Technique

swing shot


We had this dolly platform that was quite low, and we had sixty feet of track. And I said, ‘You know, Tobe, if I were to lay down and hang the camera over the edge of this dolly, and with our 1.85:1 letterbox, I could keep the track out of the shot. I can be behind the swing as Teri [McMinn] stands up, and I can actually travel under the swing with her.’

And I said, ‘The house will grow and grow and grow and grow and grow and eventually the house will overtake the frame, and at the same time we’ll be walking behind Teri, who’s got these short cut-offs and… you know…’

Tobe gets this look like, ‘Oh, man. How’d you come up with that, man? That’s great!’

We start to lay the track. They go, ‘What are you doing?’

‘We’re going to make this shot.’

‘No, no you’re not. You’re not making this shot. It’s not on the shot list. We only approved to make the shot list. We’re moving on.’

Tobe goes, ‘Look…’ He goes, ‘You guys may fire us. But for right now, I’m the Director, he’s the D.P. and you cannot stop us. We are making this shot.’

—Daniel Pearl, Directory of Photography, The Texas Chainsaw Massacare (1974)

Flesh Wounds: Seven Stories of the Saw. Dir. Michael R. Felsher. Red Shirt Pictures, 2010.

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