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Old August 18th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #1
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Unusual two-camera rig for simultaneous wide/tight

This week I was posed with the request to shoot simultaneously wide and tight angles due to a tight shooting schedule that precluded doing them consecutively, so I came up with the rig seen in the attachments.

It incorporated a half-silvered mirror (rented from Clairmount Camera, generally used for 3D rigs) and the rest was assembled on the day. Both cameras could pan and tilt independently, and the entire works was mounted on a Fisher 10 dolly so we could do moves. The idea was that they could cut from wide to tight at any time, with the talent (Jerry Seinfeld) looking into the lens the entire time.

Definitely not your normal shooting rig! It worked perfectly, though. The B camera image was flopped left-to-right which will be fixed in post, but it appeared sharp and none the worse for wear having been shot via a mirror.
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Unusual two-camera rig for simultaneous wide/tight-img_0279.jpg   Unusual two-camera rig for simultaneous wide/tight-img_0277.jpg  

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Old August 18th, 2007, 11:31 AM   #2
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i do not understand why two camera side by side would not fit ?
what was the advantage to use the mirror ?
or was one camera the master (for framing) and the other one the slave (just taking a zoomed part of the first framed picture ?)
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Old August 18th, 2007, 11:38 AM   #3
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We needed to have Jerry looking directly into the lens on both angles, thus the cameras needed to share the same optical axis. If the cameras were side by side, one of them would have a slightly off-axis eyeline. And since they needed to pan and tilt independently, the distance between them would have been a good 8 inches (which translates to more like 12" between the center of each lens) so this would have been noticeable.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 11:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
or was one camera the master (for framing) and the other one the slave (just taking a zoomed part of the first framed picture ?)
This is effectively what we were doing, but slaving one camera to the other operationally would not have worked as the compositional needs would have been compromised.

Had we had access to a 4K camera (and plenty of tracking time in post), we could have cropped into the image to create a tighter size from that. But with HD delivery part of the deal, this was not an option.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #5
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Charles I swear when I first took a very quick glance at the picture I thought it was a rig you wore. So help me;-) I had a brief moment of 'oh my, Charles has gone off the deep end on this one'
In my defense I had about 2 hours of sleep last night so it takes my old eyes a bit of time and caffine to get working properly.
Nice rig and very ingenious-let me know when you're going to wear it though. THAT I really want to see. :-0

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Old August 23rd, 2007, 11:39 PM   #6
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Was this because he had to be in and out in 20 minutes?

I marvel at some of things we as crew have to put up with sometimes because of talent's schedules.

You don't sound bitter, so I'm assuming Seinfeld is mostly nice and normal!

I on the other hand went into OT before the first shot of the day not too long ago, because talent sat in her dressing room for 9 hours after getting to the set!
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Old August 24th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #7
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Is this similar to how the battle scenes in 300 were shot?
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Old October 12th, 2007, 02:38 AM   #8
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The clips from this shoot are starting to appear on NBC primetime now, just caught one in last week's "30 Rock". Also they can be seen on the Bee Movie site.

Each clip opens and closes with the material shot with this 2-camera rig; generally the wide shot starts the clip and then they cut to the tighter shot. As expected the results are not earth-shattering by any means, but this was all about getting through the dozens of individual segments we had to shoot on a tight schedule.
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