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NUMBER OF CAMERAS AND SHOOTING TIME


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#1 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 02:18 PM

Considering that (theoretically) every minute of the film demands 12 ours of shooting, I ask:

This relation is valid, taking in consideration the numbers of camera on set, I mean, dependinding of the number of cameras, this proportion it’ll be naturally reduced like:

1 camera: 1 minute requires 12 ours.
2 cameras: 1 minutes requires 6 ours.
3 cameras: 1 minute requires 3.

or, it doesn´t matter how many cameras you have, you´ll have always 1 minute for 12 ours of shooting?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 02:26 PM

1 minute of shooting can and sometimes does = i min of screen time. I don't know where you get the idea that 1 minute of film is 12 hours... but I would say that is certainly not the case for the vast majority of productions. Sometimes you get through 1 page a day, and other times you might plow through 15 or more.. it all depends on the film, how you're shooting it, and how much fate is in your favor.

Also, sometimes multiple cameras take longer in terms of set up (harder to light, usually, for 2 cameras as opposed to 1)
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 02:36 PM

Well, even if your 12 cameras cover every shot size and angle you need to get the scene covered... if the actor needs three takes to get the performance right, that's two bad takes on 12 cameras.

The shooting ratios of movies both cover multiple takes needed for each set-up and multiple set-ups.

And generally multiple cameras increase your shooting ratios, not decrease it, because you waste more film due to bad takes or multiple cameras covering an entire scene when some angles only needed to cover a portion of the scene.
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#4 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 02:46 PM

Considering that (theoretically) every minute of the film demands 12 ours of shooting, I ask:

This relation is valid, taking in consideration the numbers of camera on set, I mean, dependinding of the number of cameras, this proportion it’ll be naturally reduced like:

1 camera: 1 minute requires 12 ours.
2 cameras: 1 minutes requires 6 ours.
3 cameras: 1 minute requires 3.

or, it doesn´t matter how many cameras you have, you´ll have always 1 minute for 12 ours of shooting?


Hmm.

I'm not quite sure where those numbers came from since shooting schedules and running times vary wildly, particularly if they are considered "relatively" to one another. Some scenes "require" just one camera while others are shot with multiple cameras. Some shots are one-ers while others require ten or more setups.

But, if we WERE to do any math at all in an attempt to quantify this question, we could start with an average 12-week shooting schedule. Assuming (quite a few things, actually) that one month of the schedule is on location and is made up of 6-day weeks of 14-hour days, we can estimate that the first 24 days of the schedule consist of (approximately) 84 hours per week. That's 336 shooting hours in that first month.

Then, if the project goes back "home" to stage where weeks revert back to 5-day weeks at 14 hour days, then the final two months will have 560 hours of shooting.

The estimated total for three months of shooting will be 896 hours of shooting in a 12-week schedule. Let's round it to 900 hours just for convenience sake.

Now, that 900 hours is just on-set time. Let's look at estimated shooting time. Again, VERY ROUGHLY speaking, if, say, an efficient production shoots, say, 20,000 feet of 35mm film per shooting day, that's 20,000 feet x 64 days = 1,280,000 feet of film for the project (no matter how many cameras are used per day). Let's say you get 10 minutes of film (circle takes and not circled takes) per 1000 feet, that's 1,280 minutes. And if we assume that only 10% of each magazine (at best) will make the final cut, then you'd have 128 minutes, which is roughly the running time of a standard action feature.

So, back to your question. Does it take just one camera to get just one minute of usable footage in 12 hours? Let's go backwards with the math. If a standard movie is 120 minutes, then it would take one-camera 1,440 minutes to shoot the movie (the usable circled takes). 1,440 minutes is a mere 24 hours. That's roughly two days of shooting (at 14-hour days).

But that's just circled takes so we would have to know how much MORE film is shot per day that ISN'T circled takes in order to know how much more time cameras are shooting in reality. Since we know that most features take about 896 hours, that means that about 872 hours of production time are spent either shooting takes that won't be used or are part of non-shooting time during the day.

How many cameras does it take to do that? Dunno! How many do you want to use? ;)

Edited by Brian Dzyak, 28 November 2009 - 02:47 PM.

