forgot that I wanted to shoot this in 30P for easier slow motion and shot it in 24P. This was therefore a bit more difficult to work with in post, but I made it work.
My favorite aspect of this shoot was actually the wind. I hate wind in general, but it made for a nice effect in the video. At first I was worried that the direction that the wind was going wouldn't work well for the shoot, but it ended up coming head on just like I wanted.
Thanks Mother Nature!
Overall I'm really happy how this shot came out despite the fact that things could have gone better.
Again, please share your images or videos here in the comments if you are participating in the 52 week photography/cinematography challenge! I would really love to see some other cinematographers out there joining in!