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3 camera interview


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#1 Michael Totten

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 11:01 PM

Does anyone have an example of how they would light a 3 camera interview.

Cam 1: Medium two shot, profile (main)
Cam 2: Medium OTS C/U on subject
Cam 3: Medium OTS C/U on interviewer

Also, the subject is a celebrity musician who is somewhat of a diva and is VERY concerned about her age showing.

I keep thinking soft overhead light will be the most forgiving for her. Perhaps I could build a 20' out of speed rail and use kino flo's through quarter grid.

Thanks in advance.
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 12:10 AM

Does anyone have an example of how they would light a 3 camera interview.
..........Also, the subject is a celebrity musician who is somewhat of a diva and is VERY concerned about her age showing.

Search the cml archives for "nets", there's been long threads on that subject including very specific recommendations of which brands and styles of women's hose to use. The old school way of making an older woman look good is the use of nets, usually behind the lens. Make her look good and she'll remember you.
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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 12:46 AM

Does anyone have an example of how they would light a 3 camera interview.

Cam 1: Medium two shot, profile (main)
Cam 2: Medium OTS C/U on subject
Cam 3: Medium OTS C/U on interviewer

Also, the subject is a celebrity musician who is somewhat of a diva and is VERY concerned about her age showing.

I keep thinking soft overhead light will be the most forgiving for her. Perhaps I could build a 20' out of speed rail and use kino flo's through quarter grid.

Thanks in advance.


I just did a shot in film in which a slight overexposure made some wrinkles go away.
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#4 Chris Clarke

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 08:40 AM

How about a Jem Ball in the middle of the 2 subjects just above frame?
Nice soft light on both of them. You could clip some net or ND to the interviewers side to bring them down a bit and give you a little overexposure on the lady in question.
A few C stand arms or a goal post should get you clear of being in shot.
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#5 Michael Totten

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:20 AM

Search the cml archives for "nets", there's been long threads on that subject including very specific recommendations of which brands and styles of women's hose to use. The old school way of making an older woman look good is the use of nets, usually behind the lens. Make her look good and she'll remember you.



Unfortunately we're shooting on three HVX-200's with the fixed lens. I thought about using 35mm adapters (which would certainly soften her in an appealing way) but it's hand held / shoulder mount. I guess I could've used the "net" trick with an adapter as well... but with the fixed lens that won't work.
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#6 Michael Totten

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:26 AM

How about a Jem Ball in the middle of the 2 subjects just above frame?
Nice soft light on both of them. You could clip some net or ND to the interviewers side to bring them down a bit and give you a little overexposure on the lady in question.
A few C stand arms or a goal post should get you clear of being in shot.



Yeah I actually have a couple china balls in my kit that I could use. What's the difference between a china ball and a gem ball ? It looks like the gem ball is just built to last but that the light they produce is very similar.
thanks.
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#7 Chris Clarke

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 11:30 AM

The light produced is similar to a chinese lantern. They come in different sizes with the largest producing 1.5K (I think? Someone correct me if I'm wrong).
The big advantage though is that you can leave them on in an interview situation without having to worry about them catching a light!
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#8 Hal Smith

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 12:37 PM

Unfortunately we're shooting on three HVX-200's with the fixed lens. I thought about using 35mm adapters (which would certainly soften her in an appealing way) but it's hand held / shoulder mount. I guess I could've used the "net" trick with an adapter as well... but with the fixed lens that won't work.

Maybe a 35mm adapter, net, etc. on the OTS of her? The two shot won't show her age as much since you'll be using soft light to start with and obviously her face will be quite a bit smaller in-frame.

Many feature film Cinematographers are very skilled in balancing diffusion on C/U's with the look of 2T's, 2 shots, masters, etc. I seen a lot of movies where an actresses face shows pretty much the same amount of imperfection in all the shots meaning that varying amounts of diffusion were being used, shot by shot.
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#9 Michael Nash

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 03:01 PM

I used to shoot a show with this exact setup (and similar constraints) every week, in different locations.

My approach was two chimeras basically "cross-keying" the setup; a little behind each person's head so that the keylight for one person was the backlight for the other. "Feathering" the edge of the beam spread by tilting the chimera up slightly helped keep the backlight from being too hot. In tight spaces sometimes we'd have to set a 2x3" silk as a bottomer. Both chimeras were boomed over from the "master shot" side so that the stands were out of frame. Whenever possible I'd favor the chimeras just slightly opposite the subjects, so that their key light was "short-sided" just a little and became a little bit of a rim for the wide shot. I also kept them as low as possible to become as frontal as possible on the subjects. Overhead lighting is generally NOT good for hiding age -- you don't want any raking "relief" on wrinkles and texture; you want to fill it in from the front. If someone's facial structure looks better with a higher key light, then be prepared with a (soft!) frontal "beauty" light to fill in any lines or wrinkles. Set that level by eye.

