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Old November 12th, 2007, 08:26 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Documentary - Shooting advice needed

Hi everybody,

Next week I'm going to shoot a documentary about a gypsy community in Romania. My role will be as a second cameraman.

The story is about 700 rroma people which have built a clandestine village near the last house in another village.
Officially they are all registered as living at the same address: this very last house in the village. 5 meters away there's a very very small river (2-3 m width). They built their houses across this river but unfortunately this river is the frontier with another county called Covasna which is mainly populated by the main minority in Romania: hungarian people.
The whole story is in fact a racial problem. Nobody wants them. They live in houses made out of a mixture of soil and straws if you believe this.

Ok, now you have a clue about the story.
There is a script but I don't want to be the guy who just presses the button.
I don't really have a clue about what I should concentrate. I'm gonna try to concentrate on people's expressions or daily routines.

If any of you did this type of work before, would be nice to share from your experiences. Any other creative ideas about shooting would be really appreciated.

Thank you.
Petre Nicolescu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2007, 08:39 PM   #2
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Location: Austin, TX
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I've done very little stuff so far, but I think the idea is simply to have the camera follow the interesting whether or not it's what's in the script.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 09:10 PM   #3
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Typically in a doc setting, the 'second camera' will get B-roll footage, and coverage shots. If you're not the director, then your job is to give the director what he needs to get his doc made. He should know what he wants, that's why there's a script.

This could happen in a number of ways. Suppose he's going to interview the village 'headman'. He'll set up the primary shot of the headman on Camera One. He might have you set up at a slightly different angle, and shoot a wider coverage. Maybe over the shoulder, it depends on his style. He might also have you shooting the villagers reactions while the Headman is giving his interview. This will provide him with 'cutaways' while editing it together.

Or he might just send you off for "B-Roll" footage. Say he's doing an interview with a farmer. He might send you off to shoot the farmer's family working in the field, milking the cows, whatever - while he's shooting the primary interviw. This B-Roll footage will be cut into the interview, like the cutaways mentioned above, to provide a break from the 'talking head'.

He might have you DUPLICATE his footage exactly, so he has a backup of whatever shots he considers critical.

It really depends on the Director's vision. It is his job after all, to DIRECT you in your duties.

Have fun!
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