Multi-Camera Techniques

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1 Multi-Camera Techniques LO1 In this essay I am going to be analysing multi-camera techniques in live events and studio productions. Multi-cameras are a multiply amount of cameras from different angles and distances that are filming/covering an event/ production. This is what the viewer s see and what is used to help connect the viewer s attention to the show. Live Event Comedy Show- Kevin Bridges- The first live event I have decided to analyse is a stand-up comedy show. It is important to have a wide range of different camera angles during a live event as it enables the viewers to take in the whole scenery and action of what is going on from different perspectives. It also allows them to view the action from different distances- close-ups, mid-shots, long shots. For example, during the comedy show, we are able to see different shots of Kevin Bridges during his performance such as mid-shots, long shots, crowd shots, etc. All these different shots helps to keep the audience engaged. The shots used communicate meaning to the viewer in different ways. For example, when there are shots of the audience, the viewers are able to see their reactions which will then influence the way in which they react. So, if there is a shot of a member of the audience laughing or sounds of the audience laughing, then that will automatically make the viewer s react the same way. This is almost like they are there at the show and helps keep them apart of it.

2 Visual style is how the viewer s see the programme that they are watching and how well each shot can change to another with the editing. With the Kevin Bridges comedy show, the shot change isn t fast and obvious as such, as it is quite slow but still manages to keep the viewer s engaged. The shot changes work well and aren t drastic or make the viewer question what is happening. The camera shots and what is happening on the TV are what helps to maintain the viewer s interest. For example, if the whole show consisted of just one shot, it would be very boring to watch and would definitely loose the viewer s interest. This is why having a wide range of different shots is very beneficial to an event when maintaining the viewer s interest. For example, when I watched the Kevin Bridges clip, I wasn t bored as what was happening on the screen and the changing camera s kept me interested as a viewer and didn t make me think about turning it off. Seeing the comedian s facial expressions while he is speaking is also very good with keeping the viewer s interested. For example, camera one brings us in with a mid-shot of Kevin on stage talking, then into a long shot from camera two. This engages the viewer s straight away as we can see what is happening. Also, the shots aren t stationary as they follow Kevin, but also they change every couple of seconds to keep the viewer s engaged. Camera three is a shot of Kevin at the far end of the camera and then the audience in the background. This draws the viewer s in as it s almost like they are there in the crowd. There are not many constraints of multi camera use at the comedy show because the action will be happening in a set place-the stage. Where as in a rugby match for example, it cannot because the action takes place on a wider place, and also in the audience. The only constraints of multi camera use at the comedy show is if someone got in the way of the camera during the show, causing the camera to miss what was happening on stage. Also if a camera was pointed at the audience and a member of the audience does something inappropriate, the producers wouldn t be able to cut it as it s a live event. Another constraint that may occur is a power cut. If this was to happen, all the cameras would be cut and the viewers wouldn t be able to see anything. This is always a risk during a live event as they wouldn t be able to just re-film, instead they will have to carry on, which may result to a loss of viewer s. Multi-Camera simultaneous recordings is when each camera that is filming a different shot is connected to a multi-camera console and the person who is in charge of this console

3 alternates between the different camera angles and shots which will be shown on TV. During recording, shots can also be changed by the person controlling the console communication to the camera operators by using tally lights to change the shot.

4 Live Event Rugby- Wales vs. England Highlights- It is important to have multiple cameras in a sports event because there is so much action going on that having just one camera would result in a lot of the action being missed. It also helps the viewer s to create a better bond with the athletes. This can be captured from the range of different camera shots that will be used, for example, close ups which enables the viewer to see them and create a bond with them. This helps to make the sport more involving for the viewer s making the sport more popular and enjoyable. Also using a large range of camera angles can help to keep the viewer s engaged in the action because it makes it more exciting to watch. Whereas, if it was just one single camera, it would be very boring to watch as it s just from one view for the duration of the 80 minute game, making it very non-engaging to its viewer s. The fact that there is a camera almost pitch level helps to reach the viewer s from the athletes level as it is almost like they are there on the pitch with them. Multiple cameras are needed at an event such as this one as, again, it helps to keep the audience interested and captivated in the action that is taking place on their TV screens. Having a single camera- one camera angle- can cause an audience to get bored and not want to watch the programme due to lack of interest. Multiple cameras help to make a sport seem more exciting than it might be in real life as the different angles and views give the TV audience a good view of all the action that is taking place. In this sports case, action that is taking place on the pitch is very exciting to watch and the shots of the crowd also draws attention as it helps to capture the atmosphere in the stadium. Multiple cameras and angles help to catch all the action that is taking place. For example in rugby, it helps to catch views of the action from above, on level, and at the side of the pitch. For example, camera is a brids eye view of the game which gives the viewer s a chance to see the game from a view no one in the audience will be able to see. This will have a positive impact on the viewer s as its something different and keeps them engaged. The first shots we see from camera one and three are of the teams coming out onto the pitch. This will draw the viewer s in staright away as its who they will be watching, and also means that the game will be starting shortly. These shots also make it feel like you are there with them as its on their level and close to them.

