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Average rating 4.46 (72 votes)
Operator Mark Emery Moore IMDb
Year 2005
Production Links Official Site IMDb
Director Joss Whedon
DP Jack N. Green
Company Universal Pictures
Length of Shot 4:28
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Serenity
"Opening Sequence Aboard the Ship", By Mark Emery Moore

An excellent single shot in a movie that, unfortunately did not get a lot of attention. This opening sequence is fantastic. The set is a large part of a spacecraft and the camera goes all through it - upstairs, down corridors, through doorways and more.

If you watch closely, slight zooms are used to close and retreat larger distances without forcing the camera operator to break into a run, or crowd the actors, or backpedal quickly.

 

Operator's Commentary
Joss was constantly challenging me on this movie. He admitted to me at the wrap party that he didn't think the ship tour shot could be done, mostly because of the small hatchways, staircases, etc. Those things were challenging, but with planning, we made it work. The hand zooms were more from an aesthetic perspective. Just to try something different. They were all hand zooms by me reaching up and squeezing in or out a few mils. Joss had given me the choice of when and where to zoom. I believed the hardest part of this shot was going to be the focus, especially with me adjusting depth of field throughout, but Peter Green nailed it many times, so the pressure fell onto the actors to nail their action and dialogue, which they did. We had a lot of fun blocking and completing this shot. Actually, we had fun throughout the shoot. Joss and Jack, the cast and crew made this movie a blast to be a part of.

Equipment Used
I use a PRO rig. The camera system was a Panavision XL, 400 ft mag, and a mid range lightweight zoom.

Shot Elements
Walk-and-Talk
ONEer
Crane Step On/Off
Stairs
Zoom

 

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