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Camera Shake/Earthquake Effect

Published : 14th September 2003


Does anyone know how to create the camera shake like in the Red Hot Chilli Peppers music video 'By the Way' in the performance pieces of the clip where the camera is shaking with a kind of earthquake effect?

Is this a post thing or a camera thing?

Is there any kind of stabilising head where you can use the wrong settings to get this kind of effect? Or could you rig some kind of pneumatic drill to the sticks, dolly and crane?

I've got a pop promo on which I would like to emulate this kind of earthquake shake.

Crighton Bone
DoP
London



>Or could you rig some kind of pneumatic drill to the sticks, dolly and >crane?

I once tied a battery drill to a camera via a whole bunch of grip/page, I had a short bolt in the drill chuck bolted to a piece of timber, also short.

Essentially it created inertia and shook the camera. I wouldn't recommend it for everything as I would hate to shake someone's camera to bits, however it worked for me for a short duration. Better on longer focal lengths. N.B. it hurts when you get the spinning timber in the way of your head.

Nick Paton
Film & Digital Cinematography
www.npdop.com

Ah.....the no budget days.



>Or could you rig some kind of pneumatic drill to the sticks, dolly and >crane?

>I once tied a battery drill to a camera via a whole bunch of grippage

I don't know what the effect you're after looks like i.e. how violent the shake is. We simply built an open box out of angle iron, then mounted a camera platform inside, suspended by springs. You then shake, wobble, and yaw the camera by hand to whatever degree you need.

Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614



This effect is usually accomplished by using Clairmont Camera's device. It's an optical thing, actually, so it avoids shaking the be-Jesus out of the camera body and mag itself. It works incredibly well, you can dial in the amount of the effect you want, then hit the button for the duration and intensity. It's also used to add "car shake" when you want it to look like a car is driving faster than it really is.

I don't know if anything like it is available outside of Clairmont. ??

Phil Badger, gaffer
Los Angeles
http://home.earthlink.net/~badger111/index.html



Hello

On a recent shoot I was on, the DP had the camera mounted to a Weaver-Stedman and then shook the third axis. It worked great and didn’t have that fake “shaking tripod” kind of look and you can make the shaking look rather violent depending on the force of your shaking and the lens that’s being used.

Maybe this could work for you as opposed to building some strange contraption, but I guess it can be fun to tell stories about some strange contraption so and so built to get the so and so look.

Good luck. I don’t work for Weaver Stedman; just use the gear when needed.

Joe Zovko
AC
LA, CA



I checked out the Clairmont "earthquake" lens adapter last week and it does exactly what your looking for.

You can dial in the precise amount of "shaking" to take place.

It does not shake the entire camera and mag and you can see the effect in the viewfinder.

Contact Clairmont/Camera in Hollywood, California for details.


Tony Salgado



To fake a quake effectively you'll also have to get your talent swaying in opposition to the apparent motion of the room. Getting your props to sway and fall over is harder to do, but even a little bit is better than nothing - as long as the props that are skittering around don't call attention to the ones that aren’t.

When the USS Enterprise gets hit by a photon torpedo and all hell breaks loose, often the drinks in the mess-hall glasses aren't perturbed in the least.

You can chalk that up to anomalous gravitation effects...but it'll be hard to get away with anywhere else.

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



Thanks for the tips, sounds like the Clairmont is the most 'professional' option as it sits on the rods instead of the matt box and works in the opposite way to a stabilizing lense. I rang them and although their image shaker is a reasonable price, I would need it in London, meaning shipping and a week long hire, which may be beyond the means of the budget. Does anyone have any leads on similar products available in the UK? Otherwise lo-fi here I come!

Crighton Bone



>anyone have any leads on similar products available in the UK?

I believe VFG have something similar...

Damian Bromley
DP
London



>Does anyone have any leads on similar products available in the UK?

You can rent it (or a similar device from Vantage Films in Germany. I did it three weeks ago and it worked well and it was inexpensive.

Good luck
Rosario Belmar
Portugal
Rental house Manager