I watched this video recently of the set of Rear Window taken from all existing shots in the film and stitched together using video software. The result is a pretty cool one, allowing the viewer to see the entire apartment complex together, in one long shot. The action within the apartments even follows along the timeline of the film. Give it a look, it's pretty good.
That got me thinking about shots I love that don't exist, which is to say, long tracking or panning shots that I'd love to see a panorama of but can't because it's a movie camera tracking along, not a still camera taken an extreme wide angle shot. From time to time I put together a shot to use as a banner or wallpaper and the urge struck me again recently when I watched Alfred Hitchcock's 1930 Murder!
We can see a crowd at the back of the room on the left of the screen looking down towards the fireplace. Sitting in the forefront, the only not looking down, is a still woman with a bloodied poker at her feet. We can assume she is the murderer. The gentleman standing in the direct center of the image draws in our eye and will become the hero of the film. Another man kneels down over the victim and a policeman stands along the fireplace wall, contemplating the scene below. And the victim? Brilliantly, Hitchcock put her in the mirror. It's difficult to see here but click the photo to enlarge it for a better look.
After this master shot, the camera focuses in on the policeman, zooms out to the presumed murderer and then pans across to the victim, like so:
It's that final shot, the pan over to the victim that I wanted to capture. With a tracking shot, where the camera moves in a parallel line to the action, I could just take a snapshot of each section of the track and stitch them together but this one was tougher: It's a pan, not a track. The camera simply pivots from killer to victim so putting them together requires some complicated reorientation work because when the camera pivots, the action is taking place before the camera at a slightly different angle than it was when it started the pan. Nonetheless, I was determined. The result seen below. Click to enlarge.