Friday, September 13, 2013

Camera Movement in "Children of Men"

If you have ever gotten the chance to see the film Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, then you are well aware of how few cuts there are in regards to each scene. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki has received worldly acclaim for his work with this movie. Each shot is extremely well choreographed, and rather long, but not in a negative way at all. One scene that struck me as incredible in particular is the infamous car scene. Words cannot describe it, so I have posted it above.

The first thing I wondered was how in the world did they film something like that? Regardless of the timing and special effects that were used, I was intrigued on finding out how they were able to film inside the car during the whole scene even while it is moving. It turns out that there was way more thought put into the scene than I could ever imagine. To give you an example, this is the rig that was created just for that single shot.
This not only allowed them to be tracked throughout the whole shot, but also allowed the cinematographer to capture things happening inside and outside of the car at the same time. What took me by surprise even more was that there was another rig which you can see on top of the camera which peered into the car from above. As the camera swung around to shoot different actors, the others would have to pull the seats down all of the way, which allowed the camera to swing over them without hitting them. The amount of effort that was put into this shot really spoke to me in the sense that if you have a particular vision on how you want something to look, then you shouldn't accept anything less than what you have in mind, even if it means building something like this.

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