Last year, I posted about seeing a visual quote of a Transformers shot in Tangled/Rapunzel and in Rango. Since then I have found
three four five more. Does that mean I get to name it? If so, I’m dubbing it the “over the top” shot.
Here are the original three that got me started:
This is a rare example of a shot from a contemporary film spawning imitation soon after its release. Usually, it takes years before filmmakers get up the courage to use an especially innovative technique (think dolly/zoom and DePalma 360).
The obvious exception would be bullet-time from The Matrix (itself borrowed from Tim MacMillan’s pioneering Time Slice work). The success of The Matrix immediately led to a flood of bullet-time shots. I even worked on a bid for a movie with a whole plot built around the effect. Thankfully, it never got the green light. I think seeing a bullet time shot in Shrek was my signal that that type of shot was officially done.
It’s also exciting to think that I have found “patient zero” for a type of shot during its initial theatrical release and can start collecting examples from the beginning. That is, of course, assuming that the Transformers shot is not itself a quote of another shot.
Well, when I put the word out, super-pal, Khris Brown reminded me that there might be one with a horse in Lawrence of Arabia, and when I checked, it was close, but not quite. However, a quick check showed no shot of horses leaping over the camera…but tickled the Butch Cassidy region of my brain just enough to remember this:
It doesn’t go on the official Over the Top list, but deserves to be on the “contributed to the development” list.
Last week, Beca remembered that there was one in Wanted. Well, if anyone would make effective use of an Over the Top shot (aside from Mr. Bay), it would be Timur Bekmambetov. And that made me think there might be one in either Night Watch or Day Watch.
Jackpot! Both Wanted and Day Watch have Over the Top shots! And it gets better: the one in Day Watch predates the one in Transformers! It’s not exactly the same kind of single shot, but it sure sets the precedent for fast moving, heavy thing flying over the head of unsuspecting/innocent person whose reaction is captured in slow motion.
So, I had originally awarded Over the Top shot “patient zero” status to Day Watch, and credit for polishing and popularizing it to Transformers, but now I consider In the Rough the first occurence of a true Over the Top shot.
Updated yet again to include a new one from Battleship, see what you think:
Also, wouldn’t it be great if Over the Top had an Over the Top shot in it?