This shot that I have conceived is what you might describe a challenge, It played so well in my head that I had little regard for the fact that it essentially was impossible in reality. Well that because I knew it would somehow be achieved with tests and ideas and application.
It begins in close up just after our main character has turned his head toward the camera and gas apparently seen something out of the window of the cafe, the camera pulls away very slowly on dolly and track from him his gaze not shifting or wavering, and as the camera gets to the window it just glides effortlessly through and we know as an audience we are now looking in through the glass at him it continues to pull away and then glides over the shoulder of a character looking into the window, it comes to rest over his left shoulder looking in the window we can now see the reflection of the the character looking in it is the same man looking out, the reflections are almost superimposed on each other. the man outside turns and walks away and as he walks past he appears to wipe away the original man from his seat in cafe carrying him with him.
To achieve this We began by setting up in the media studio with the camera we intend to use as it felt good to get time in with it which is the Black magic Ursa mini, a large cinema camera and the newest in the ERC, dolly and 3 lots of track. we set up a screen and found a sheet of clear plastic, and began just by trying to bring the sheet into frame without it being noticed, this did not work for a variety of reasons but we soon realised even under ideal lighting conditions that the edge would be seen coming into frame. I then stood in front of the edge of the sheet of plastic to cover it it was a break through and we quickly adjusted the shot to fit around this new idea putting curve into the track meant that the camera could pass around the back of the character and just enough past to then look over the left shoulder back into the room.
If this all sounds a little confusing then My apologies, essentially we are giving the effect of the camera leaving the cafe passing through glass when in actual fact it will stay inside the cafe and peer back through our false window of plastic. In the tests there is a much clearer visual explanation of this effect and the shot.
By the end of this session of 2 hrs we had gone from nothing more than an idea of fake perspex somehow being brought in front of the camera to a whole useable set up.
It does however mean that the Cafe we need now or location has to be of sufficient size to fit the dolly and track to pull off the shot.
To say that we were happy Is a huge understatement we realised that between us and throwing ideas around freely we had kinda done the impossible….Well not quite yet.