Where the Talent Should Look at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 5th, 2005, 11:33 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 263
Where the Talent Should Look

Hello All!

I am plagues by this issue, and everyone has a different take on it.

First of all I am shooting a fund raising video/Corporate, not a film or documentary.

The scenes that I am concerned with are where company spokespersons are speaking about the company. Normally if the person is suppose to be speaking to the audience I like to have them deliver their lines to the camera and then I get some other angles with them speaking to where the camera was i.e. off camera. This way I have many editing options and the audience gets a sense of involvement.

I have shot productions where the talent was speaking off camera at an imaginary person and some viewers asked me who they were speaking to?? At least with combining on camera with off camera shots the audience picks up on the fact that it is a transitional move.

Obviously if there is an interviewer, off camera delivery is understandable, bit it is more difficult to use a different angle to cover editing if you only have off camera shots, and no interviewer to cut to.

Problem, the client viewed a couples of DVDs that the talent only looked off camera while delivering their lines, and they were not speaking to an interviewer, in fact I they were actually speaking to the audience, so now my client thinks that this is SOP.

How do you guys handle this issue of where the talent should look?

Thanks!
__________________
AM
Anthony Marotti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2005, 11:51 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Anthony,
As you indicated at the beginning of the post, there are a number of approaches for handling this.

Their is no ONE WAY... oe SOP.

Direct appeals to the camera, have an immediacy to them. They can be quite effective in calls to action "Give generously to prevent videoitis...." Not all talent (especially non actors) are comfortable speaking to a lens. It's especially difficult for untrained talent to deliver memorized lines directly into a lens. A teleprompter is helpful, but even that takes a bit of skill Most people are much more comfortable speaking to another person.

Most newsgathering and documentary approaches have the interviewer off camera slightly to one side of the lens. The general public is accustomed to seeing interviews and testimonials in this fashion... even if they never 'hear' the questions being asked. When I shoot docs or marketing videos, I have the subject speak to the interviewer in complete answers, so the questions never are heard. I reframe between questions. I use b-roll footage to cover different shots, but occasionally a jump cut can be very effective.

If you don't have an 'interviewer' asking questions off camera, then it can be difficult for a non-actor to focus on an inanimate point and address it in a convincing fashion. (Talk to the chair...). If that is the case, I put another person (A crew member or someone) in place of the interviewer. I ask the questions from behind the camera, and have the subject look at the 'stand in' and answer my questions by addressing that person... it does help non actors.

My advice to you is to give the client what they want.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2005, 01:55 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 263
Hey Richard,

I agree. I will be directing and have rehearsed the talent to the point that they are extremely comfortable with me and will be able to deliver their lines smoothly. I will b using a crane on a dolly for camera #1 and tripod for cam #2. I would prefer to transition between the 2 cameras but will be sure and get a lot of hand shots, etc. as well as other B-roll for cutting.

It is interesting that you say that people are accustomed to the off-camera shot, even in the absence of an interviewer.

My opinion is that if I use any scenes where the talent is looking at the camera, I must do it in every scene (mixed with other angles as well) or risk making the audience feel like something is wrong, or out of place.

Would you agree?

Thanks again!
__________________
AM
Anthony Marotti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2005, 02:07 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Anthony,

Without knowing the subject matter, or the script, it's hard to say what will work and 'not work' with your approach.

I say people are accustomed to seeing talent speak off camera without an 'interviewer' present... meaning the AUDIENCE is used to that. My documentary "American Jouster" is edited without any interviewer presence at all... all the talking heads are speaking off lens, and the flow is seamless.

But you can mix the approach.

For instance, in a fundrasing video, there may be many 'interview' type talking heads, where the people are talking off the camera, about the wonderful things the charity has done for them... "My son was suffering from videoitis untill VIDEO FOR KIDS stepped in and helped him make his first dv feature..." and so on, untill at the end of the fundraising piece, the Representative for the charity, or one of the deprived children themselves looks DIRECTLY INTO THE LENS and says, "Won't YOU make a difference in my life? Contribute generously..."

In the above format, you combine talking off lens with talking on lens.

I have also seen talking head spots where the talent is talking on lens, and then cut-away's show them from other angles, talking towards the FIRST CAMERA's POV... Sometimes, the second angle is drasitcally altered by a color filter, shaky movement, Extreme high angle or such. Frankly, it always looks to me, like the newscaster has gotten their prompt light a little late, but then again, I had a background in television years ago where if you cued the talent to the wrong camera, you got yelled at by the floor director!
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 263
Hello again Richard, I appreciate your feedback!

"I have also seen talking head spots where the talent is talking on lens, and then cut-away's show them from other angles, talking towards the FIRST CAMERA's POV..."

This is the technique that I use most often. In this case, if the client feels strongly about it, or the talent is uncomfortable looking at the camera, I will shoot he off-camera delivery technique and do the head on approuch at the end when the founder gives his call to action.

Thanks again for the feedback !!
__________________
AM
Anthony Marotti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 49
If the talent is uncomfortable speaking to the camera, try an Interrotron setup.

http://www.markorton.com/in_brief/Interrotron.htm
Adam Keen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2005, 09:22 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Keen
If the talent is uncomfortable speaking to the camera, try an Interrotron setup.

http://www.markorton.com/in_brief/Interrotron.htm
Pretty neat. I hope that I am a good enough director to ease my talents minds though :-)
__________________
AM
Anthony Marotti is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:37 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network