How is Motion Control useful in Movies and Commercials?!
1. “Scaled Motion Control” - Different scales seen in realtime

You may use a regular “production jib or crane” which is digitally encoded that is used to drive the Genuflex Mk lll motion control system to film different scale scenes simultaneosly. This uniqe capability of General Lift allows the director to view and direct both “scales” of the scene at once. A recent and excellant example was in the “Hobbit” to film a “big” Gandalf interacting among Bilbo and the dwarves; the technology was used on “Gods of Egypt” which is current release. See the scale moco exsample.

Scale Moco
2. Twin shots

An actor has to appear twice (or more) in the same scene. We have done this many times for movies like “The Nutty Professor” and “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps“ with Eddie Murphy. In the example shot, all the members of professor family were performed by Eddi Murphy. Also Hugo Weaving in "Matrix Reloaded" are two more examples. See the example of "Nutty Professor II", and Agent Smith in "Matrix Reloaded".

Twin Shots Twin Shots
3. Crowd Duplication

This technique is used when you need a lot of people to fill an scene, but don’t have enough actors to shoot it all at once. We did this on "Apocolypto" where we shot more than 15 passes to fill the plaza with blood thirsty Aztecs, an army of soldiers in Michael Jackson’s “This is It !”, and yet another army of Napoleans soldiers in the “Battle of Waterloo”. See more details in "Apocolypto" and Michael Jackson's "This Is It"

Crowds crowds crowds
4. Choreography of camera motion of an otherwise difficult shot

A very good example of this is the complex and precise moves of the camera in “The Panic Room”. In shots like this the motion control system can control the lights to dim down, flash, or animate other elements of the shot. See the example in "Panic Room" and another great exsample of car commercials.

camera motion camera motion

5. Hazardous scenes with dangerous elements or location.

Many times with shoot an explosion first and later shoot the actors in front of a blue screen to composite them in. Commercial, “Sport Gum”, shots involved shooting the background plates on top of a very tall building in Los Angeles making it appear that a young roller skater was speeding along the edge of the building. In reality the second part of the shooting was on the ground in front of a green screen with the skater rolling along a prop piece of the roof. We had a similar shot in “Vanilla Sky” when Tom Cruise ran to the edge of skyscraper. In “Live Free or Die Hard”, we shot different passes to avoid actors getting hurt in car crash. See the example

safe safe safe
6. Actor and background are not together.

On “Into the Wild”, the Director decided to change the shot; in the original scene, the talent was not in the shot, later the director decided to add the actor into the scene. The Post Production Company “tracked the camera motion”, we input the tracking data into our Kuper Motion Control computer, and then shot actor in front of green screen with our Genuflex Mk lll. After the two shots were compositied, Chris was in the wild.

7. Match shots of Live Action with Miniatures and Models.

Although this is not done as much as it was a few years ago – it is still a very vital part of filmmaking. This technique was used recently for “The loard of the Rings” Trilogy , “Alien vs Predator”, “King Komg”, and more coming.

miniatures miniatures

See more examples and details in "The Lord of the Rings"

8. Removal of wires, special rigs, or an actor; or Composite transperant figures in the shot.

Much of this has been taken over by the digital world, but we have been still asked to participate in commercials or features to get different passes for compositing shots. Our system will shoot this “live”, then the crew will remove all the rigging and we will shoot a “clean pass” to allow the post production group to fill in the areas covered by the rig. An extreme example was “The Hollow Man” – every scene with the invisible man had to have a background pass to allow the compositors the “clean” background to fill in the now “visable” background. In “The Chronicles of Riddick”, the semi-transperant wind Lady Aereon and Lord Marshall’s hyper-speed motion required separate passes of the motion control system to create the shot. See the example in "Hollow Man" and wind lady in “The Chronicles of Riddick”

removal removal
9. Perfect Photography for Table Top

We do this kind of commercial all the time. A very precise way to move both the food or product and camera in concert – many times it is a slight variation, thus the same camera programmed move can be used many times. This has let commercial directors show a food product going from frozen to steaming hot as the camera is moving. See the example.

table top table top
10. Combine Different Frame Rates in Live Action

These “impossible shots” are a classic example of combining several different frame rates – and creating a sometimes beautiful if not eerie shot. A creative director can combine various lighting techniques to create a unique vision for a client. A great example is the Spielberg feature, “Catch Me If You Can”. The director wanted emphasis when his lead actor, Leonardo Di Caprio, has an epihany as to his Career Choice. The first pass with motion control was shot at 24 fps , the second pass with the PanAm Pilot and Stewardesses was shot at 48 fps; so the world slows down for Leonardo to visually reinforce has vision. See the example in"Catch me if you can" and Green Days music Video "American Idiot".

film speed film speed
11. Shooting with Animals

Its hard to believe, but sometimes actors and animals, such as Lions or Tigers just don’t mix ! In the feature, Doctor Dolittle, Eddie Murphy did not want to be shot with any animals at all – even Chipmunks. So motion control was used to shoot Eddie by himself. Another example in "Gambit", for difficult to train animals – the animal was shot first and actor had to react to what the animal had done on their take by looking at the scene.

animals animals
12. Music Videos

This is one area of filmmaking that is constantly looking to create a “look” that has never been scene before. We always meet with young directors who want to take a chance and go for that wild edge. These are some of the areas that motion control plays a pivotal role in the field of cinematography. The challenge is always there – the commercial world needs something funny, visually stunning to catch your eye and make you remember their product. The Movie world raises the bar on visual effects with almost every feature – the one shot that takes your breath away and has everybody dazzled but believing that “impossible shot they just saw. See how did we do >>