Guerrilla Filmmaking 101: Dolly, leave behind

Film-101-DollyLeaveBehindDolly, leave behind

is a technique where the camera betrays an object or talent by leaving it behind with nothing prominent to replace them.

Following the rules of a dolly, it is the action of the talent making a distinctive difference.  Instead of telling a story where your talent is going, it emphasizes a struggle or failure.  This can be used for comedic or dramatic effect.  The risk is which are you attempting to portray?  Which will be received by the audience?

There is a reason why the talent centerpieces the beginning of the cut.  Think about the reason leaving them behind.  It can only be effective if nothing out of the ordinary replaces the talent.  Otherwise, an entirely new message is sent.  Look up Camera Dolly, reveal in foreground, for example.

What happens after the talent is left behind is the story you’re telling.  Is it one of loneliness or a lost opportunity?  How long you stick to a bland background before moving to the next cut should be thought through.

As seen in The Princess Who Would Not Listen (2014),
Our heroine, cane in hand, struggles to make it out from her bedroom.  The camera follows her transverse the living room before she stumbles and falls.  The camera continues her path without her.

Guerrilla filmmaking 101 is a series a posts covering the basics in a quick-footed production.  Every director carries his or her own filmmaking philosophy.

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