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Thread: question about camera angles

  1. #1
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    Default question about camera angles

    Hi. I have a slightly technical question.

    When watching shows (NAVY NCIS comes to mind), a single
    scene would change camera angle every 2-5 seconds, and
    end up using approx. 12 camera angles. That all in a
    50 second scene.

    While the camera angle switches are
    very quick, the dialogue and acting seems seemless, like
    there are 12 camera's on the set. Somehow seeing the frequency
    of these switching shots, I suspect its only one or two camera's.

    How is such recording done ?

    Do they re-record every line said ? Do they film the whole
    scene over and over and record just one angle at the time and
    Or is it all recorded using alternate shots ?

    Bonus points for more info on how to achieve this with one camera...

    Thank you for your valuable time reading this.

  2. #2
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    Can't help with the rest but.....

    Quote Originally Posted by angelomcm View Post
    Bonus points for more info on how to achieve this with one camera...
    Robotic consistency in your actors and absolutely no external influences on your lighting.
    Tim

  3. #3
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    I don't think they use 12 camera's, it would bankrupt them. More than likely they use one of two cameras and repeat the action whatever number of times and it is shot from different angles. In post production the dialogue is re-recorded (in an ADR studio) and laid down under the pictures after they have been cut together. In video production a similar procedure is used (we don't all have access to ADR or Foley studios) called Insert Edit, where you lay down a continuous audio track and put edited video clips on top of it. It's used all the time in tv news reports.

  4. #4
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    thanks for clearing this up.

  5. #5

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    NCIS is one show (which I quite like actually) that could really do with a bit more lighting, so the camera could maybe, you know stop down A BIT!?!?! I know shallow DOF is artful and all, but that one show seems to have made a religion out of it... To the point that in several cases in the latest season on the odd extreme close up, not all of the face is completely sharp.

  6. #6
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    CSI Miami has always been my favourite, from The Who doing the theme tune (I have the full eight and a half minutes of that), to the storylines, to Jerry Bruckheimer giving it his seal of approval, it's got a lot of positive elements in its favour. Oh yeah and then there's Kelly Proctor.

  7. #7
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    It is the exception for more than one camera to be used.
    Exceptions may include stunts and situations where speed of output is more important than quality, eg some soaps.

    Many people are suprised at this. It is down the the magic of film making and the skills of an army of experts and actors that we so easily enter this made up world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-camera_setup

  8. #8
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    A good "jobbing" actor can repeat the same performance, hit the same marks and get the words right again and again and again. That's why you tend to see the same actors time and time again in supporting roles. You can only have one actor who is inconsistant. If you have two actors and a cameraman who can't repeat action perfectly, you'll spend all day getting one short scene.
    Acting is one of those skills which everyone thinks they can do. In fact most people can provide a decent performance with a good director. However it's the working skills, such as constant timing and hitting marks which are difficult and reveal the professional.

    I personally think that "Waking the dead" is a superb example of exciting camerawork which doesn't get annoying nor become "art for art's sake" like some of the American cop-soaps which use camera movements to try and spice up flat scenes.

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