Monday, 19 June 2017

Unit 23: Multi-Camera Techniques - Task 1

What is Multi-Camera?:

Multi-Camera production means that more than one single camera is used when capturing footage, this is used both on-location/sets such as television and film productions or live events such as football matches, cricket games, etc.
The main purpose and benefit of this technique is to have the ability to capture an event from more than one angle at once - crucial for one-take moments. 

Examples of Multi-Camera in Action:

Live Show Production #1 - 
The following set-up is of a live performance being captured for television.
As it will be broadcast to an audience watching from their screens, it is important to capture the show from many angles to ensure the artist is always in shot and to have the ability to transition to different shots throughout to keep it interesting.
The largest camera shown at the back of the audience with the widest of reaches would be a moving camera, most likely on a crane, to get a far shot of the performing talent (possibly to introduce the show) as well as audience reactions.
These are featured as cutaways to show the audience engaging positively to the talent, whether that be laughing at a comedian's joke, singing along to an artist, etc.
The camera to centre, left and right of the stage would capture all of the talent on stage closer to the actual performance; they can zoom and vary between long shots and mid-shots.
Similar shots of the following mentioned above can be seen below;
Establishing Shot of Talent (Taken from Jack Whitehall Live At The Apollo)
Cutaway of Audience (Taken from Jack Whitehall Live At The Apollo)
Long Shot of Talent (Taken from Jack Whitehall Live At The Apollo)
Mid-Shot of Talent (Taken from Jack Whitehall Live At The Apollo)
Studio Production #1 - 

The following set-up is similar to that of a studio based show, whether that be a comedy show with the a host and two sets of panellists or a game show with two different teams of contestants.
I have added lines to the diagram to show the footage that each camera would be capturing, the two to the left and right of the host would focus on the tables of guests.
They would most likely remain static in position (Depending if the guests move from behind their desk - If so then these cameras would be able to move and follow) capturing mid-shots, but would zoom in to gain close-ups of guests if an individual person was interacting to the host for example. This is to avoid the same shots being overly used and becoming dull to the viewers, and to also ensure that the other guest not speaking is not caught in-frame uncomfortably in silence.
The camera pointed directly at the host would also most likely stay static, and would most likely capture mid-shots of the host as he spoke from behind his desk.
Similar shots of the following mentioned above can be seen below;
Mid-Shot of Host (Taken from The Late Late Show with James Corden)
Mid-Shot of Contestants (Taken from The Chase)

Close-up of Contestant (Taken from The Chase)

Studio Production #2 - 
The following set-up is similar to that of a studio based television production such as a soap opera.
I have added lines to the diagram to show the footage that each camera would be capturing, I have then gone on to colour code each camera in order to distinguish the lines from one another.
Firstly, both the blue and orange cameras will be capturing the characters featured around the counter. The blue camera will be used primarily as a mid-shot of the two characters sitting down, it can also be used for close-ups as and when appropriate.
The orange camera captures a master-shot of the entire scene, and would be used in order to establish the scene and when the character behind the counter is interacted with (cutaways of mid-shots and close-ups may then follow as dialogue begins)  
Looking to the other side of the room, there are four characters sat in one of the booths.
The green camera would capture the pair on the further side and the purple would capture the closer side, meaning both are capturing the characters on the opposite sides.
The shots would typically be mid-shots and used as cutaways as dialogue between characters occur, the shot could also be changed to close-ups depending on the context of the dialogue and if both characters need to be featured.
The master shot would then be captured by the red camera to establish who is present at the table and to cut into as editing begins.
The variety of shots are important to make the content more exciting rather than having the same static shots throughout.
It is important to use multi-camera in this situation as it saves time on the production and reduces the risk of continuity issues as new takes occur.

Live Action Production #2 - 
The following set-up is of a live cricket match being captured for television.
As it will be broadcast to an audience watching from their screens, it is important to capture the game from many angles to ensure that all the players and their actions are always in shot, the field also has to be covered to ensure the ball is in shot. Another reason is to have the ability to transition to different shots throughout to keep it interesting.
The two cameras to the side of the pitch are focusing on the cricketers as they run down the crease, then the other ones either side are to get over the shoulder shots of the bowler throwing the ball and then the batter hitting it and the rest of the cameras are to monitor the field in case the ball travels in that direction.
The stumps and empires both have cameras attached in order to monitor them and an aerial camera tracks the ball as it travels in the air.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

Advantages:
  • Multiple angles are captured allowing for more interesting/engaging viewership when edited together.
  • Time is saved during production as instead of needing multiple takes and set-ups, footage can be captured from multiple angles in a single take.
  • Live television can be captured and still have editing decisions by cutting from one camera broadcasting to another.
  • Events can be captured in their full entirety with every action captured; i.e. within a football match every goal scored would be captured, every kick made, etc.
Disadvantages:
  • Due to multiple cameras being essential in multi-camera filming, the equipment will be more expensive.
  • As multiple cameras are being set-up, every scene will have longer initial set-up times as more cameras are being set-up. (This does not takeaway from the huge time-saving advantage of capturing the scene from multiple angles once the initial set-up has occurred)
  • With the multi-camera  method of filming being used it can sometimes be difficult to avoid capturing a camera within the shot of another camera.
  • Not enough space/Awkward sets/Changes


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