View Full Version : How to film a loop??

05-21-2009, 09:21 AM
Hello all,

Does anyone have experience or some tricks on how to shoot a sequence which starts where it ends so that it can be made into a loop?
We're going to film a 10 min film in one take to be shown in a gallery space (as a loop) - so we need to make a smooth transition between the last frame and the first frame :S -
The camera is on a small crane that moves.

Thanks in advance, :)

05-21-2009, 09:28 AM
What are you filming?

05-21-2009, 09:59 AM
Were filming tre diferent actions in a park - very short: first a man and a boy doing a dictation - then a conversation between two men about a project, and finally a woman from a balcon who talks to her son on a bicycle in the park.

05-21-2009, 10:03 AM
Sorry for the misspelling :) - ...were filming tree different actions in a park - first a man and a boy doing a - then a conversation between two men about a project, and finally a woman from a balcony who talks to her son.

05-21-2009, 10:09 AM
Ok. Since you're in the park you can start by shooting the sky and then slowly moving the camera towards earth eg. to your characters. And so the last frame where you have the woman talking to his son why not end it by going with the camera up again? If the sky is clear it should be piece of cake.

Yet again you can zoom and zoom out out of the inside of the bicycles wheel. If the zoom is big enough and with some good editing no1 should tell the difference between these two cuts.

Those are two of the easiest examples that do not need a lot of hard work, hope they help you in a way.

05-21-2009, 10:42 AM
MSounds great - any thanks! :)

05-21-2009, 04:09 PM
Ten minutes is a loooooonnng loop, why would someone stay to watch it again? I've done loops with film projectors for an effect, when you stare at it the images begins to change or put you in a trance, and a film loop is only about 5-10 seconds.

05-21-2009, 04:58 PM
Ooh, could always do a moving shot of the sidewalk :) There'd be no single frame of reference, as the shot begins in motion. Would work whether you have same start/end point or not, too. Or a slow zoom into a TV (with green over screen) and put the last shot in the green. Mom could be watching the two guys in the park, for instance.

Hope this helps!

05-21-2009, 06:05 PM
I get what you're saying now. Not a true loop in the sense it will play over and over, but the ends meet so it forms a loop. Got it.

05-22-2009, 02:29 AM

It is a true loop in the sense that it will play over and over - the thing is that it is going to be shown in a gallery and the spectator can go in and out of the cinema as he likes - so no one will see the film ending since it hasnít got an end - if you stay and watch the whole 10 min. youíll see that it loops - and then you can choose to stay and watch it again - or leave.

The beginning and end of the shot has to be identical so that the intersection between beginning/end can't be noticed when you loop it

To Dropthought: the pan/moving shot has to be really fast though - to blurry the frames - but Iíll definitely consider it :) - but generally the style is very slow (the camera moves slow) so itíll be a break from the concept

05-22-2009, 02:40 AM
I was thinking the camera has to be moved with the same speed when we do the moving shot - how precise do you think it has to be?

05-22-2009, 08:17 AM
I'm not sure how you're transitioning between the other shots and their proximity to each other, but would it be possible to sort of pan around from the woman on the balcony/her son (the end shot) to the man and the boy from the first scene?

Depending on how you're cutting the film and so on, people might not even know where the end is supposed to be.

05-22-2009, 06:18 PM
I've got an easy way out...start with a fade in from black, and end with a fade out to black (doing that between all the scenes hides where the movie actually does begin).


06-24-2009, 01:45 PM
you could do a number of things. for instance you could start the take with the boy on the bike riding past the two people conversing in the first scene then at the end have him ride away from his mother back past the two people in the first scene. edit it together and you have a loop that will take the viewers a few moments to realize its actually a loop.

i think thats what you want, right? no cutting away between scenes. just one, unbroken loop

Stardust Walking
06-24-2009, 10:32 PM
If in the last shot, the view is over the woman's shoulder or "through" her eyes (her point of view) you could have a bird fly through field of view from left to right and block the view of the park, and back to the beginning.

Good luck!


Stardust Walking
06-24-2009, 10:45 PM
"you could start the take with the boy on the bike riding past the two people conversing in the first scene" I think that Felonious has got the right place to start and end the loop.


06-24-2009, 11:40 PM
You could do what Hitchcock did in ROPE, which was having someone walk into the camera and blocking out the light. At the beginning of the loop, start with someone blocking the camera and walking farther into the shot.

For a true loop feel, have it be the same person who walks into and out of the camera. When he walks out of the camera (the beginning) have the camera pointed south (for example). By the time he is ready to walk into the camera, have it pointed the opposite way, like north. The effect will be a continuous take of him walking in one side and coming out the other. You can even use a very quick dissolve, so that it is seamless and real time.

06-25-2009, 08:49 AM
what i got out of his post was that he wanted it seamless, as in no "cop-outs" that make it obvious its a loop. any shot that combines the people in the first scene and people in the last scene will work. you could have the people from the first scene walk by the mother and child on their way to where the first scene happens. as soon as they enter the frame start to follow them and forget about the mother and child

from there they could walk into the park and do their thing, like have the idle conversation between them build until they are too consumed to keep walking, they do their dictation, then settle back into their walk where they walk past the two people conversing.

as soon as the first scene walks by the second just stick to them as the first people keep walking and their conversation fades out. now youre into the second scene, they do their thing, but since theyre stationary you could have the kid ride by and then follow him to his mom and the last scene

thats how i would do it.

watch the last part of 2001 space odyssey for a reference of introducing new people and making them the center of the film momentarily

07-07-2009, 02:51 PM

here is an example of a video installation i made on loop, i just tried to make the first and last frames similar in order to thread it together

hope this helps