When in Dome…

The Morehead Planetarium & Science Center Production Blog

Quick Cuts on the Dome?

by Jay Heinz

July 22, 2009 | 2 comments | Production, Shows

red_ceremonial_scissorsQuick cuts on the dome? Within a scene? MTV style!? Heeeeeellll no. Are you crazy?

Right?

Well, that seems to be the current golden rule of dome production. Quick cuts or moving from a wide to medium to close shot would kill the immersiveness of the dome environment. It would also be too jarring for the viewer. So everything lumbers along slowly and epic-ly. Don’t get me wrong, I like the epic reveal of the sun cresting above the earth as much as the next person. We’re actually doing a couple of those shots in our current production.

But are we locked into this medium-shot, slow camera pan or push with all of our scenes?  It’s visually tedious. Coming from the flat screen world, we want to cut. Cutting allows the viewer of a flat screen to see the entire environment – something that’s not necessary with a dome. But it also creates tension, builds emotion and gives some much needed visual variety.

Has anyone experimented with this? Are there any good examples out there of why it absolutely doesn’t work?

Comments

There are 2 comments for this post.

  1. jonnyflash on July 30, 2009 2:20 pm

    If there is ONE golden rule in all forms of art, it is that nothing is inherently unworkable. Anything can be used if you put the touch into it. I’ve seen cutting work when you have multiple video elements floating around the Dome.

    A lot of time-lapse footage that I’ve seen in the Dome uses pretty standard cuts, even though the footage itself is very serene and stately.

    I think it is just a matter of putting an editor into a Dome and letting them cut & re-cut long enough to find the right rhythm.

  2. Jay Heinz on August 3, 2009 8:10 am

    Maybe it’s just a matter of waiting until real full screen video (non-animated 2D or 3D) is more common on the dome. That may give editors more incentive to start heavily editing footage.

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