When ending a pan move with a desired composition, don't use an object just
entering the shot as a reference. Practice the move using something that is
already in the shot and come smoothly to a stop when the reference object is
lined up with a reference in the frame such as the center or trailing edge of
Disengaging and resetting the wheels on a gear head so that down is the desired
end frame works well.
Stopping a tilt when a diver hits the water or a pole-vaulter hits the pad is
difficult. A sandbag on an adjustable cord attached to the panhandle can help
stop the move. Older O'Connor heads can be fitted with mechanical pan and tilt
Any move that can be simplified by rigging is often worth the effort. If shooting
down an offset zoom can be simplified into just a pan if the camera is rigged
at the diagonal angle of the move so only one tilt move accomplished the complicated
Moving camera around a miniature set can done on a cradle or gear head below
with the center of the frame in the center of the pan and tilt axis of the head.
The camera is out on an arm balanced by a counterweight. This puts the center
always in frame and focus as the camera dollies and tilts about the center.
Gravity can be used to make repeatable moves when a transition between shots
is needed. Shooting enough shots of one element will produce one that matches
(See Compound Head)
© Copyright 1999-2004 Ron Dexter. All Rights Reserved.