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Choose focal length and camera distance (3 replies and 5 comments)

Vanniyan
2 weeks ago
Vanniyan 2 weeks ago

Dear master roger for every movie you had selected specific focal length. Its depend the context. In goldfinch also you have worked below 40mm. What about the camera distance? For instance if you want to feel the audience for particular player performance on 32mm at which distance?. Would 32mm give the same impact at 5feets and 10feets. The audience would feel 32mm shot image at any distance? How do you consider focal length and camera placement distance for context? 

Roger Deakins
2 weeks ago
Roger Deakins 2 weeks ago

I think you need to consider the width of a lens. Shooting a close up on a 40mm has a very different effect to shooting the same size close up on a 32mm lens. Of course, the 32mm sees more background but it also puts the audience closer to the subject. Its a very different effect and something that is often dismissed when a cinematographer just 'zooms in' for a closer shot rather than moves the camera.

Vanniyan
2 weeks ago

My point is i want to audience observe X or Y character performance on the screen. So I put the 38mm on the camera at 5 feet distance. If I change the camera distance at 10feet in the same focal length audience observational feel would vary?

Andreas Schwarz
2 weeks ago

Why not just test it out, and find the right choice for you?

dmullenasc
2 weeks ago

Of course if you kept the same lens on but backed up five feet, the shot would be different -- it would be a wider view of the character. It's now a different shot. Roger is talking about the difference in feeling of being closer with a wider lens versus farther but with a longer lens to get the SAME image size on the subject.

Vanniyan
2 weeks ago

Master roger can i convey unease feeling through zooms in for person?

Roger Deakins
2 weeks ago
Roger Deakins 2 weeks ago

I'm sure you can but any camera move depends on context. We used a zoom for just such an effect on the film 'The Village'.

Vanniyan
1 week ago

Like Melville camera moves ! I completely great fan of Melville camera moves after watched his some of the movies. You are a eye opener for me. in india most of the people's don't study his movie. Cause the don't know where should be camera move and where shouldn't.

Roger Deakins
1 week ago
Roger Deakins 1 week ago

Yes, he was a master of camera moves. There are some camera moves in 'Army of Shadows' and 'Le Deuxieme Souffle' that are quite brilliant.

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