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QT's 'Fence Camera Trick'...How the fuck?

Ok I’m not sure if this has been questioned before but I have looked everywhere in this forum and have found nadda relating to what I wanna ask.

This is quite simply one of the most subtle pieces of stunning camera-work that occurs in Pulp Fiction. It’s not the ‘Mia-In-The-Mirror’ effect while she is snorting shit in the toilet. It is the one where Butch is returning to his apartment to pick up his gold watch.

When Butch arrives in his neighbourhood, he parks his car and walks alongside some apartment blocks passing a few windows. At this point we also hear a radio commercial about JackRabbit Slim’s $5-Shakes. The camera is constantly following Butch directly behind him as he navigates himself towards his own apartment block.

The clever camera-work is occurs when Butch steps through a reasonably small hole in the fence. We get the idea that it’s quite small as he has to kinda of bend the protuding metal and side-step through. What is so damn cool is the camera still follows his EXACT footsteps and SEEMS to just glide right through! It doesn’t stop, it doesn’t shake, it just ‘passes’ through and continues following Butch.

Yeh a steadycam may have been used but those things are pretty bulky and trying to get through that fence would be quite hard. I WANNA KNOW HOW THE FUCK QT DID THIS??? IMO it’s the smoothest bit of camerawork. Please just don’t say they just rehearsed it and rehearsed it till they got through the fence without stopping!

I bet it has the same complicated stylistic setup as the ‘Da Palma-House of Blue Leaves’ sequence in Kill Bill.

That’s exactly what I wanted to know! I noticed this in the second viewing of Pulp. I have no idea either. Maybe it’s an illusion, that the fence openings are bigger than they seem and you could just slide a camera through? Tengo no idea senor

I’ve always wondered this too…that is quite a tight squeeze. only thing I can guess is MAYBE they passed the camera to someone (off screen) on the otherside of the fence…then took it from there. But…the shot is a steady cam shot…so it’d be hard to just pass such a large hunk of equipment (the cam) to someone, andalso when you wear a steady cam, its all over your fucking body;

So It’d be difficult unless they were just doing handheld.

But I doubt they did that…so I’m thinking they just used a smaller camera and a really small guy and a really small stady cam.

Good question though…reminds me…I hope on the Kill Bill DVD we see some behind the scenes making of footage of how the FUCK they did that long no cut track following Uma. HOLY GOD that was BEAUTFIULL!

I know the camera tricks are unbelievable in his movies. That nocut Uma scene must have been expertly choreographed. Or maybe it was just good luck.

Also let’s not forget the Jules-Vincent foot massage speech in Pulp, the Mr. Blonde torture scene in Dogs, and the Jackie mall scene in JB. QT is the king of uninterrupted camera-shots. I guess the Kill Bill and Butch ones were the most challenging to film.

Thats one of the coolest tracking shots Ive seen in his movies so far. When youre following Butch, you see that hole in the fence and youre like “the camera wont fit through that little hole” then it goes right through. The only thing I can think of is that they used a smaller steadicam or they made the hole JUST big enough for the camera fit through. Its weird though.

Thats what I love about QT and DePalma movies. They use their cameras in interesting ways. Tracking shots, split screen, deep focus, closeups.

OT: Theres another really cool tracking shot in Blow Out I love. It happens after Burke kills that chick he thinks is Sally, the camera must be on a crane, it tracks up the hill, over the fence and catches Sally coming around the corner then it pans up to Manny Carps window.

[quote]Good question though…reminds me…I hope on the Kill Bill DVD we see some behind the scenes making of footage of how the FUCK they did that long no cut track following Uma. HOLY GOD that was BEAUTFIULL![/quote]

I knew one of you guys was gonna ask that…well here’s how the man himself explains it, one of the most interesting interviews regarding QT & film technicalities I have read:

[i]In the House of Blue Leaves

The scene where The Bride arrives at the House of Blue Leaves includes a tour de force four-minute-long Steadicam shot. “It introduces the audience to the layout of the place in a very visual way,� says Tarantino.


