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Split screen


#1

I was watching Reservoir Dogs for the 100 time or something the other day. I was enjoying the stuck in the middle with you scene and was just as excited as always, when suddenly something caught my attention. I grabbed the remote and rewinded to take a closer look and, yes, something didn´t look right. After Mr. Orange puts some holes in Mr. Blonds body, he has a conversation with the unlucky policeman. There is a OTS shot of the policeman with Mr. Orange in the frame on the left side. If you take a closer look at this scene you can notice something strange. It seems like the screen is split in two with the left side of the background in focus and the right side out of focus. Has anyone else notices this? The only explenation I have for this is that Tarantino has put two different shots together with a split in the middle, but why? If anyone has an explenation for this, please let me know.


#2

[quote]It seems like the screen is split in two with the left side of the background in focus and the right side out of focus. Has anyone else notices this? The only explenation I have for this is that Tarantino has put two different shots together with a split in the middle, but why? If anyone has an explenation for this, please let me know.[/quote]

That shot is not split screen it is called “Deep Focus”. That is a visual camera trick that is used to show 2 or more objects that are far away from each other both being connected in sharp focus, to represent a common emotional or psychological state.



Both Mr Orange and Marvin are experiencing extreme visceral pain, hence the deep focus being used.



Split screen on the other hand is used for 2 separate movie scenes (the screen split in half) taking place simultaneously. See Jackie Brown.



Brian DePalma uses both split screen and deep focus in many of his films. As you probably know, QT is heavily influenced by DePalma’s visual style and his sardonic wittiness.



Hope this helped you out. :slight_smile:


#3

Thank you for the reply Toothpick, but I´m afraid I´m still a little confused about the technical part of this shot.



I know this shot is not a split screen, but it looks to me that it has been made in post production just like a split screen by placing to shots together, in this case the same shot in to different takes. One with the background and Mr. Orange in focus, the other one with the backround out of focus and Marvin in focus. If Tarantino wanted both in focus couldn´t he just have used a different lens?



You say De Palma uses this “Deep Focus” in many of his films, do you have any examples? It´s actually the first time I have seen a shot like this in a movie.


#4

[quote]Thank you for the reply Toothpick, but I´m afraid I´m still a little confused about the technical part of this shot.



I know this shot is not a split screen, but it looks to me that it has been made in post production just like a split screen by placing to shots together, in this case the same shot in to different takes. One with the background and Mr. Orange in focus, the other one with the backround out of focus and Marvin in focus.  If Tarantino wanted both in focus couldn´t he just have used a different lens?



You say De Palma uses this “Deep Focus” in many of his films, do you have any examples? It´s actually the first time I have seen a shot like this in a movie.[/quote]

I was watching Jackie Brown again and noticed that there is a deep focus shot in that film too. Its in the courtroom when The Judge (Sid Haig) is reading something about Jackies case. It was used to show the connection between Pam and Sid (they made several Exploitation films together). Watch closely, you’ll see it.



The effect the deep focus shot gives off is a sharp focus to both objects, close to us and at a distance with a blurriness on the side of the screen. Its a special lense that is used to create the effect. That lense WAS used in that scene in Dogs. Between Marvin (close) and Mr Orange (far).



For examples of deep focus in Brian DePalma’s movies:



Carrie (1976) : A deep focus shot is used in the classroom between Tommy and Carrie when the teacher is reading Tommy’s poem.



Blow Out (1981): Deep focus is used at the beginning between Jack and the owl and the frog, when Jack Terry (Travolta) is recording sounds on the bridge.



The Untouchables (1987) Deep focus is used when Al Capone (DeNiro) is listening to the opera singer at the concert. Look closely next time you watch it.



Casualties of War (1989) Deep focus is used when Brownie gets killed and Erikkson (Michael J Fox) is on the ground. Its between Erikkson and some victims behind him.



Mission Impossible (1996): Deep focus is used when Krieger (Jean Reno) hears the rat crawling near him in the air duct. Think about the connection between the rat and Krieger, it makes sense. :wink:


#5

And in THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES (De Palma, 1990), when Tom Hanks is waiting after somebody who is on the phone.





:wink:



We could see another deep focus in lots of other films, like in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KING (Spielberg, 1977), when Richard Dreyfuss is with his family, in the evening. His son next him is crying, and he feels that everybody takes him for a crazy man.


#6

Romain, could you put up a split screen pic from one of DePalmas films AND a deep focus shot to show the differences between the 2 for people who dont know? That would be great.



Deep focus shot: In the Deer Hunter when Mike and Nick are in the bar listening to Axel play the piano. Theres a shot of Mike (DeNiro) looking at Nick (Walken) thats in deep focus.


#7

DEEP FOCUS

By the way, here is the scene we’re talking about:







So we could see a kind of a blurred line, in the middle of the picture. In fact, there’s a prism behind the cine-camera’s objective. Thanks it, we can see the character in the background, and the one in the foreground.



SPLIT SCREEN

Here a split-screen (from a De Palma picture):







It’s PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. De Palma had the great idea of shooting the scene with two cameras: we can see the scene twice in the same picture. You can see the guy with the blue jean jacket twice in two different angles…



(I can’t take a picture from the split-screen of JACKIE BROWN: I have lose my videotape!)


#8

[quote]DEEP FOCUS

By the way, here is the scene we’re talking about:







So we could see a kind of a blurred line, in the middle of the picture. In fact, there’s a prism behind the cine-camera’s objective. Thanks it, we can see the character in the background, and the one in the foreground.
[/quote]

Can you be more specific about the technical aspect, where is the prism? And what kind of camera lense would you need to achive deep focus, and how would the lense work?


#9

Sorry for the delay, I’m very busy.

And pardon me for my English language: I’m French. I would say that the prism is in the front of the cine-camera (and not “behind”). Like glasses for two different eye: there are two sides separted by an invisible line. We put it in the front of the camera’s objective and we get this:







I don’t think we need a special camera for this.


#10

Hi there,

I don’t have much background of the technical stuff about split screen or deep focus but I realized this deep focus scene in another movie of QT.

In Pulp Fiction there one of this scene, too.



After Mr. Wallace is hit by the car driving by Butch and he is not knocked down anymore, he is hunting for Butch.

Then you can see Marsellus standing on the edge of a house and Butch is in the back.

Ok, there is the hard edge of the wall but as I know it’s no splitting screen.

I Know, in this scene, they are using a special lens on the objectiv.

Do you think this is another deep focus cut?

Regards


#11

[quote]


After Mr. Wallace is hit by the car driving by Butch and he is not knocked down anymore, he is hunting for Butch.

Then you can see Marsellus standing on the edge of a house and Butch is in the back.

Ok, there is the hard edge of the wall but as I know it’s no splitting screen.

I Know, in this scene, they are using a special lens on the objectiv.

Do you think this is another deep focus cut?

Regards[/quote]

Yes, I think that is indeed a deep focus shot, although the blurriness we saw in the Dogs scene isnt as noticable in that shot with Butch (close) and Marcellus (far). But again, like the scene in Dogs, both men are experiencing pain, theres the connection between them, hence the deep focus shot being used.


#12

I’ve read it in a book.

I’ll take a look in it and post any details I can get of it. Maybe some technical details, that’d be interesting.

As I can imagine there are some more information about that scene in pf.

OK, but it’ll take some time.


#13

I thought that the screen was like that to show that the police officer couldn’t see very well, at the point where is was blurry.