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#5 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 03:27 PM

1 minute of shooting can and sometimes does = i min of screen time. I don't know where you get the idea that 1 minute of film is 12 hours... but I would say that is certainly not the case for the vast majority of productions. Sometimes you get through 1 page a day, and other times you might plow through 15 or more.. it all depends on the film, how you're shooting it, and how much fate is in your favor.

Also, sometimes multiple cameras take longer in terms of set up (harder to light, usually, for 2 cameras as opposed to 1)


First of all Thank you Adrian and David,

Well, I’ve read somebody talking about this proportion in one list... now I can´t remmeber where. As I´m beginner who didn´t shoot yet, all I could do was simply get the information. But as a second opinion is always prudent I decided to confirm asking my friends of Cinematography.com

I also saw an interview of Joel Schmamcher, when he was shooting Phone Booth.
The film was scheduled to be shot in 10 days, but he used 4 cameras, instead of one. Though he admited that it´s a little harder to light, the film it was lighted any way. And it seems that Matthew Libatique did a good job.
And in his own words (Joel) he said that with only one camera it would have been taken 40 days and not only 10days. A considerable gain.

John Woo is another one who very oftenly works with 3 cameras. I also saw action senquences in Richard Donner’s 16 Blocks that could hardly be done with less than 3 cameras.

But in my point of view, a simple point of viewof a beginner, with multiple cameras are easier to maintain the intensity of an action sequence or even a dramatic dialog performance, avoiding problems of continuity in image and sound, and also it helps the actor to produce his (or her) best, with a minimum of interruptions possible.

Please guys, is there any (or a lot of) inconsistency in points of view?

Thank you once more
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#6 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 04:03 PM

Hmm.

I'm not quite sure where those numbers came from since shooting schedules and running times vary wildly, particularly if they are considered "relatively" to one another. Some scenes "require" just one camera while others are shot with multiple cameras. Some shots are one-ers while others require ten or more setups.

But, if we WERE to do any math at all in an attempt to quantify this question, we could start with an average 12-week shooting schedule. Assuming (quite a few things, actually) that one month of the schedule is on location and is made up of 6-day weeks of 14-hour days, we can estimate that the first 24 days of the schedule consist of (approximately) 84 hours per week. That's 336 shooting hours in that first month.

Then, if the project goes back "home" to stage where weeks revert back to 5-day weeks at 14 hour days, then the final two months will have 560 hours of shooting.

The estimated total for three months of shooting will be 896 hours of shooting in a 12-week schedule. Let's round it to 900 hours just for convenience sake.

Now, that 900 hours is just on-set time. Let's look at estimated shooting time. Again, VERY ROUGHLY speaking, if, say, an efficient production shoots, say, 20,000 feet of 35mm film per shooting day, that's 20,000 feet x 64 days = 1,280,000 feet of film for the project (no matter how many cameras are used per day). Let's say you get 10 minutes of film (circle takes and not circled takes) per 1000 feet, that's 1,280 minutes. And if we assume that only 10% of each magazine (at best) will make the final cut, then you'd have 128 minutes, which is roughly the running time of a standard action feature.

So, back to your question. Does it take just one camera to get just one minute of usable footage in 12 hours? Let's go backwards with the math. If a standard movie is 120 minutes, then it would take one-camera 1,440 minutes to shoot the movie (the usable circled takes). 1,440 minutes is a mere 24 hours. That's roughly two days of shooting (at 14-hour days).

But that's just circled takes so we would have to know how much MORE film is shot per day that ISN'T circled takes in order to know how much more time cameras are shooting in reality. Since we know that most features take about 896 hours, that means that about 872 hours of production time are spent either shooting takes that won't be used or are part of non-shooting time during the day.

How many cameras does it take to do that? Dunno! How many do you want to use? ;)



Thak you Brian,

As you well said, not every scene it´ll demand multiple cameras, but i´m planning (just planning) to have 3 cameras for the entire production.
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#7 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 07:20 PM

Thak you Brian,

As you well said, not every scene it´ll demand multiple cameras, but i´m planning (just planning) to have 3 cameras for the entire production.


Multiple cameras can be a blessing and a curse. You can shoot the same take with multiple cameras and get multiple angles thus removing the need for additional setups. Theoretically, that'll save you time and give you more setups during the day.

