Download Every Frame a Rembrandt: Art and Practice of Cinematography PDF

TitleEvery Frame a Rembrandt: Art and Practice of Cinematography
PublisherFocal Press
ISBN 139780240803999
CategoryArts - Film
File Size5.4 MB
Total Pages272
Document Text Contents
Page 137

First Blood 123

possible solutions. One, to cover as many of the windows as pos-

sible near our work area; two, to shoot the scenes at night. The

second solution was the more practical of the two, and the shots

were accomplished by the "poor man's process" technique.

Normally, in a studio environment, "process" photography

would be used to make similar shots of a star performer's close-

ups as he drives a car. "Process" is the name for rear projection,

front projection, and many other methods that combine actual

photography with additional elements, such as a background.

When real "process" techniques are not available, "poor man's

process" is the next best thing—and in some ways it is preferable

to the real thing.

In our case, as we got ready to do a "poor man's process"

shot, the truck was located in an area where I had enough room

for lights, the drum, and the camera. Next, the camera was placed

in front and slightly camera right of the truck, at just slightly

below eye height of the driver. The frame showed a portion of the

windshield around Rambo, and the frame of the windshield

around the glass. Military trucks of this type have a flat wind-

shield, which was a blessing. If it had had a curved windshield, as

regular cars do, I would have had a very difficult task of keeping

unwanted reflections out of the curved windshield. I chose a

longer than normal focal length lens for these shots as I wanted a

shallow depth of field. If the focus had reached all the way to the

rotating drum, we would have seen the crudely painted image,

which would not have worked. The shallow depth of field of the

long focal length lens, in this case a 150mm, allowed me to see a

moving image from the drum reflected in the windshield, which

was so diffused that identification of any of its detail was not pos-

sible. Nor was it really necessary to clearly identify any of the

detail. We see the detail of the countryside and the mountains in

the long shots taken on location, and when we cut to these close-

ups, all we really need is a suggestion of motion. With all the ele-

ments in place and Stallone in the cab, we rolled the camera as the

grips on both sides of the truck rocked and occasionally jolted the

truck with long two by fours and the large paper drum slowly

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