For fill light I used a Diva perpendicular to the cross-keys, from what would be your "master" side. For a beauty light I used a tweenie with a custom-built softbox *just* below the lens of the closeup camera, dimmed by eye. The softbox allowed me to highlight just the face without spilling light or shadows on the rest of the set.

All three cameras wore Soft FX diffusion, and the closeup camera had a slightly more dense grade (shooting on digibeta).
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#10 Michael Totten

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 03:32 PM

I used to shoot a show with this exact setup (and similar constraints) every week, in different locations.

My approach was two chimeras basically "cross-keying" the setup; a little behind each person's head so that the keylight for one person was the backlight for the other. "Feathering" the edge of the beam spread by tilting the chimera up slightly helped keep the backlight from being too hot. In tight spaces sometimes we'd have to set a 2x3" silk as a bottomer. Both chimeras were boomed over from the "master shot" side so that the stands were out of frame. Whenever possible I'd favor the chimeras just slightly opposite the subjects, so that their key light was "short-sided" just a little and became a little bit of a rim for the wide shot. I also kept them as low as possible to become as frontal as possible on the subjects. Overhead lighting is generally NOT good for hiding age -- you don't want any raking "relief" on wrinkles and texture; you want to fill it in from the front. If someone's facial structure looks better with a higher key light, then be prepared with a (soft!) frontal beauty light to fill in any lines or wrinkle. Set that level by eye.

For fill light I used a Diva perpendicular to the cross-keys, from what would be your "master" side. For a "beauty" light I used a tweenie with a custom-built softbox *just* below the lens of the closeup camera, dimmed by eye. The softbox allowed me to highlight just the face without spilling light or shadows on the rest of the set.

All three cameras wore Soft FX diffusion, and the closeup camera had a slightly more dense grade (shooting on digibeta).



Michael thanks for the detail description. Very helpful.

Your setup is very close to what we were initially talking about.

Our setup is currently this:

Instead of the keylight playing double duty as the backlight we opted to use 1K's mounted on the ceiling rafters as our backlight. We have 1K's cross keying which we'll blast through doubled opal. For the frontal fill we'll be using china balls or perhaps kinos.
The lights will be mounted out of the shot, up on speed rail.

I'm questioning the opal though... it might be better to go with a more heavy diffusion.
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#11 Chris Keth

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 02:24 AM

Michael thanks for the detail description. Very helpful.

Your setup is very close to what we were initially talking about.

Our setup is currently this:

Instead of the keylight playing double duty as the backlight we opted to use 1K's mounted on the ceiling rafters as our backlight. We have 1K's cross keying which we'll blast through doubled opal. For the frontal fill we'll be using china balls or perhaps kinos.
The lights will be mounted out of the shot, up on speed rail.

I'm questioning the opal though... it might be better to go with a more heavy diffusion.


If you're worried about showing an actress' age, I would go heavier than opal. Even doubled it's barely anything. I'd do 250 if you want to keep it on the doors (i.e. not move to a frame of something)
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#12 Michael Totten

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 10:13 AM

If you're worried about showing an actress' age, I would go heavier than opal. Even doubled it's barely anything. I'd do 250 if you want to keep it on the doors (i.e. not move to a frame of something)



I think you're right. We'll have a bunch of different diffusion on the day.
thanks guys.
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#13 Bob Hayes

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 10:15 AM

Here is a diagram of a day three camera multi-person interview I shot a while ago.

1. Set up your three camera angles. There will be some jockeying because it is tough to get three good-looking angels. For the close up angles go on the longer end of the lens. It is more complementary and helps you stay out of the wide cameras shot.
2. When it comes to lighting remember you are lighting three separate shots so you will need three times the equipment you would use for a one camera set up..
3. The easy way to light it is two soft chimeras over the close up cameras. This will create soft flat and flattering light. They should be netted off of the shoulder of the off camera talent. The spill from the chimeras may also work as a back edge for the other talent. If not you will need a back light. Each close up will need a light for the back ground. For your ?Diva? you may want a low soft light under her camera to fill the shadow area. If it is not very soft you will see hands shadows on her face when she talks.
4. The two shot camera will need some lights for its background.
5. The lighting becomes much more complicated if the talent looks at the two shot camera in close up. The lighting for the over the shoulder angle rarely works for this angle and lighting for the two rarely helps the single. I?d think about a soft fill over the two shot camera to solve this problem.
6. Since I rarely take the easy road I tend to place my key lights and back lights on boom arms. This lets me get the key lights closer and exactly where I want them. The boom arms keep them out of the other camera angles.
7. In this set-up a chose to split Connie's looks to the women left of the a-camera. I did this to kep tighter eyelines for Connie. If I didn't do that her look to the woman to her left would have been a profile.

connie_small.jpg
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#14 Chris Keth

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 03:07 PM

Here is a diagram of a day three camera multi-person interview I shot a while ago...


How did A camera not get in B camera's shot? Is it just the tiny difference between diagram and real life?
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