NBC Universal seems to have blocked the posting of their copyrighted material online. That is blocked too. Watch a bunch of BTS from every DVD you can get hold of. Look at the distance from camera to subject... or, as always recommended, do some tests. 18mm @ 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 meters... change the zoom setting to about 35, repeat, 50 repeat, 85 repeat, 150, repeat... all the way out to the longest setting on your lens... then take a screenshot of each of them (you'll know which is which because you'll slate them with a piece of paper or a chalk board that shows the particular settings/distances), make a grid that displays the differences. Put it in a binder and use it when planning shots.
Yeah I've done tests with my 18mm and I see the distortion. Well basically if someone is on their hands or knees and you point the camera up at them from the floor, you will have distortion. With an 18mm lens you can't see the persons arms, only their head. In order to see the arms you need a 10, but even the actor's face is almost too close for what I want. So 10mm is the bare maximum probably.
How do you get a shot like that with no barrel distortion? You probably have to dig a whole in the floor, or get the actor higher, but the audience may notice, that the actor is all of a sudden higher, than the floor, depending on how the room looks, and if a continuity flaw would be noticeable. Like if something is on the wall in one shot, and all of a sudden it's lower, in the shot from the floor, etc.
The apple boxes will work for that scene. But what about scenes where I wanna shoot someone walking from the floor's point of view, like the Citizen Kane shot? I could use a slider for that too. I guess I could use an 18mm for the shots I want to do from the floor of people walking and running, I just hope it's not too high. Thanks.
Just move the camera farther back for those shots. If you can't move farther back, go wider. If you can't move farther back and don't like the distortion, plan a new shot or spend a lot on a lens.
Wes Anderson couldn't get wide enough with standard lenses in the "Let me tell you about my boat" scene in The Life Aquatic. He heard a rumor, and dropped a LOT of money on a lens NASA had developed that was lying around and adapted it to his camera. The cutaway of the boat you see isn't VG, it's a real boat cut in half, squished into a soundstage (that they had to extend), decorated, and the camera moves around it.
But yeah, everything has limitations. Learn to maximize what you can do within your limits and don't stress or worry about the one shot you can't pull off because it's too expensive, too difficult with a small crew, or too impossible in general. Time spent focused on what you can do and polishing that will pay off way more in the long run.
Okay thanks, but it's hard to move the mirror with the camera. Unless I just get real close into the mirror and move within the mirror. I'll try it. So I will get a slider for sure, but do they make any where the slider itself can turn, when hooked onto a tripod, or do they only make ones that sit still on a tripod? I was thinking of turning the camera, on a fluid head while turning the slider.
Simple to move mirror and camera, put them both on the same platform and move the platform... you need to study some physics... it seems to me that many of the solutions you seek come from the world of physics.
I'd like to add that whilst certain shots can be really cool and really nice, quite often we're pushed for time and you get what you can get. I'm not always 100% happy with lighting setups or shot setups but I know they're not bad and we just have to get the shot and move on or I'll spend the entire day lighting one scene.
If you're spending 2 hours on a shot that you just can't get everything you want, you need to adjust your expectations, or cut the shot