(CC Licensed photo from Suviko’s Flickr stream)
The introduction to Joss Whedon’s (of Buffy fame, duh) new show Dollhouse features interesting camera/editing work that makes all the characters look like, well, dolls. The video shows several scenes from above and on an angle, showing cars rushing past, a busy intersection, the ‘actives’ training in the dollhouse, and finally a chase on a dirt path. These are interspersed among other shots that are generally close-ups of Eliza Dushku, the show’s star.
The technique employed in these scenes is called tilt-shift photography (specifically tilt-shift miniature making, according to Wikipedia). Wikipedia describes the technique as such: “By distorting the focus of the photo, the artist simulates the shallow depth of field normally encountered with macro lenses making the scene seem much smaller than it actually is.”
This technique has been somewhat of a meme on Boing Boing, which anyone who spends any time around me will already know as the source of everything I know. Skilled photographers and digital editors can make scenes shot from the proper angles appear to be miniature – thus the Dollhouse reference, obviously using tilt-shift to imply that these living people are just dolls. Oooh.
One cool tilt-shift photographer is this guy, who I of course found on an old Boing Boing post. There is also this fun site, which turns your regular photos into tiltedly-shifted ones, and a cool monster truck rally video that also employs the same kind of pseudo-stop motion editing to make it appear even more miniaturized and fake.