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How do I stay sane with this shoot?


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#1 mabou

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 08:49 PM

Hi all,
First time posting here... seems like a great forum.

I have a workout video series that I am shooting for a client. There are five women doing step aerobics. We have a full crew and are using two XL2 cameras with 16x lenses.

The problem is this...
1) The women want their music to play while they do their routines.
2) They cannot get through the routines without making mistakes causing us to stop and start a section over.
3) The routines are so strenuous that they cannot simply keep going back to the last logical stop point.
4) The leader of the group has a wireless lapel on which also picks up enough of the room music to be a problem.

As you can imagine, editing this series (six, 1 hour long videos) is going to be a nightmare unless I can figure out how to let the girls hear the music, but keep my sanity if I have to have the music bleed through onto the main lapel, and if I have to edit numerous cuts of their performances.

I hope I am making sense here. Everything is huge about this problem except the budget.
Your input is appreciated.

Thanks,
Matt
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 08:53 PM

You can either give them all earpieces and transmit the music to them, or just play a "thumper" track on the set.
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#3 oscar jimenez

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 10:18 PM

Take the six cams, assign them specific jobs or shots on composition, have a look of a practice or a rehearsal few days before, if possible tape with one cam, get the track as reference audio, the thing is that one of the girls go wrong, youll still have 5 different shots to cut when editing, it is not that difficult, then add some audio that matches in tempo beats, doesnt have to be that same song, when you get to edit, youll see that it is just fits fine
good luck
Oscar
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#4 Tim J Durham

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 12:59 AM

Take the six cams, assign them specific jobs...

good luck
Oscar

That was 6 1-hour-long videos. Only 2 cameras.

I guess I'd try to break the routine into 3 20-minute parts and have them do each 20 minute segment 3 or 4 times (so 3-4 takes of one complete 20 minute segment per day x 3 segments = 3 days). Keep going until you get 2 or more good takes of each segment. Then choose.

For the music, you can play it at a low volume for them. You'll be adding it back in over that later anyway, you just need to be able to hear and understand the instructor.

Since you have only two cameras, I'd also suggest shooting the whole thing once on a wide shot, then plan your strategy off of that for coverage. You'll probably want to keep one cam trained on the instructor (in a single incase someones fouls up) and you can switch angles for each take. Then mix it up and it'll seem like you have more cameras.

I'd have to see the routine to make any more specific recommendations.
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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 03:01 PM

The thumper technique that Mr. Mullen mentions is the ideal solution, however it is dependent on how dynamic your lead performer is and it does require that the co-stars be able to peform to just a click, or thumper track. A Billy Blanks type of performer is perfect for the thumper technique because Blanks is able to guide everybody, but it may not work as well for your situation.

I like the idea of keeping real sound from the actual shoot along with the lapel mike and the clean version of the music that will be added in post. Real sound from the event adds truth to the performance.

You have aptly isolated the problem as being how can you redo a section of their performance AND have the performers redo their steps in the exact same manner as they did the prior time that same piece of music was playing.

What makes your task so uneviable is that your performers aren't actually cognizant of a relationship between the music and EXACTLY where in the exercise regimen they are to be. Stage performers MUST know where they are in relation to the music at all times. It may well be that it is more difficult for these performers to memorize a relationship between the music and their performance because the music is probably more repetitive than what accompanys an actor peforming on stage.

If you were able to "rewind" your playback and the peformers knew instantly what they should be doing, doing it exactly the same way that they did it before (minus the errors that causes the redo), then you could do a live music playback softly mixed into the lapel mic, plus you could then reinforce the music in post as well.

One potential solution would be to forget the idea of music playback only and go with a video & audio playback, a "Scratch" DVD. To achieve this idea first videotape the lead performer by themselves, doing the whole routine, beforehand. Create a "finished" DVD version with your lead performer that can be played back on set the day of your full cast shoot.

When you do the shoot with the whole cast, have a couple of television monitors set up for the performers to watch and use that as both a visual and music scratch track. (However, you may need to reinforce the audio with better speakers than what you will find on the television sets.) Whenever someone makes a mistake, simply rewind the DVD playback and replay a section that you want to do a retake of. Since the performers are watching the identical moves each time a particular DVD section is played, that will pretty much keep all the performers in step. Make sure to put strategic chapter skips in your DVD or this idea will not work.

The "Scratch" DVD should show the lead performer while the music is plays, but we would not hear the lead performer on the Scratch DVD.. This technique basically mirrors a music video approach except that it includes video playback to help keep the supporting cast in step with the lead.

One problem that can arise from the scratch DVD idea is if the lead were to perform the routine for the Scratch DVD at a different pace then they would when performing with the accompanying cast. It could turn out that you go to all this trouble to make the Scratch DVD and the day of the full shoot the lead wants to go faster and is thrown off by the video. Although the purpose of the music is to keep the performance consistent between the scratch DVD and the actual full cast shoot, additional adrenaline brought on from doing the live shoot can cause pacing to change. Another downside could be if the lead wants to change the moves between the Scratch DVD shoot and the actual shoot.


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Another approach is to break down the routines into three minute bites and just keep doing takes until you get one that you like, keeping in mind that you won't want to mix different takes because the performers probably won't be in sync from one take to another, although you cold use the other takes for insert shots
as needed.
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