Production designer Yohei Tanada began by building a giant model of the set “so I could play around with camera moves,â€? says Tarantino. “There were no storyboards, just me acting it all out. One of the great things about Bob Richardson is that he’s also his own cameraman, and he worked closely with gaffer Ian Kincaid to light it all. Then we got Larry McConkey, probably the greatest Steadicam guy in the world. And I wanted to introduce the House of Blue Leaves in a big way. I didn’t know how to do it, but I worked it all out and explained it to Bob who said, ‘It’s going to be tough’ and who then explained it to Larry; ‘You follow Uma across this rice-paper wall, rise up and go above her head…’ And Larry was like, ‘Fine, but how the hell are we going to rise above her head?’â€?


Key grip Herb Alt designed a rig to execute the shot. “The shot starts off on the back of the girl band, and the girl’s twitching ass takes us to the stairway where we see Uma’s feet coming down,â€? Tarantino explains. “As Uma walks across and turns the corner, a rig just like a ski lift for one is lowered down and Larry is put in the chair, a belt is wrapped around him and he’s lifted up over her and then turned so he’s hanging over her now. Then he lowers down into the bathroom, steps out of the chair and follows Uma into the stall. Cue the light change, a little Coppola scrim action happens, and then an extra takes us through to this other woman who takes us out the door. Then we hear the voice of Charlie Brown, the owner, and follow them back into the restaurant and up a ramp for the close-up of the drummer. While that’s happening, a wall’s moved and a crane’s moved into the dance area. So as he lands on the close-up, he’s sitting down into the crane, and on cue swings up to see Sophie walking down, and then just silently floats up to her on the crane. Then he follows her down the stairs and through the dancers. Meanwhile, we have to move the drummer back into her place so that when we pass by the stage, she’s right where she was before. Then we follow Sophie through the hallway and, on cue, Larry steps off the crane and follows her into the bathroom â€â€

I would imagine as soon as the fence was out of frame they pulled it back so the camera man could fit through.

How ever they did it thisis one piece of great camera work. Unless as mentioned above they just moved the fence :smiley:

I don’t think that long shot following Uma in House of Leaves was really 4 minutes though. Any one time it? I’d say at max it was 2 minutes…but I sure as hell didn’t want that shot to change.

I think its funny that during that shot there’s lots of commotion in the resturaunt (We see this by following different characters) so it kinda makes you think (all this action on camera, but there’s really so much more OFF camera) ;D

[quote]I would imagine as soon as the fence was out of frame they pulled it back so the camera man could fit through.[/quote]

Ya, thats what i was about to say

That’s why we love Q.T. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

He is a cinematic genious .

After watching that part in a loop for 10mins, im almost 100% + that the camera was handed to somebody else, the strides seemed a little different, and theyres this different type of steady-cam, where its just on this monopod type-thing, with weights on the bottom, ill find a pic.

I’ve gotta agree…this shot is amazing, and I’m really not sure how they did it. I did some CGI for a friend’s film once that was about a jailbreak, and basically the camera moved through the bars of the jailcell into the main character’s cell, but the bars were all CG. It looked cool on screen, though. Obviously that’s not the case here. Quentin doesn’t need to lower himself to use CG, generally. :slight_smile:

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one obsessed with that shot.

If you guys want to see a great movie with basically no cuts, rent Irreversible. There are no cuts in the movie, except digitally added ones when the screen kind of fades to black. Just see it.

People aren’t going to see that because of the cuts. Theyre gonna see it for the gruesome straight-thirty-minute rape scene.

I’ve heard that film isn’t as shocking as people make it out to be. It’s probably like Baise Moi or something.

Well maybe you should go see it for yourself and find out. And tell me if the rape scene is worse than “I spit on your grave”

I didn’t shock me that much, but it’s pretty brutal.its not 30 min, its 9.