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Old January 16th, 2007, 08:59 AM   #1
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Single camera-many angles

We are shooting a fitness video next week indoors, and I'm limited to my Gl2 only. (I'm not a pro, but learning as this is an in-house shoot). The problem is, there are many angles- superior, side etc. Anyone have good advice during the shoot on how to best get these angles? It seems like a lot of work to jump around the script to shoot angle by angle. Help much appreciated!
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Old January 16th, 2007, 09:42 AM   #2
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I'm a one-man operation and this is the way I work all the time!

Have your subject repeat a set of a particular exercise three different times and you record it three different ways. I usually do a long shot, then a mid- or close ups and finally a "free-for-all" where I do quick camera movements, extreme close ups of facial grimaces, artsy angled shots and the like. Then I edit them all together so that it seems more or less seamless.

Here's a perfect example that I just finished editing. The leg extension set at the end was cut together from multiple sets. I'm not saying that it is going to fool anyone into thinking that it was a three camera shoot, but I think it does give a good impression of each exercise while avoiding a boring static camera look.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q2rd0dBc1Q


P.S. Yes, it is a lot of work!
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Old January 16th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #3
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Michael:
Nice work. Are you marking your angles so you can return to them? Are you using a tripod? Thanks for your insite.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 10:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Agnew
Michael:
Nice work. Are you marking your angles so you can return to them? Are you using a tripod? Thanks for your insite.
I am not marking angles, although that would be a good idea! I am doing documentary work so, apart from the interviews, I can't really plan out my shots or put my camera on a tripod because I never know where I'll be from moment to moment.

Those workouts were not staged for me, I was basically just hanging around in the gym, shooting real workouts in progress but always trying to apply the principles that I stated above...but on the fly. My shooting and editing style is very loose and improvisational. I don't recommend that for everyone, it gets me into trouble sometimes! You will have a much more controlled environment and should be able to take advantage of being able to do a tripod take as well as some hand-held for variety.

You should post a clip or two when you get it done. I'd like to see how you do!
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Old January 16th, 2007, 10:12 AM   #5
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Yes- this shoot is pretty scripted. It is very technical with small movements that must be recorded right. I'll post my results.

Thanks again-

Tim
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Old January 16th, 2007, 03:40 PM   #6
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One idea that has worked well for me in the past would be to mark out your tripod placements (I ususally just use an X under the center column) and then have the performer go through the whole routine for each camera angle. You can usually match it up well in post that way. The only problem that I see in your case (a workout video) is that it may be hard for the performer to go through the whole program three times.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #7
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I use a piece of painter's tape (the blue masking tape) with an arrow pointing the way of the lens and an approximate head height for the lens. I never go anywhere without my blue tape and sharpie :)

Sometimes, I'll just mark the three legs of the tripod too if I'm doing multiple framings from one locked position.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 02:19 PM   #8
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I basically just stop after a sentence or thought and then wait for who ever is behind the camrea to move and then start back up and as I start then move my head to the new camera location. I have gotten "ok" results so far. Most of the time I wish it was smoother, but most people who are not in the video area says it flows nicely. Its a fun hobby for me. An example: http://www.bartenderweekly.com/episo...pisode08/watch
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Old January 18th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #9
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A different approach

Maybe this will give you some ideas.
The video "Eisa" was shot using only 1 camera.

To view you need to go to my homepage:
http://www.gaijin-eyes.com
Then follow the menu through.... GALLERY/ JAPAN/ SD 4:3/ Festivals & People... then click on the "Eisa" thumbnail.

The factor which made this possible was that the group performed 2 times and they had the same recorded background music for their performance.
This guaranteed that they would keep the same rythymn and timing.
I shot one performance from 1 angle, then the second performance from another angle.
Then I used multicam editing - keeping one audio track complete.

I don't know,but I guess they are exercising to music at the gymn!?
If so maybe you can take the long shots when they are exercising to 1 tune - then wait until the same tune turns up again and do a second take from another angle - where you can get the close ups etc. The second shoot does not have to be from 1 point all the time... you could move around and get different angles.
The audio would help you synch the final edits.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 05:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Agnew
We are shooting a fitness video next week indoors, and I'm limited to my Gl2 only. (I'm not a pro, but learning as this is an in-house shoot). The problem is, there are many angles- superior, side etc. Anyone have good advice during the shoot on how to best get these angles? It seems like a lot of work to jump around the script to shoot angle by angle. Help much appreciated!
It is a lot of work to shoot multiple angles as individual repetitions with a single camera but that's exactly how it's done in most films. Depending on the scene, you might do many setups -wide establishing shot, medium shot, over the shoulder reverses, tight CU on each talent, etc - with the talent repeating the scene verbatim each time. A typical 2-person dialog might be repeated 5 to 7 times with different camera setups at the very least and that would be just the simplest static scenes. In fact, one of the key skills a film or video actor has to learn is the ability to repeat the same scene over and over again exactly the same way each time - if you reach for the door knob with your left hand in the wide shot you need to make sure you use your left hand for the CU of the hand turning the knob and if it touches the knob at the word "what" in the line "I wonder what's in here" in one shot, that's where it needs to make contact in all the other takes as well.

IMHO, don't even DREAM of trying to do it in one take using pans and zooms. The result is what I call the Fire Hose Effect, with the camera playing over the scene like a hose squirting water on a fire. The result is incredibly amateurish and distracting.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 02:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House

IMHO, don't even DREAM of trying to do it in one take using pans and zooms. The result is what I call the Fire Hose Effect, with the camera playing over the scene like a hose squirting water on a fire. The result is incredibly amateurish and distracting.

...unless you edit the pans and zooms out like I do. In my unplanned, unrehearsed documentary situations I am forced to "Fire Hose" it because there are no second takes, but I always keep in mind that I am framing distinct shots within that take. It takes some practice, both shooting and editing, to get it right.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 02:50 PM   #12
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Ok, this is out of my brain. If this is a fitness video, what is the chance that there are mirrors around the actors? If so, you could shoot a single angle and utilize the mirror angles to add to the variety. You still may have to shoot each scene several times, but the mirrors might help spice up the video.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis
Ok, this is out of my brain. If this is a fitness video, what is the chance that there are mirrors around the actors? If so, you could shoot a single angle and utilize the mirror angles to add to the variety. You still may have to shoot each scene several times, but the mirrors might help spice up the video.
Damn! You discovered my secret! Gyms are loaded with mirrors and you can almost always get two angles for the price of one. Just be sure to bring some windex and a roll of paper towels! They are rarely cleaned, in my experience.
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