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Old June 18th, 2009, 04:21 PM   #1
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Dual camcorder interview.How?

Hi, could you give me any suggetsions about the position of2 camcorders during an interview?
One should be set in wide and the other one on a close up on the face of the guy interviewed.Please could you tell me through pictures or schemes how to set the 2 camcorders?
thank you
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Old June 18th, 2009, 10:13 PM   #2
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Hi Marcus,

I shoot interviews with two cams. Typically I have them set up about 5 feet apart. One is the primary camera I operate. I use this one for most of the movements, zooms, CU's, ECU's, etc. The other camera is usually set to about a medium shot. Every so often I'll set my primary camera to a good framing and then move over and reframe my second cam. Then I go back to operating my primary cam looking for good opportunities to create a certain feel or mood.

It seems to work pretty good in giving a good variety of shots for editing. It would be much easier to have to operators but this works.

Garrett
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Old June 19th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #3
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Any example online?
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Old June 19th, 2009, 09:59 AM   #4
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I just finished shooting one but the editor elected to use one cam as we needed to get it out really quickly. I'll take some of the footage and try to piece a quick bit together and post it. May take a day or two.

Garrett
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Old June 19th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #5
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You can look at any of Rick Young's interviews at Macvideo. He always uses this technique.
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Old June 21st, 2009, 05:19 AM   #6
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Depends on the style you want, I did a video recently where we had one camera fixed on a tripod at a mid shot while I used the second camera handheld. If my new website goes up soon I'll post a link to the interview.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 08:37 PM   #7
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My approach is very much similar to Garrett's. Here's an example: Ben Ashline - Profile of a Young Racer on Vimeo.

I have to admit that this is only the second one of these that I've done but "The Kid" liked it so I guess it worked. The prime camera is an XH A1. The secondary is an HV 30.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 11:38 PM   #8
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Tripp: off-topic but I LOVE North Eastern accents: "sittin' in tha CAH..."
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Old June 24th, 2009, 02:42 PM   #9
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My opinion on this is that a second camera doesn't add anything to the contents or even visuals of your movie. If you have time to cut in between footage of an interview, you better make a cut-away to footage that enhances the story instead of showing a boring face from two different angles. It's still a boring talking head, no matter how many cameras you use. ;-)
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Old June 24th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #10
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P.S.: If you really want to use two camcorders, I'd suggest that you have the B-cam handheld, zoomed out wide to show the setting of your subject, and add some stylistic elements (e.g., shaky cam, grainy footage, b/w ...). A second cam on a tripod would look really boring.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 09:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
Tripp: off-topic but I LOVE North Eastern accents: "sittin' in tha CAH..."
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Old June 24th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #12
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Stefan... Static B cams are pretty boilerplate. Yes they can be uninteresting but like boilerplate, they can be very helpful when you absolutely have to edit and you have no supporting footage to cut to. In a perfect world you'd be right for all the instances we all encounter. However... I don't want to count the crutches in my closet so I won't ask about yours. I prefer to keep the closet door closed whenever I can.

The only up side to a dual "static" camera approach is that if your location is at all interesting, a different angle gives the audience a look at more of the space. It's a nit really, but it is something.

Last edited by Tripp Woelfel; June 24th, 2009 at 09:41 PM. Reason: What else... spelling
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Old June 29th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #13
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I use the second cam for editing/shooting efficiency more than visual interest. If the interviewee fluffs a line you can just pick up from the beginning of the sentence without the jump-cut you would get with only 1 cam. Likewise removing redundant sentences etc.
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 01:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Bennett View Post
If the interviewee fluffs a line you can just pick up from the beginning of the sentence without the jump-cut you would get with only 1 cam. Likewise removing redundant sentences etc.
For me this is the best reason for using 2 cameras. Although just changing the shot every now and then does make it a little more interesting than 1 static shot.

Here is an example that I did recently that I would call a pretty boring interview if shot just 1 camera. It's not all that entertaining anyways unless you know them, but I think it's more watchable the way its cut.

YouTube - Bill and Vicki: Guthrie Dream Wedding

The interview portion starts around the 1 minute mark.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 12:46 PM   #15
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You also might want to consider using a dolly.
Here is a piece I edited which was shot with two cams.
One tripod mounted and one dolly.

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