The potential downside is a compromise on blocking and lighting as you may or may not be able to make the A-Camera shot "perfect" as you make concessions in order to get a B and C camera angle (plus adequate lighting for those angles too). Also, you'll be blowing through a lot of film that you will toss out so there is a hard cost involved as well in terms of film stock as well as the rental on equipment and wages for the bodies to man the cameras. :)
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#8 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 08:12 PM

Multiple cameras can be a blessing and a curse. You can shoot the same take with multiple cameras and get multiple angles thus removing the need for additional setups. Theoretically, that'll save you time and give you more setups during the day.

The potential downside is a compromise on blocking and lighting as you may or may not be able to make the A-Camera shot "perfect" as you make concessions in order to get a B and C camera angle (plus adequate lighting for those angles too). Also, you'll be blowing through a lot of film that you will toss out so there is a hard cost involved as well in terms of film stock as well as the rental on equipment and wages for the bodies to man the cameras. :)


Yes, I do realise that many incovenients for set lighting, as a whole, may come very easily, what sooner or later it’ll be a problem to solve.
But I guess that the bigest gain, considering all the incovenients, it´ll always be the objectivity, the possibility of control of the angles of that scene at the same time, and if you have material enough to feel comfortable on the post production to give the rythm you really want to your film (in my case, my first one) that´s the most important for me.
For sure, there will be a very heavy price to be paid. But I’m getting ready.

Thank you Brian, :rolleyes:
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#9 Tom Jensen

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 11:50 PM

Normally when you light a scene, you are lit for one angle and only one camera can get into the exact position that the dp or director wants the camera. When you bring in a second camera it will usually try to get as close to the axis as the "A" camera but it never quite gets the exact shot you want. Things get cramped and crowded and a little distracting. Now throw in a third camera and only some of the footage might be good. For dialogue coverage, one camera is good. For stunts and action, multiple cameras are absolutely necessary. You may only get one chance so you have to cover several angles to make sure you have something to cut.
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:30 AM

You're also forgetting SOUND -- just as with lighting and composition, it can be hard to mic an actor when cameras are shooting wide and tight at the same time, especially if the headroom is different on different cameras.

There are times when it's OK to compromise lighting, composition, and sound to accommodate multiple cameras. And other times, it sort of defeats the purpose of making movies, which is visual and audio storytelling. It's not only about performance (and who's to say that a performance can't get better over multiple set-ups and/or takes) nor about being able to make a lot of cuts in the scene.

Not to mention, your choice in lens focal length, rather than becoming a creative / thematic / aesthetic decision, becomes mainly based on what allows you to frame out the other cameras in the space. For example, it's very hard to shoot up close with a wide-angle lens and yet be able to run other cameras and not see the one close to the actor.

Also, your ability to dolly the camera around the subject and stay out of the shot on the other cameras becomes limited. If the other cameras only get a clean shot for a quarter of the time because of a dolly move on A-camera, and those clear moments on the other cameras aren't the moments you need in editing, then what's the point? Sometimes it's better and faster to simply run one more take on the same camera with a tighter lens rather than run a second tighter camera.

You also have to weigh the fact that each camera will have an operator and a focus-puller on it, so the actor has to work in a space with a lot of people standing off-camera around him. Some intimate scenes are better shot with a smaller crew and a single camera, to limit the number of people in the room.

Basically it depends on the scene and the set-up, and whether what you gain with multiple cameras overrules what you compromise. For action scenes with stunts and a lot of planned edits, it's a no-brainer to run multiple cameras. For crowd scenes as well. But an intimate bedroom scene... maybe, maybe not.

I think that you are laboring under the mistaken belief that you'll be able to exert more control over the scene by running multiple cameras, when the reverse is sometimes true -- it's hard enough to block actor action to camera lens for a single position, it can get messy very quickly on multiple cameras, where you move one actor or prop so that it doesn't block important things on one camera, only to now have it completely block important things on another camera. Not to mention, as a director, it's very hard to actually concentrate on what's going on with multiple monitors -- your eye tends to look at one thing at a time. So you think you "got it" only to be told that the mic was occasionally in B and C cameras and even your script supervisor couldn't take enough notes for each camera view to tell you exactly when each camera position was good and bad for each line of dialogue in the script. So this notion that you will be more in control of the process by running multiple cameras is naive. In fact, it takes more skill and experience to use multiple cameras effectively.

