Camera Blocking – A Case Study

BTS video shows the evolution of a complex dolly shot

Last year I had the opportunity to worked as Director of Photography with Tim Zwica on his new project “The Nest,” a 35-min horror short shot on a minimal budget. Shooting a lot VFX shots and action sequences on a budget naturally made for a very compressed schedule. One of the things that I wanted to do right away was find a way to shoot longer master shots on a dolly to facilitate our schedule. This allowed us to combine a large amount of coverage into one long shot, and yet still be creative with the camera blocking. The following narrated behind-the-scenes video is a case study exploring the way we handled one such dolly shot. The goal here is to show just one of many possible approaches to the creative challenges we encountered on this shoot.

Click the link to watch the video tutorial below…


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Kendal Miller

I’m passionate about storytelling, and creating. Whether its directing, or shooting I love the process, the work, and the reward. Creating is a long arduous task to work towards and achieve, but the rewards are unrelenting. What is that compels someone to work long hours sometimes with little sleep or food, working in cold or unforgiving circumstances, waiting patiently for the moment when the light plays perfectly in the right spot? Passion for the craft. You must work hard to hone your craft, a constant student of your subject, always ready to learn never willing to quit, the first one on set, and the last to leave, a diligent hand ready and willing to work. You must be willing to take and give advice, provide leadership by example, extend and receive respect. This is my job, and I love it!

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