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Old July 13th, 2015, 04:54 AM   #1
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Filming A stage or dance floor

I know someone will know this, is there a way or can it be done, I a, trying to film a dance comp, and i want to have the floor level, all the time, so when i straight on, its fine, but if i pan left or right it looks like i am not set up correct. We have to sit in a stand, so i am limited on where i can place the camera, or it just how it will be ?see images. Ta.
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Filming A stage or dance floor-screen-shot-2015-07-13-7.55.13-pm.png   Filming A stage or dance floor-screen-shot-2015-07-13-7.55.50-pm.png  

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Old July 13th, 2015, 05:20 AM   #2
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Re: Filming A stage or dance floor

It's mainly due to the lens shape and partly positioning, the further away you are from the stage, the less noticeable it is. I tend to use one camera for stage left and one for stage right, both compensated for the tilting. You could use key framing to rotate the image gradually in editing but that would be very time consuming. If you are using lots of close follow shots, the wider panned clips which appear tilted could be individually rotated.

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Old July 13th, 2015, 06:02 AM   #3
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Re: Filming A stage or dance floor

You just need to assure the tripodhead is completely level, what you are seeing is normal and depends where you are standing, if you are in the middle or more on the sides will make a difference and then again if you are pointing the camera straight forward or pan to the left of right will make a difference as well. I would never though rotate the image in post so that the dancefloor will stay level as that will affect the walls in the background, those are vertically no matter how you pan but once you start messing with your image those walls suddenly will start to lean in or the other direction which should not be the case. The floor however can depending on your position and camera direction, it's just normal perspective. Like Roger said, the further you are from the dancefloor the less the effect.
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Old July 15th, 2015, 03:01 AM   #4
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Re: Filming A stage or dance floor

Thanks, so are you saying , go back in the crowd a bit more, but zoom in a bit., I will give it a go. Thx.
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Old July 15th, 2015, 03:56 AM   #5
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Re: Filming A stage or dance floor

Yes, the further back you are, the less problems you will have with keeping the floor horizontal.
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Old July 15th, 2015, 11:27 AM   #6
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Re: Filming A stage or dance floor

I think it's not as much related to the distance and optics as it is the nature of perspective. Assuming you're centered on the stage with a level tripod and minimal-distortion lens (in other words, your horizon is level when your shot is centered). I don't think you'll get a level line panned left or right regardless of distance from subject. Short of a dolly system allowing you to slide left or right with the camera and avoid any type of panning, you'll probably still notice that the formerly horizontal stage will angle away from the camera (but hopefully not at a skewed angle). That has always been my experience at these events.
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Old July 15th, 2015, 11:43 AM   #7
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Re: Filming A stage or dance floor

I think we need to file this thread under: "We are our worse critics"
We all obsess about the smallest details (and rightly so),
but I can guarantee you that none of your customers are going to notice or complain
about this in their final edit.

My only comment would be to zoom in a little more (or tilt-up) to eliminate the stage-edge
as a point of reference. Without this, it is less noticeable
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Old July 15th, 2015, 12:10 PM   #8
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Re: Filming A stage or dance floor

I've got to disagree with much of this. There is NO problem as long as two things are considered. Is the stage level, as in properly horizontal left to right? Very unusual for it to be no. downstage to upstage doesn't matter. Many still have a rake - maybe quite steep sometimes. Wherever you are in the auditorium, just make your you pan/tilt head is absolutely horizontal, on the bubble. If it is then any angle shot looks correct, from the perspective point of view, and doesn't cause any viewing problems, it looks 'right'. If you try to make the stage horizontal at the camera position by eye, to only works for a static camera - panning or tilting looks 'wrong'. You also cannot mess with the image in post, because trying to correct horizontals or verticals is chasing your tail stuff - you'll have to use keyframes and all sorts of trick to stop it from looking wrong. When shooting from boxes, or circle edges, the front of the stage can be on quote a severe angle. Don't correct it, because this is what it also looks like to your eye, and your brain compensates. Get the bubble anywhere other than the centre, and panning can make people feel nauseous!
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Old July 15th, 2015, 02:18 PM   #9
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Re: Filming A stage or dance floor

I have to agree with Paul. Get the bubble level I then check with guide in the camera that when I pan the verticals stay vertical. I check on the edge of the stage both sides for instance and any doors etc on stage. If you are centered the viewer will expect the stage and verticals to be correct. If you are off on the side the verticals should be vertical and the viewer will expect the stage NOT to be horizontal.

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Old July 15th, 2015, 03:05 PM   #10
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Re: Filming A stage or dance floor

That was what I meant when I said that the "walls in the background" remain in a vertical position, no matter what, once those are leaning to the left or right your tripod head is not level. I would even look at the floor, just assure that whatever is vertical stays vertical like Ron said and you are ok, no matter where you stand. If the floor is not exactly horizontal then it is supposed to be like that.
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