Also, cinema is not about making a lot of cuts with a lot of set-ups -- in fact, it's one of the worst trends in modern movies, this over-editing without any discernible purpose. Filmmaking is not about coverage, it's about having a point of view on the dramatic material, and using all the cinematic arts (lighting, composition, editing, sound, performance, etc.) to tell a story. It's not "reportage" or a faux documentary style, unless that's dramatically effective for the story.

However, having two cameras is generally a good idea and manageable, you can either run them at the same time, or have one setting up for the next moment while the other is working, etc. Or having one run off to shoot a second-unit shot. But beyond two and it starts to get complicated and messy, and expensive (extra camera crew for each camera, more footage to process, sync, edit, etc.), so it's a tough call to make and you better know what you are doing.
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#11 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:03 PM

You're also forgetting SOUND -- just as with lighting and composition, it can be hard to mic an actor when cameras are shooting wide and tight at the same time, especially if the headroom is different on different cameras.

There are times when it's OK to compromise lighting, composition, and sound to accommodate multiple cameras. And other times, it sort of defeats the purpose of making movies, which is visual and audio storytelling. It's not only about performance (and who's to say that a performance can't get better over multiple set-ups and/or takes) nor about being able to make a lot of cuts in the scene.

Not to mention, your choice in lens focal length, rather than becoming a creative / thematic / aesthetic decision, becomes mainly based on what allows you to frame out the other cameras in the space. For example, it's very hard to shoot up close with a wide-angle lens and yet be able to run other cameras and not see the one close to the actor.

Also, your ability to dolly the camera around the subject and stay out of the shot on the other cameras becomes limited. If the other cameras only get a clean shot for a quarter of the time because of a dolly move on A-camera, and those clear moments on the other cameras aren't the moments you need in editing, then what's the point? Sometimes it's better and faster to simply run one more take on the same camera with a tighter lens rather than run a second tighter camera.

You also have to weigh the fact that each camera will have an operator and a focus-puller on it, so the actor has to work in a space with a lot of people standing off-camera around him. Some intimate scenes are better shot with a smaller crew and a single camera, to limit the number of people in the room.

Basically it depends on the scene and the set-up, and whether what you gain with multiple cameras overrules what you compromise. For action scenes with stunts and a lot of planned edits, it's a no-brainer to run multiple cameras. For crowd scenes as well. But an intimate bedroom scene... maybe, maybe not.

I think that you are laboring under the mistaken belief that you'll be able to exert more control over the scene by running multiple cameras, when the reverse is sometimes true -- it's hard enough to block actor action to camera lens for a single position, it can get messy very quickly on multiple cameras, where you move one actor or prop so that it doesn't block important things on one camera, only to now have it completely block important things on another camera. Not to mention, as a director, it's very hard to actually concentrate on what's going on with multiple monitors -- your eye tends to look at one thing at a time. So you think you "got it" only to be told that the mic was occasionally in B and C cameras and even your script supervisor couldn't take enough notes for each camera view to tell you exactly when each camera position was good and bad for each line of dialogue in the script. So this notion that you will be more in control of the process by running multiple cameras is naive. In fact, it takes more skill and experience to use multiple cameras effectively.

Also, cinema is not about making a lot of cuts with a lot of set-ups -- in fact, it's one of the worst trends in modern movies, this over-editing without any discernible purpose. Filmmaking is not about coverage, it's about having a point of view on the dramatic material, and using all the cinematic arts (lighting, composition, editing, sound, performance, etc.) to tell a story. It's not "reportage" or a faux documentary style, unless that's dramatically effective for the story.

However, having two cameras is generally a good idea and manageable, you can either run them at the same time, or have one setting up for the next moment while the other is working, etc. Or having one run off to shoot a second-unit shot. But beyond two and it starts to get complicated and messy, and expensive (extra camera crew for each camera, more footage to process, sync, edit, etc.), so it's a tough call to make and you better know what you are doing.


Nicely said, David. :)

I'm waiting to see if you get one of these :rolleyes: in response to your helpful advice. ;)


From the features and episodics I've been on (and other projects I've shot), typically, the A-Camera gets priority. The lighting is optimized for A-Camera and the blocking and the A-Camera "move" (dolly or crane or pan/tilt) is all about A-Camera.

