Everyone thinks that shallow depth of field is part and parcel of the film world but not everyone was happy with SDoF. When one of Hollywood’s biggest directors Orson Welles filmed Citizen Kane a film made in 1941 which was not only directed by Orson Welles but stared the very man himself, director Welles insisted on having a large depth of field for many of his shots.
This gave the crew a nightmare as they had to bring in far more lighting when Orson decided his next shot was to be filmed at T11 or f11 to you and me. T11 in those days ment blasting the set with light in order to allow the iris to stop down to f11, if nothing else things must have got very hot indeed.
If on the occasion enough light was not the answer they would use a split lens to give them two seperate depths of focus now this was tricky as you had to make sure your foreground actors and background actors never crossed the “invisible” line.
As an example you would use the edge of the door as an invisible line then pop on the split lens giving you two separate focusing fields.
As you can see the actors could not move from that position or the effect would be ruined. So you see it’s a savvy director who decides not to follow the rest of the field and give the viewer a visual experiance that in those days was new and different to the norm.
Think out of the box like Orson Welles did seventy years ago, the internet is a great tool but many of you are trying to emulate and be influanced by what you see on YouTube, Vimeo etc. The best films or videos today are fresh, free of influances from what others do and say, it does not have to be the “Film Look” for everything you do, video and its larger depth of field still has a place, it’s the power of your story that matters the tool to do the job is secondary to that.
My thanks to Norrie for the background info.
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