5 Depending on the sports event depends on the amount of cameras that would be needed, for example more cameras and angles would be needed in the example I ve used of the rugby game then there would in an indoor sport like swimming as the action in the pool can be guessed/ predicted and also there is less moving around randomly as it is kept in lanes and it a more back and forth sport. The action in the rugby game cannot always be determined so having more cameras in vital to them in order to catch all the action. In the sports event that I have chosen to talk about, I would guess that there is about 16 cameras at work that can be moved around to catch different angles and action. Visual style is how the viewer s see the programme that they are watching and how well each shot can change to another with the editing. With the rugby highlights, the shot changes are quite fast and range widely. This creates an exciting pace and visually helps to keep the viewer s interested in what is happening on screen. All these shot changes work well as they don t confuse the viewer s as to what is happening on the pitch, but manage to show the atmosphere and enthusiasm at the same time. There are a few constraints of multi camera use at a rugby game because the action cannot be predicted where as in a swimming event it can be to a certain extent. Example of constraints of multi camera use at a live rugby game event is if someone was to stand in front of the camera during an exciting part of the game, it would result in the action being

6 blocked so people are home wouldn t know what had happened. Another example would be if a member of the audience was to do something inappropriate, the camera would not be able to cut this out as it is a live event so this is a reason why it is very risky filming the audience. Another constraint is that if an athlete was to have an accident while they are being filmed, the people operators would have to act fast to prevent the audience from seeing any distressing images as this would not be able to be shown at this time during the day on TV. Multi-Camera simultaneous recordings is when each camera that is filming a different shot is connected to a multi-camera console and the person who is in charge of this console alternates between the different camera angles and shots which will be shown on TV. During recording, shots can also be changed by the person controlling the console communication to the camera operators by using tally lights to change the shot.

7 Studio Production Jonathan Ross show- It is important for a chat show to have a multitude of different cameras so that they can capture all the action that is taking place on the stage, for example the show that I have chosen has a host that usually stays at his desk while the guest sits on a couch next to the host. But sometimes the host- Jonathan Ross- will get up from there if he and the guest are doing something practical. So this is why it is good to have a range of different cameras to capture all the shots of what is happening. This is so the audience is able to see what is happening and react along with it in the instance. In this clip from The Jonathan Ross show, there are roughly 7 different cameras used. This is a normal amount needed for a standard chat show. As there isn t much action going on, because they are sitting and talking, most of the cameras are static and focused on the different faces of the presenter and guests to capture them talking and the facial expressions as they are using while talking. This is done by facing cameras on the guests and host at all times, and then changing between the different cameras for when each one talks. The cameras are set up this way as it is a comic chat show, so the viewer s at home can see each person and not miss out on any jokes or action. They see everything as it is happening. This is important so the viewers can feel as if they are there. In this chat show, like many others, there is a live audience in the studio. This helps to create a strong connection between the people who are actually there and the presenter and guests. But, for those that aren t there, the producers want to try and create the same effect by using multiple cameras and getting even closer to the people so the audience watching still have the opportunity to create and feel a bond. Many of the camera positions and angles used are in places of where the live audience can see. This is done so that the viewer can watch the show from the live audience s point of view.

8 For example, camera one- which is a mid-shot- is positioned on the main presenter, Jonathan Ross. This is to capture his reactions as well as when he is talking and asking the guests questions. Camera two is a wide shot of the presenter and guests. This is used to show all of them at once from a different angle and show them responding to each other and their reactions as the show continues. Camera three is positioned on a single guest- Kevin Hart- which helps to show and create a bond between the viewer and that one guest in particular. It also helps to show who is being focused on and the different expressions that guest is showing. This is stereotypical of chat shows to keep the audience entertained and a close connection to the actors or comedians featured on the show. By using this techniques it communicates to the audience as they can see close ups of the actors and laugh with them. There is also a camera used for all the guests, this is used to show them all together to capture them all talking and having a conversation from the audience s point of view. The visual style of the chat show is of a slower pace compared to my example of the rugby live event. This is because it focuses more on the guests and host for a lot longer, creating a calmer and more relaxed atmosphere. The studio is also well lit, with good lighting to help capture every emotion of the people on screen, for example the host, guest and even live audience. Using multiple cameras in this show is important, primarily so the audience is entertained, amused and engaged throughout the whole show. Some of the constraints and issues they may come across are that the cameras are big and could be hard to move around depending on what they are trying to capture. Another issue is that within a studio there are many dangerous and unpredictable pieces of equipment, for example the lighting. Also the cameras are on the ground, so the host and guests have to try and keep there show in the area of the camera. For example, if something was to happen in the audience, the viewers wouldn t be able to see it as the cameras are positioned the opposite way.