Then, additional cameras "get what they can." Rarely are compromises made to lighting or Talent blocking made to accommodate B and C cameras. Additional coverage is "stolen" in the same takes (for expedience sake) but it's usually still all about A-Camera. If anything useful can be pulled from B (or C or D, etc), then it's a bonus. On my own projects, I've even told the Directors that the alternate angle really isn't going to buy them anything at all and could actually be detrimental, so we go with just one camera.

I guess if it's a sitcom situation, where everything is basically flat-lit (more or less) and the "acting" is the primary priority, then cool. Toss as many cameras into the set as you can. But otherwise, consideration has to be given to things like mood, lighting, and the Talent when deciding which and how much equipment to put on a set.
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#12 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 03:29 PM

You're also forgetting SOUND -- just as with lighting and composition, it can be hard to mic an actor when cameras are shooting wide and tight at the same time, especially if the headroom is different on different cameras.

There are times when it's OK to compromise lighting, composition, and sound to accommodate multiple cameras. And other times, it sort of defeats the purpose of making movies, which is visual and audio storytelling. It's not only about performance (and who's to say that a performance can't get better over multiple set-ups and/or takes) nor about being able to make a lot of cuts in the scene.

Not to mention, your choice in lens focal length, rather than becoming a creative / thematic / aesthetic decision, becomes mainly based on what allows you to frame out the other cameras in the space. For example, it's very hard to shoot up close with a wide-angle lens and yet be able to run other cameras and not see the one close to the actor.

Also, your ability to dolly the camera around the subject and stay out of the shot on the other cameras becomes limited. If the other cameras only get a clean shot for a quarter of the time because of a dolly move on A-camera, and those clear moments on the other cameras aren't the moments you need in editing, then what's the point? Sometimes it's better and faster to simply run one more take on the same camera with a tighter lens rather than run a second tighter camera.

You also have to weigh the fact that each camera will have an operator and a focus-puller on it, so the actor has to work in a space with a lot of people standing off-camera around him. Some intimate scenes are better shot with a smaller crew and a single camera, to limit the number of people in the room.

Basically it depends on the scene and the set-up, and whether what you gain with multiple cameras overrules what you compromise. For action scenes with stunts and a lot of planned edits, it's a no-brainer to run multiple cameras. For crowd scenes as well. But an intimate bedroom scene... maybe, maybe not.

I think that you are laboring under the mistaken belief that you'll be able to exert more control over the scene by running multiple cameras, when the reverse is sometimes true -- it's hard enough to block actor action to camera lens for a single position, it can get messy very quickly on multiple cameras, where you move one actor or prop so that it doesn't block important things on one camera, only to now have it completely block important things on another camera. Not to mention, as a director, it's very hard to actually concentrate on what's going on with multiple monitors -- your eye tends to look at one thing at a time. So you think you "got it" only to be told that the mic was occasionally in B and C cameras and even your script supervisor couldn't take enough notes for each camera view to tell you exactly when each camera position was good and bad for each line of dialogue in the script. So this notion that you will be more in control of the process by running multiple cameras is naive. In fact, it takes more skill and experience to use multiple cameras effectively.

Also, cinema is not about making a lot of cuts with a lot of set-ups -- in fact, it's one of the worst trends in modern movies, this over-editing without any discernible purpose. Filmmaking is not about coverage, it's about having a point of view on the dramatic material, and using all the cinematic arts (lighting, composition, editing, sound, performance, etc.) to tell a story. It's not "reportage" or a faux documentary style, unless that's dramatically effective for the story.

However, having two cameras is generally a good idea and manageable, you can either run them at the same time, or have one setting up for the next moment while the other is working, etc. Or having one run off to shoot a second-unit shot. But beyond two and it starts to get complicated and messy, and expensive (extra camera crew for each camera, more footage to process, sync, edit, etc.), so it's a tough call to make and you better know what you are doing.


Ok Dave,

I´ll keep very carefully the considerations of all of you. Actually, considering my lack of experience, what I’m planing is shoot digitally first (using very simple cameras) the most important scenes or all of them, depending of the circumstances, (It’ll be something like a “visual sketch” or something like that) and then, I presume, I´ll have a very close Idea about what and how to do in order to know exactly how many cameras it’ll be necessary in every scene.

