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#1 Robert Chuck

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 12:22 PM

Hello all,

This coming fall, I'll be heading into my graduate thesis film and I'm considering using a 2 camera set-up. I've used a 2 camera setup once before and it didn't work in the way I thought, nor did it speed up the process. Since then I've seen it used a few times to varying results; the best use being prioritizing for your A cam and then picking off shots where the B cam can be most effective, if it can be at all. In other instances, I've seen B cam placed and it ends up the screwing up the A cam lighting or continuity and eyeline issues occur. 
 

If anyone has had any experiences or advice shooting/staging 2 cameras successfully, using different cameras or can clarify how to properly set it up I'd love to hear about it? Any kind of information is helpful. 

Thanks in advance,
Rob


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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 01:41 PM

I'd say, don't let B Cam slow you down. Give the operator some autonomy to find shots, but ask them to wait until A Cam is set in position before coming onto set. If the camera placement you've set for them doesn't work for B Cam, then let them find another angle that doesn't compromise A Cam, or just have them stand down.

Unless you're shooting a stunt or something that just can't be repeated, don't let them hold up the shoot. It's ridiculous when talent, A Cam, and the director are ready to go, but B Cam is still fussing with their frame or getting marks.
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#3 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 05:30 PM

When shooting all your primary business of the day use B-cam next to ACam as a way to get punchins on the frame at the same time.  Avoid shooting opposing angles at once until you have a situation with enough time and crew to light multiple angles at once.  Most of the time, practical interior locations make this impossible.  They are just too small.  Outdoors are easier for that.

 

Remember, B-Cam can also double as your 2nd Unit.  So take all those shots in your list that don't involve actors.  All the inserts, cutaways, exteriors, "hands on doorknobs" type of shots and delegate that to the B-cam crew.   This will speed up your shoot tremendously and you will be using 2 Cameras in an efficient way rather than in a manner that will slow you down.


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#4 Matthew Kane

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 01:43 PM

The best two camera shoot I've ever done was a low budget indie feature, where the director meticulously storyboarded almost every setup, and the gaffer, DP, and sound recordist made special arrangements to shoot opposing angles for some scenes (ie, having a second or third boom op, scheduling time to rig overhead lighting, etc).

 

And even then, there were lots of times when B camera would stand down. Some scenes just don't require a bunch of extra coverage, or it's more important to get the timing of each shot right. The sound recordist often asked us not to shoot a wide at the same time as a closeup, to make sure the closeup got decent coverage from the boom.

 

Alot of episodics shoot two cameras in tandem, and inevitably there are compromises in lighting or sound capture, but it seems it can still save a bit of time if you're strategic about it (ie, if a scene is mostly going to be covered with VO, foley, or music, then you can take a bit of a hit on the production sound). At least, that's what I gather.


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Visual Products

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Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab