May 29, 2020

Wanna Shoot Like Spielberg? Check Out This Oner from 'Raiders'

Learn camera and dolly movement from one of the best filmmakers of all time. 

Steven Spielberg and cinematographer Douglas Slocombe put together a masterclass in every scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The movie is a mashup of techniques and tricks that would become some of Spielberg's staples throughout his career. 

Including the dolly oner. 

Now, Twitter user Vashi Nedomansky, ACE has put together a short video explaining one of the most famous shots in the movie. This is a "floorplan animatic for the blocking of the prime lens camera + dolly movement in this Spielberg 90-second continuous "ONER" shot." 

I love breakdowns like these because they show practical ways you can stage similar shots to enhance scenes. 

Look at the way the tracks are aligned with the movement of the character. Everything feels natural as we flow with them, pan with movement, and then end on a static shot of the gun. 

The idea of the "Spielberg Oner" is so ubiquitous today, but in this scene, we are really seeing it be born. 

And the very idea of the oner is not expensive in this scenario. It's utilitarianjust the dolly and strict movement that's well planned and intentional. 

These are not things you need millions of dollars to shoot. They just take time, planning, and efficiency. 

What are your favorite practical Spielberg shots? Let us know in the comments.      

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