Other hand, gentlemen, I keep watching many examples offered by cinematographic market, like THAKE THE LEAD directed by Liz Friedlander. There´s a scene when Antonio Banderas dances a tango with his dancing academy student, that´s it was shot, not with 3 cameras, but 4 ones. And the most extraordinary, at least for me, is that in 01:52min I could count about 110 frames, not the entire scene, but only the dancing sequence; and all of them (frames) were performing its own role in perfect equality, not in a secondary condition of a supporting frame. So, at least for my eyes, there was no problem of lighting, or nothing evident, of course.

You guys, thank you very much for this helping hand in this very painfull beginning. A helping hand that it won´t be forgotten.

André Felipe
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#13 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:40 PM

...Other hand, gentlemen, I keep watching many examples offered by cinematographic market, like THAKE THE LEAD directed by Liz Friedlander. There´s a scene when Antonio Banderas dances a tango with his dancing academy student, that´s it was shot, not with 3 cameras, but 4 ones. And the most extraordinary, at least for me, is that in 01:52min I could count about 110 frames, not the entire scene, but only the dancing sequence; and all of them (frames) were performing its own role in perfect equality, not in a secondary condition of a supporting frame. So, at least for my eyes, there was no problem of lighting, or nothing evident, of course...


In Take the Lead, there are credits for 'a' and 'b' operators on the main unit (2 cameras) and an op and steadicam for the 2nd unit (probably 1 camera, but could be 2). That would generally only mean 2 cameras on a location at a given time... and they were probably working in the manner described by David and Brian.

While I don't know if the performance you're referring to would fall into that category, it wouldn't be uncommon to use multiple cameras on stunts / performances / games / etc that are difficult or expensive to replicate. Very unlikely though that the same number of cameras will roll for every scene.

Edited by Daniel Sheehy, 29 November 2009 - 10:41 PM.

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#14 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:53 PM

In Take the Lead, there are credits for 'a' and 'b' operators on the main unit (2 cameras) and an op and steadicam for the 2nd unit (probably 1 camera, but could be 2). That would generally only mean 2 cameras on a location at a given time... and they were probably working in the manner described by David and Brian.

While I don't know if the performance you're referring to would fall into that category, it wouldn't be uncommon to use multiple cameras on stunts / performances / games / etc that are difficult or expensive to replicate. Very unlikely though that the same number of cameras will roll for every scene.


Hi Daniel,

Yes, you´re right. The credits show only cameras A and B.
But on DVDs released here in Brazil, the making of shows a little more: shows the sequence of tango being shot from 4 different angles at the same time (one of them it seems to me, also, that there was a steadi involved). I can´t believe they´ve cheated, filming the same sequence twice with 2 cameras and showing as if they had done all of that at once. Is that possible? May even be. For me was too perfect to be a trick.

Thank you very much, Daniel. I really appreciate.

André Felipe
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 12:21 AM

It's not unusual to shoot dance sequences with multiple cameras, though many purists take umbrage with that approach, chopping up a dancer's movements into pieces and tight shots that crop the body.

But it's a bit like shooting stunts -- you want to limit the number of retakes due to the physical effort going on.

It seems Andre -- like a lot of student filmmakers -- that you've formed this opinion on how something should be done and don't want to be shaken from your opinion, no matter what contrary facts are thrown at you. It's a behavior that is common among young people, this notion that being an adult is that you must figure out the "right" way to do something, and once you decide what that is, you stick to it no matter what. As you get older, you realize that there are a lot of ways of doing something and you have to apply your judgement -- based on experience and personal taste -- on a moment by moment basis as to which approach is better than another.

You can find great filmmakers who use multiple cameras extensively -- Kurosawa being the most famous and the person who developed this approach extensively for artistic effect, not just to get a lot of angles -- and a modern example might be someone like Ridley Scott. But there are also a lot of great filmmakers who avoid multiple cameras unless absolutely necessary, who design very specific frames for each shot and use limited coverage. The Coen Brothers, Roman Polanski, Spielberg, Gilliam, Paul Anderson, Wes Anderson, etc. You'll notice that filmmakers that prefer wide-angle lenses also tend to prefer single camera coverage, whereas filmmakers who prefer telephoto lenses also like using multiple cameras. That's partly a practical reason -- it's much harder to fit in multiple cameras when shooting close to the subject with a wide-angle lens.
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#16 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 12:42 AM

...I can´t believe they´ve cheated, filming the same sequence twice with 2 cameras and showing as if they had done all of that at once. Is that possible? May even be. For me was too perfect to be a trick...

That is the very essence of film making. :)
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#17 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:39 AM

You'll notice that filmmakers that prefer wide-angle lenses also tend to prefer single camera coverage, whereas filmmakers who prefer telephoto lenses also like using multiple cameras. That's partly a practical reason -- it's much harder to fit in multiple cameras when shooting close to the subject with a wide-angle lens.


Yet another thing I've never noticed but makes perfect sense pointed out by Mr. Mullen.
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#18 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 11:00 AM

It's not unusual to shoot dance sequences with multiple cameras, though many purists take umbrage with that approach, chopping up a dancer's movements into pieces and tight shots that crop the body.

But it's a bit like shooting stunts -- you want to limit the number of retakes due to the physical effort going on.

It seems Andre -- like a lot of student filmmakers -- that you've formed this opinion on how something should be done and don't want to be shaken from your opinion, no matter what contrary facts are thrown at you. It's a behavior that is common among young people, this notion that being an adult is that you must figure out the "right" way to do something, and once you decide what that is, you stick to it no matter what. As you get older, you realize that there are a lot of ways of doing something and you have to apply your judgement -- based on experience and personal taste -- on a moment by moment basis as to which approach is better than another.

You can find great filmmakers who use multiple cameras extensively -- Kurosawa being the most famous and the person who developed this approach extensively for artistic effect, not just to get a lot of angles -- and a modern example might be someone like Ridley Scott. But there are also a lot of great filmmakers who avoid multiple cameras unless absolutely necessary, who design very specific frames for each shot and use limited coverage. The Coen Brothers, Roman Polanski, Spielberg, Gilliam, Paul Anderson, Wes Anderson, etc. You'll notice that filmmakers that prefer wide-angle lenses also tend to prefer single camera coverage, whereas filmmakers who prefer telephoto lenses also like using multiple cameras. That's partly a practical reason -- it's much harder to fit in multiple cameras when shooting close to the subject with a wide-angle lens.


Hi David,

First of all I would really like to apologize because of my insistence in the examples of multiple cameras I´ve seen in the cinematographic market along my entire life.
I guess that the excess of enthusiasm and, also, the natural curiosity of every beginner, took me a little far, and I didn´t realize that I was being inconvenient with my insistence. I’m terribly sorry if sounded impolite, I really beg your pardon for this annoying distraction. Be sure that the contribution you all gave me is really relevant and absolutly necessary. And it’ll help me quite a lot in my future decisions, considering that I still have a long and tortuous road ahead. So I´d like to deserve your attention for many others moments that, for sure, it’ll come. I do apologize once more.

Best wishes,

André Felipe
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 11:37 AM

Good luck, Andre.

I just want to add the practical aspect of this technique: if you're shooting cheap video with a bunch of friends and students, arranging to have and use multiple cameras is not so hard to do. I'd give it a try, you'll learn something and it might be fun.

But when you get into the professional world and cameras and lenses are more expensive to rent, crews are more expensive to hire, and extra footage in post takes more time to process and edit, which adds to costs... you will find it harder to order extra cameras while working within your budget. So you better know when you absolutely need them because it's not a decision that can be made lightly. Until you become a big-time director and can afford to order as many cameras as you want...

So it's a practical matter for you to master single-camera shooting before you master multiple-camera shooting.
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#20 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 09:39 PM

Good luck, Andre.

I just want to add the practical aspect of this technique: if you're shooting cheap video with a bunch of friends and students, arranging to have and use multiple cameras is not so hard to do. I'd give it a try, you'll learn something and it might be fun.

But when you get into the professional world and cameras and lenses are more expensive to rent, crews are more expensive to hire, and extra footage in post takes more time to process and edit, which adds to costs... you will find it harder to order extra cameras while working within your budget. So you better know when you absolutely need them because it's not a decision that can be made lightly. Until you become a big-time director and can afford to order as many cameras as you want...

So it's a practical matter for you to master single-camera shooting before you master multiple-camera shooting.



Thank you all very, very much!
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

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