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Boat Effect On A Sound Stage

Published : 14th December 2004

>We are filming a commercial that takes place in the cabin of a Pirate ship. We are shooting on a stage. Any ideas on how to create an effect that feels like we are on a ship? Also we are planning on using other objects like hanging lanterns in the foreground and background to sway back and forth to also sell the effect.

>Greg Thanos


class="Paragraph">>We are filming a commercial that takes place in the cabin of a Pirate >ship. We are shooting on a stage. Any ideas on how to create an effect >that feels like we are on a ship?

>Many years ago we built the cabin on a very larger rocker. Grips slowly tilted it back and forth. Of course, it's easier to rock the camera using a Dutch head, but rocking the set makes the lamps sway in sync and the actors react to the tilt.

>Wade Ramsey


class="Paragraph">>We are filming a commercial that takes place in the cabin of a Pirate >ship.

>Build your set on a gimbals.

>Dave Stump ASC
VFX Sup/DP
LA, Calif.


class="Paragraph">>it's easier to rock the camera using a Dutch head, but rocking the set >makes the lamps sway in sync and the actors react to the tilt.

>When Star Trek starships take photon-torpedo hits from evil aliens, local 444 of the camera-shaker's union springs into action, the actors dive onto the floor and flail around helplessly, ceiling beams with dramatically sparking wires fall onto the set, and steam pours out of breached conduits. But strangely, small objects remain undisturbed. So much for the illusion.

>Don't let this happen to you!

>Dan "Steam? On a starship?" Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA


>Visual Products in Ohio sells this cool little device called the "Boat Head" (I think). It's a simple hand cranked (would work well with a Kinetta) rocker mechanism that simulates a boat rocking. It has a Mitchell plate and is very well built, and am pretty sure it sells for around.$250.00. I believe that it's pictured on their website : www.visualproducts.com

>Other than occasionally handing my money over to them... I'm not affiliated.

>Jack Cummings
Buffalo DP


>I once used motion control and digital compositing to create the effect of a stormy night on a transatlantic passenger liner, while Tim Roth and Taylor Vince Pruitt sat behind the piano, playing it, and the grand piano rolled around the empty first class saloon - dancing with the Ocean, as it were (Tim Roth was trying to cure Taylor Vince of sea-sickness). We shot with and without them, green suited grips pulled, pushed, ran underneath, and generally moved the piano, whilst many helping hands pulled wires with chandelier etc, and threw buckets of water on the portholes. We even pulled shoes (left out of cabins in the corridor) backwards and forwards to simulate the ship's rolling. The resulting composite was as simple as painting by numbers (the game I used to play as a young child) - just painting, or "restoring" between different plates.

>However, judging on what you have to do, I would suggest you transfer all the crew, clients, etc. to Genova in the North West Italian Riviera where you could use the boat Roman Polanski had made for the film "Pirates", go out to sea with it and shoot appropriately. It would probably prove to be the least expensive option, and would give excellent results. I know that this isn't exactly adhering to your stated need of shooting it on a sound stage, however, for advertising clients, spending a few days near Portofino at this time of the year might be judged as being an acceptable evil...

>David Bush


>That's part of the charm of the original "Star Trek" series.

>It's looking better than ever with the new telecine transfers.

>John Pytlak
Eastman Kodak Company
http://www.kodak.com/go/motion


>John Pytlak writes :

class="Paragraph">>It's (Star Trek) looking better than ever with the new telecine transfers.

>Thanks for that, John. Usually you remember things in the past as being better than they were. When the reverse starts happening .....

>Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


class="Paragraph">>We are filming a commercial that takes place in the cabin of a Pirate >ship.

>Did something like this a few years ago with a Steadicam with a little practice got an effect of waves that didn't seem too bogus.

>Mik Cribben-Steadicam operator
NYC/Miami


>I have used inner tubes under the set pieces...works great...a poor mans gimbal.

>Josh Bleibtreu
LA Based DP.


>Take a couple of light bulbs on poles out side and as far away for the set as possible. Have a couple of grips swing them back and forth slightly. They will appear like dock lights in the distance.

>Steven Poster ASC