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Old July 20th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #1
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finming surgery?

so im going to be filming a surgery and i need a way to get a very close up image of what is happening, im going to be filming the doctor cutting up the patient and i need to show alot of close up detail, then shots of two different machines taking different readings in the room, and people talking, the operating room isnt that big, i set up a tripod to get a good overhead view without anything getting in the way, and it worked ok, but i couldnt get close enough, and it was hard to film the other things in the room.
i was thinking mabye a small crane? that way i could lower it very close to the subject then pan over to the machines and the doctor talking.
but i need to do this without getting in the doctors way at all.

the surgery is going to be about 1-2 hours long, i have a vx2100 and there is no way i could do it all handheld.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 06:08 PM   #2
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I've seen this done on food shows, they use a big mirror aimed at the subject and shoot into the mirror. Could that be an option?
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Old July 20th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #3
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hmmm i doubt that would work, there are a bunch of lights in a 5 square foot area above the doctor and patient and that is the only place a mirror could go. i could go back to the operating room and look closer for a place though.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 06:46 PM   #4
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I doubt they'll let you 'get in close' - for two reasons. ONE - There's a good chance you'll get in the way. TWO - you don't want to break the sterile field as I doubt your equipment will be sterile.

Long long ago, I did a little still work in ER and those were the restrictions. Perhaps things have changed but I doubt it. Discuss these limitations with the operating surgeon (He's the 'pilot in comand' and gets to make the calls.) I suspect you will best be placed back and UP out of the way, shooting down into the area. (Unless, on occasion like I had, they are working on a hand or arm, in which case the patient is situated on a taple with the arm extended away from the body).

EDIT _ WHat is the nature of the operations? This will determine a lot of your mobility and 'closeness'

You might to make do with shooting at the long end of your lens.

But again, check with the surgeon about restrictions in movement and the sterile field.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #5
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Richard's advice about the sterile field is right on. As his advice about letting the lead surgeon be your primary director.

Having said that, if a tripod is too cumbersome for the environment, how about a small cam on a monopod? Flip down the LCD and hold the cam over some heads .. that may help.

Some modern surgeries actually have video monitors in them. We did a shoot where we filmed off the monitor ... not the most pristine quality but we got some extremely tight shots that way.

Again, the smaller the cam the better your chance of getting in between nurses etc. Most surgeries are very well lighted, of course, so even a less than pro cam could get you good results.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #6
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Use a mirror for the actual body cuts but right after the real op. get someone else on the table and fake the rest of it. You can then get in for all the shots you want, stop start, everything.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:46 PM   #7
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The monopod is a pretty good idea, takes the weight off your hands, and can work as a 'mini boom' if needed. Also shooting the monitor (Like I said, it's been a LOOONG time)
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Old July 20th, 2007, 10:15 PM   #8
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i know the doctor personally, he said i can get within about 2 or 3 feet. its an operation on a foot, so its pretty out of the way, and there is only one nurse who is moving around, but she is almost always going to be on one side of the room.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 03:21 AM   #9
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i would use 2 or 3 small bullet cams on a video mixer.
there will be plenty light so quality of such cheap camera is acceptable in good condition.
small bullet cam can be set at almost any location (with microphone stand for example) and are less intrusive than big DV camera., for sterile caution, you can vrap them in tubes or plastic foil for food)
keep one regular camera with zoom to have wide shot or shot of people/action out of the field (fiddling with equipement, monitoring screen etc...).

Last edited by Giroud Francois; July 21st, 2007 at 04:43 PM.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 06:44 AM   #10
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Ah, a foot is going to be much easier than chest surgery, no doubt. If the doc says you can get right in there, then all you're dealing with is your arms getting tired, right? What's the estimated length of time on the procedure? What is the final product supposed to be? Are you supposed to roll continuously, no edits?

I still think the monopod will allow you to rest, and 'lean' in close to shoot tight. It willl have almost no footprint in terms of taking up floor space from the surgical team.

EDIT: I went back to your first post, and see you've got one to two hours of footage. You should be able to do this hand held. OR get a chest support/shoulder rig if you need one.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 04:40 PM   #11
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surgery

Scot,
I work in surgery and have seen this done a couple of times. Unfortuntly I was not the one getting to do the filming. But what they used was 3 different cams one was on a crane, another was on a tripod, and the other was on the surgens head. There are these lights that they were on there heads and they actually had a little camera attached to that. Then they did the mixing outside the room.
Some things to keep in mind is JACO regulations you have to be very careful with patient confidentialality this is a huge huge deal!!!! Make sure that all of that stuff is checked on or you could be in a serious mess.
Go to Luxtec that is who makes the headlights that we use this would give you an idea of what you may be able to rig up.
Good luck
Brandon Potthoff
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