The Ultimate Guide to Filming a 360-Degree Dolly Shot (Unlocked Lesson)
Are you ready to make a statement with a full 360-degree dolly shot? This kind of camera movement gives the audience a unique perspective by capturing the action from all 360 degrees.
In this lesson, Shane Hurlbut, ASC, demonstrates how to light and shoot a circular dolly shot by dividing the landscape into four quadrants and lighting for each quadrant.
Follow along as Shane and his team turn a rotating dolly shot into a work of art!
|You’re going to learn:
360 DOLLY SCENARIO:
Every location has its nuances, idiosyncrasies, positive attributes, and negative attributes. While this particular scenario may or may not work for your specific setup, what we’re really demonstrating is how to tweak and dial in the shot. So, really, our approach is suitable to fit your unique circumstances.
By this point, they have set up their dolly track — and it fits with only 2 inches to spare! Fortunately, during the tech scout, Shane’s team was right on the money.
Picking up where they left off in the previous lesson, they set the camera up with an 85mm lens and rigged the Kino Select 30s to the wall spreader to function as a TV gag. They also snaked the power around the corner where it’s out of sight.
SPLITTING THE 360 INTO QUADRANTS:
It’s best to approach the 360-degree dolly setup by dividing it into four quadrants. With a full 360-degree rotation, you must fill the background of each quadrant. By filling each quadrant, you accentuate the movement of the circular camera movement.
Let’s examine the four quadrants in this scenario:
- Quadrant 1: spiced up with CINEO MATCHSTIX under the cabinet and a Kino Select 20 shines into the ceiling for room tone.
- Quadrant 2: along with the undulating movement from the pool light and underlighting a tree, a Bokeh Wall is buried in the distance to represent a nearby cityscape.
- Quadrant 3: a blue ceiling fixture creates depth down the hallway.
- Quadrant 4: the Kino Selects mounted on the wall spreader simulates the TV light and acts as the key light.
Upon checking the monitor, the CINEO MATCHSTIX lights were way too hot. So, to dial it back they added some ND9 to the MATCHSTIX.
While the room tone sources provided the detail they wanted, it turned out to be a bit too much. So, they built a topper for Quadrant 3 and brought in a makeshift softbox.
|PRO TIP: Black plastic tablecloth works wonders and is very cheap. At 9 feet long and 5 feet wide, you could easily tape it up and it’s super lightweight.|
Not only did we use our plastic tablecloth in Quadrant 3 but also in Quadrant 4 to take some of the light down that was bouncing off the wall.
|PRO TIP: Blue painter’s tape works wonders when taping to the ceiling because it doesn’t pull off paint or leave behind any adhesive marks or residue in its wake.|
Back at Quadrants 1 and 2, Shane and his team raised the bokeh lights high into the air so they would play better. After noticing the stand, they masked it with strips of duvetyne to blackout the reflective metal.
How To Light Night Interiors: Volume II is a masterclass in lighting night interiors for a complete 360-degree dolly shot. From the location and tech scouts all the way to the build, dialing it all in, and the execution of the shot, Shane Hurlbut, ASC breaks down this complex camera movement into easy-to-understand segments.
Discover how to take what’s on the page of your script and translate it to screen. Shane showcases how to articulate the vision to your crew and plan your dolly track and lighting setup with motivated sources. Then, he reveals how to get the most out of the dolly.
Get up close and personal while also providing enough light to emphasize the movement of the 360-degree motion. This process will deliver the emotional impact necessary to bring your audience into the mind of the character!