I practised some pan and tilt shots using my Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera, a 24-105 mm lens and a tripod. I tried some new shots that I felt would be interesting and also some shots specifically from the script that I felt were complex or hard to do without practice. Therefore, I felt that trying them out several times would make it easier for me when I’m actually shooting and also make me more comfortable handling the equipment. I filmed all these shots in my bedroom, which is the room I plan to use as Anamika’s bedroom in the movie, and used white artificial tube lights. I edited together the footage using Final Cut Pro X.
I placed the camera on a tripod at the centre of the room and used the handle to turn it 360 degrees around the fixed axis of rotation. I kept the pace as constant and steady as possible so that there would be no sudden movements or jerks. This type of shot provides a panoramic view of the entire room and has an interesting, dynamic look. However, I doubt that I will be able to use the 360 degree pan shot in my short film. Nevertheless, it was a fun experiment.
I firmly fixed the camera on a tripod, and moved it in a smooth semi-circle motion across one half of the room. Here again, I tried to keep the pace as constant and steady as possible so that there would be no sudden movements or jerks. Doing these kind of shots has helped me greatly improve the steadiness of my hand, and the preciseness of my focus. I will possibly be able to use this shot in my short film when I need to shift from one end of the room to the other.
Pan + Tilt up:
This shot was particularly tricky because I need to tilt up while simultaneously panning to the left in order to go from the bed to the top of the closet. It took several takes for me to achieve this motion without shake and to land at the correct mark. This shot will be used towards the beginning of the short film. Right after Anamika wakes up and sits, she hears a sound and looks up to find her alternate identity, Arya, sitting on top of the closet. I will use this shot to follow Anamika’s line of vision. Practising it beforehand has certainly made me more comfortable with it.
Pan + Changing depth of field:
For this shot, I placed a doll on a table close to the camera and crutches far away from the camera. Then I practiced panning from the crutches to the doll while simultaneously changing the depth of field so that the doll would come into focus as the camera turned to it. This was a bit of a tricky exercise, which took several trial takes to get right. Adjusting the focus to get it to land perfectly on the doll was quite challenging, but I was finally able to do it. This technique will also come in handy when filming my movie.
Tilt Up & Tilt Down:
I placed by camera on a tripod in front of a tall shelf in my room and steadily moved it from the top to the bottom and vice versa. I will use these tilt up and tilt down shots in my short film when one of the identities is on top of the closet and the other is on the bottom. These are fairly straightforward shots that I didn’t have much trouble with, but they will certainly add a sense of dynamic to the movie when used.
Here is the final video: