Mark and Andrew are back with part 2 of deceptive shooting: this installment is how to use depth of field to realistically shoot fake fights.
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Male 1: For Video Maker Presents I’m Andrew Burke.
Male 2: And I’m Mark Montgomery, and last week we showed you part one of Deceptive Shooting Tricks. We showed you how to use camera angles to fool your audience.
Male 1: This week we’re gonna show you how to use depth of field to deceive your audience.
Male 2: This is footage shot at one of the Video Maker workshops. This first trick you’ve seen a million times in movies and on TV. A woman is walking through a parking lot carrying boxes approaching her car and doesn’t see a car barreling down on her from the other side.
Male 1: The woman, of course, is unharmed and was never really in danger because of the camera angles the scene was shot with. We recreated that scene to show you the camera angles used. By placing the camera at a good length of distance away from the woman and zooming in as close as possible, we create a very short depth of field. This compresses everything in the foreground and tricks the eye into thinking things are closer than they really are. To pull it off, we shoot directly behind the woman and another angle behind the car, but on this side angle you can see the car and the woman are never very close.
Male 2: This next scene is incredibly difficult to pull off ‘cause you have to rely on your actors and their great acting ability.
Male 1: That’s something you don’t have, right?
Male 2: What?
Male 3: Good eye contact and choreographed punches will always make your fight scenes exciting.
Male 2: Fake fighting has become so commonplace because it’s relatively easy to shoot.
Male 1: In real fighting you’d never crank your arm back before hitting your opponent. It just leaves you open. But John Wayne perfect this move in his many Western movies and it’s still often used today.
Male 2: Like our car accident, the trick is to place the cameras far enough behind each actor to crunch the field of view, which will make them appear closer than they are.
Male 1: Each actor must react to the punch effectively, and it helps to have extreme close-ups and blurred shots filling the frame. This adds to the confusion and tension of the scene.
Male 2: So there you have it. I’ve managed to give Andrew a black eye and steal his lunch money –
Male 1: But you’re not better of an actor for it.
Male 2: This is true, but hopefully we showed you a few tricks you can use using depth of field to fool your audience.
Male 1: For tips and tricks, I’m Andrew Burke.
Male 2: And I’m Mark Montgomery. We’ll see you next time. Go put a cold steak on that eye.
For more information on depth of field and how to manipulate it, look up the following Video Maker articles: Depth of Field Demystified, article number 12724.
Male 1: And Put a Little Depth in your Field, article number 8012.
Male 2: A Focus on Focus, article number 10002.
Male 1: Optics 101, article number 8660.
Male 2: Depth of Field, article number 8614.
Male 1: And Digital Cinema: How to Make your Mini DV Look More Like Film, article number 9804.
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