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Average rating 4.05 (1 vote)
Operator Dave Knox IMDb
Year 1991
Production Links No Site IMDb
Director John Badham
DP Donald McAlpine
Company Universal Pictures
Length of Shot 0:58
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Hard Way, The
"Walk Through the Airport", By Dave Knox

What would be a relatively simple walk-and-talk is complicated by a few big factors. The first being the use of anamorphic lenses, which will alert any deviation from horizontal very quickly. The second being a rather large difference in height between the actors. The sweet spot for a nice frame is much smaller than would be for two actors of similar height. The third factor is the escalator. traveling backwards and down, tilting up and holding a solid frame for the entire ride. Very well done.

Two other key points to note: see how the transition from a wide shot to a medium is hidden as they turn to head down the escalator. The shot ends with a long, solid lock-off.

 

Operator's Commentary
Director John Badham is a great guy, and a pleasure to work with. As the shoot progressed, I was called upon to deliver more and more tricky handheld and steadicam shots, along with the usual B-Camera duties throughout the 4 month shoot. Michael J. Fox and I are the same age, and we were both recently married just before the Hard Way. Of course he earned 6 million dollars from Universal, far more than my steadicam rental!

Equipment Used
Steadicam Type II, modified with a single center post. Lightweight panaflex camera (one of 2 in the world at the time!) and C and E series anamorphic lenses. We also had the primo anamorphics, but no way I was putting those on the rig! C-series are the right size, but watch out for flares...

Shot Elements
Stairs

 

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