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Personal Best: Shooting runners
Michael Chapman Film-maker
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One of the nice things about movies is that they do take you to a) geographical or b) sociological situations that you wouldn't otherwise be in, and that they immerse you in that situation, be it a foreign country or some sort of very specific culture that the movie is dealing with. It's one of the great things of B movies – that they tend to be about that. You know, that we're going to make a movie about sponge divers, we're going to make a movie about Eskimos, and... and they take you to that place wherever it is. In this case it's the world of women athletes who were just discovering what it was to be a jock and a woman at the same time. And they were fascinating, and I hope that some of that came in the movie. I haven't seen it in a long time, and I don't really remember. And I don't know if there is anything particularly to talk about technically, or anything, in the movie, that we did anything out of the ordinary. There was very nice... very nice dolly shots we made with people running really very fast. We were on a track at the University of Oregon which... but an outdoor track, which became very famous – not because of our movie, but because it was some sort of new composition that I can't remember the name of, but that it really enhanced the speed, and all sorts of records were set there over the years, because Oregon was a big centre of track and field, and several record holders of various kinds lived there. That's probably... and they ran on that track and that track was incredibly smooth. And we... I can't remember what sort of dolly... you know – some sort of battery-powered golf cart rig we used. I wish I could be more specific, but it's so long ago I don't really remember. But I remember that we made wonderful shots with... going at the same speed that the runners were going for, say, 400m, you know. So really bullying along. Quite dangerous, and I'm amazed that we got away with it, because if somebody had stumbled or we'd swerved, somebody could've got hurt. But it didn't happen and we made marvelous shots and we were going full speed, going with them, on the track. Because the track was so smooth we were able to do it.

Michael Chapman, an American cinematographer, has had a huge influence on contemporary film-making, working on an impressive array of classic films including 'Taxi Driver', 'Raging Bull', 'The Lost Boys' and 'The Fugitive'.

Listeners: Glen Ade Brown

British Director of Photography and Camera Operator Glen Ade Brown settled in Los Angeles 10 years ago.

He has been working on features, commercials and reality TV. He played an instrumental role in the award-winning ABC Family series "Switched" and is also a recipient of the Telly and the Cine Golden Eagle awards for Best Cinematography. He was recently signed by the Judy Marks Agency and is now listed in her commercial roster.

Tags: University of Oregon

Duration: 2 minutes, 1 second

Date story recorded: May 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008