9 Multi-Camera simultaneous recordings is when each camera that is filming a different shot is connected to a multi-camera console and the person who is in charge of this console alternates between the different camera angles and shots which will be shown on TV. During recording, shots can also be changed by the person controlling the console communication to the camera operators by using tally lights to change the shot.

10 Studio Production Armstrong and Miller show- The second studio production I have decided to analyse is a clip from the sitcom Armstrong and Miller show. It is important to have a range of different camera angles in a studio production like this because it gives a sense of where it is taking place and who is in the scene. This then enables the viewers to take in the whole scenery and action of what is going on from different perspectives. Having shots from different angles and places also allows the viewers to experience the show and what is happening from different distances- closeups, mid-shots, long shots. For example, we are brought in with a long shot of everyone in the scene as it moves round, and are able to determine that it is taking place in the mess. There are also mid shots and close-ups during the scene. All these different shots help to keep the audience engaged. The shots used communicate meaning to the viewer in different ways. For example, when there are mid-shots Miller and Armstrong talking, the viewers are able to see their reactions which will then influence the way in which they react. There is also the effect of background laughing which has been added in. this will again influence the way in which the viewer s react. The sounds of the audience laughing will automatically make the viewer s react the same way. This is almost like they are there with them and helps keep them apart of it. Visual style is how the viewer s see the programme that they are watching and how well each shot can change to another with the editing. With the Armstrong and Miller show, the shot changes aren t fast paced and confusing to watch. Instead, it is slower paced making sure the viewer s understand what is going on and who is saying what. Changing shots also helps to keep the audience engaged.

11 The camera shots and what is happening on the TV are what helps to maintain the viewer s interest. For example, if the whole show consisted of just one shot, it would be very boring to watch and would definitely loose the viewer s interest. This is why having a range of different shots is very beneficial when trying to maintain the viewer s interest. For example, when I watched the Armstrong and Miller show clip, I wasn t bored as what were happening on the screen- what they were saying and the actions- and the changing camera s kept me interested as a viewer and didn t make me want to stop watching it. Seeing the characters facial expressions while they were speaking is also very good when hoping to keep the viewer s interested. For example, camera two, which is a mid-shot of an officer informing the pilots with information keeps the viewers attention as it is a quick shot which changes to camera one with a long-shot. Due to the first shot from camera one not being a stationary shot, it makes the scene more interesting to watch. Camera three is an over-the-shoulder type shot of the two sitting at the table. This draws the viewer s in as it s almost like they are there sat next to them o in the audience. The constraints of a studio location usually involve space. This is because in a studio you only have a certain amount of space, so you will have to make sure that you only use the space that you need and make the most of what room you have got. You can then use lighting and the different camera angles to make the set look the size you want it on screen. If you have a small set then there is less space for cameras, so this is why they used the camera one as a panning shot. This may have been because they couldn t fit as many cameras onto the set as they could on a bigger set like the chat show I analysed before. Another constraint of a studio is that moving cameras around can be quite difficult, so some of the time a show is made up of stationary cameras because of lack of space. This is shown in the chat show where nearly all of the cameras were stationary. Multi-Camera simultaneous recordings is when each camera that is filming a different shot is connected to a multi-camera console and the person who is in charge of this console alternates between the different camera angles and shots which will be shown on TV. During recording, shots can also be changed by the person controlling the console communication to the camera operators by using tally lights to change the shot. This is mostly used in live events as there is a lot of action to cover. This technique can also be used in a studio, but as the events in a studio aren t live it isn t as important. But in game shows

12 such as Pointless, this technique would ve been used to show the reactions of certain people in the show at certain times, as well as following conversations that would have taken place. The editing team will then be able to choose the footage that they want to use for the finished edit of the programme. So the use of this technique is important because it provides variety in shots that help keep the audience engaged and interested in what is on the screen.

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