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Re: How was this multicam production done?

Posted by on 01/04/08 15:03

On Jan 3, 6:09 pm, "peter" <> wrote:
> A week ago there was a show at kennedy center honoring director Martin
> Scorsese, actor Steve Martin, diana ross, etc. It was shot in a theater with
> audience, implying there is only one take.
> I noticed many prediction cuts -- i.e. right before some lead musical
> instrument starts playing or someone starts singing, the scene is switch to
> that musician. I'm guessing the music director gave an event list to the
> video director, who then gives the order to the camera operators and do the
> switching?
> Even with this list, how does the video director know at which second to
> switch?
> Suppose on the list it says "after the first  movement, the harpsicord would
> play solo ..." Unless the video director knows the music and knows when the
> end of the first movement is, he may switch to the harpsicord too soon and
> show the musician doing nothing for a few seconds.
> Any idea how it is actually done?

This has basically been answered, but let me recap my experience as to
how it's usually done. In the old days, it was all done live-to-tape
with lots of rehearsal and specific points at which the camera gets a
specific shot, and when the director "takes" it.

But nonlinear editing has changed that. I presume it was still done
live-to-tape, switched live, but often each camera is also rolling a
tape (or other recording media). This is all dumped into an NLE
(nonlinear editor, Avid, FCP, etc) and synched (via timecode). The
editor gets to second-guess any of the original switching decisions,
using the raw tapes from each camera. In a worst case, a mistake for
which there is no usable video is covered by an audience shot or a
"non-attributable shot" (where one cannot detect that it came from a
different time in the program).

NLEs actaullay allow you to place each of the synched recordings in
little "source monitors", so you can pick the best shot, just like a
director. Often, there has to be some color correction to get the
shots to match, but that's easy with most NLEs.

ISO is an isolated camera, usually dedicated to one shot or just a few
shots. and edited in later. (In sports, of course, an ISO is used for
replay, moments after it is shot.)

As a result, live directing is becoming something of a lost art. (Live
directing happens to be my forte.) A really good director with several
really good camera operators can do a very good job, even improvising
with material they've never seen. For music, a good knowledge of music
is very helpful.

As for jib cameras, yes, nearly any camera can be used, but it is
usually the same type as the other cameras. In the shoots at my news
network, we usually use Ikegami ENG-type cameras, 3-4 on tripods, one
handheld and one on a jib. (Often, the jib operator brings only his
jib and monitor.)

Hope this helps.



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