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#1 Ahlan Yshamyl

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 11:33 PM

Hello, I am a complete newbie.

I'm a total movie fanatic, and when watching movies I can't stop thinking about how they film it, what angles they use, what cameras they use, how the whole thing is set. Even the most simple shots dazzle me and I think about ways to develop this image of the cameras positions in my head. So let me ask my questions and I'll be on my way.

1. Can anyone lead me to the right direction, anywhere I can get info on directing, cinematography and anything else.


2. This question is about a certain camera angle. When two people are talking, we the audience can see the person talking to the other over the other person shoudler, and why the other person talks that same angle is used but on them. And then the camera shows both of them walking and then stopping and then we go back to those angles. So my question is how many cameras are used? Do they film the dialogue at different times for each character or do they do it at the same time and use two cameras? Do they full shot of the two characters walking at a different time aswell?

For those who answer thanks for answering.
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 11:38 PM

1. Can anyone lead me to the right direction, anywhere I can get info on directing, cinematography and anything else.


Search "cinematography" on amazon. There are lots of books on the subject. One good basic, all-around one is "Cinematography" (the third edition is co-written by David Mullen, ASC who posts here often).



2. This question is about a certain camera angle. When two people are talking, we the audience can see the person talking to the other over the other person shoudler, and why the other person talks that same angle is used but on them. And then the camera shows both of them walking and then stopping and then we go back to those angles. So my question is how many cameras are used? Do they film the dialogue at different times for each character or do they do it at the same time and use two cameras? Do they full shot of the two characters walking at a different time aswell?


Generally, every camera angle is shot at a different time in a different setup (perhaps re-lighting, etc), though some DPs and directors like to use multiple cameras sometimes. It seems more common to use multiple cameras in episodic TV than in feature films, since there is a greater time crunch to deal with.


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 11:54 PM

So my question is how many cameras are used? Do they film the dialogue at different times for each character or do they do it at the same time and use two cameras? Do they full shot of the two characters walking at a different time aswell?


That can all be done with one camera doing individual set-ups and having actors repeat the lines. Or it can be done with multiple cameras, especially in situations where it doesn't make it too hard for lighting for multiple angles (like an overcast day exterior.) Multiple cameras tend to require higher budgets (more cameras, more crew, more film stock shot) although two-camera shooting is becoming more common even on smaller movies, which can save a little time (you can get an over-the-shoulder and a tighter close-up of the same person at the same time with two cameras side-by-side.)
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#4 Ahlan Yshamyl

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 12:03 AM

That can all be done with one camera doing individual set-ups and having actors repeat the lines. Or it can be done with multiple cameras, especially in situations where it doesn't make it too hard for lighting for multiple angles (like an overcast day exterior.) Multiple cameras tend to require higher budgets (more cameras, more crew, more film stock shot) although two-camera shooting is becoming more common even on smaller movies, which can save a little time (you can get an over-the-shoulder and a tighter close-up of the same person at the same time with two cameras side-by-side.)



May God bless the actors.

Thanks for the information, great stuff.

Just to be sure (by the way I HATE sounding like a total newbie, and once again thank you such much for standing my questions, even if they are very lame), once actor says his/her lines while the camera is fixated on them. Then the camera angle is switched to the other character and they say there lines. Brilliant!

Any other info at all would be great, thanks a lot.
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#5 Chris Cooke

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 01:55 AM

May God bless the actors.

Thanks for the information, great stuff.

Just to be sure (by the way I HATE sounding like a total newbie, and once again thank you such much for standing my questions, even if they are very lame), once actor says his/her lines while the camera is fixated on them. Then the camera angle is switched to the other character and they say there lines. Brilliant!

Any other info at all would be great, thanks a lot.


I like to shoot my wider shots first and then go in for the closeups. The reason for this is that lighting wide shots is a lot more extensive than lighting CU's. Also, I can establish a reason why light is coming from a particular direction (motivation). Such as putting a lamp in the frame to the actors left in the wide shot. When I go in for the CU, I would key the actor from that side. I also tend to shoot the entire scene in the wide shot(s) untill we get it right (the director usually decides this but the cinematographer will let the director know if there was any focus problems or framing issues). Then I adjust the lights if need be and go in for the CU's. Here, I'm also rolling on the entire scene because reaction shots are often more powerful than showing the person that's talking. When I'm in production, I always think of post and how I can make the directors and editors jobs easier.
As for the actors, most of them prefer shooting this way because they will often be a lot more "loud" (I'm talking about body language here) in their acting on the wide shots. But then when we go in for the closeups, they are able to emote in a smaller but more effective way for that shot. When using multiple cameras, actors have to find a happy medium at all times.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 01:58 AM

Remember that movies are EDITED. So an actor would say all the lines of the scene in their shots, let's say, and the opposing actor would say all their lines in their shots, and the editor would cut back and forth between the different angles.
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#7 Ahlan Yshamyl

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 07:46 PM

Ahh, very interesting stuff here, I have to go search in deeper though
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#8 Lukeo

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 11:48 AM

Ahlan,

check out this video

http://www.horrorsof...bdocs/edit2.php

This will explain exactly what you're talking about, I remember when I was in your position too, I thought it was amazing, because using this editing technique smoothes out the continuity nicely. Be sure to check out the other videos on that site on sonnyboo.com as well, they really helped me.

Luke
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 12:26 PM

Hi,

In my experience the smoothness of apparent continuity is greatly assisted by sound. Lay over a music track that covers cuts, plus some continuous background sound, and the illusion of an unbroken reality becomes near-unbreakable.

Film and TV production gets away with the most blatant errors in continuity, especially in things like lighting direction, all the time, and even hardened curmudgeons like me don't see it.

Phil
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#10 Ahlan Yshamyl

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 04:13 PM

Ahlan,

check out this video

http://www.horrorsof...bdocs/edit2.php

This will explain exactly what you're talking about, I remember when I was in your position too, I thought it was amazing, because using this editing technique smoothes out the continuity nicely. Be sure to check out the other videos on that site on sonnyboo.com as well, they really helped me.

Luke



Wow, thanks for those links, they have really helped me understand how the whole process works.

In only the past week I have learnt so much just by reading and watching reels and what not. Thanks everyone for giving the info I needed.
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