Cinematography Archives - Photo Studio Rental - San Diego


3 Camera Interview Setup

By | Interviews, Lighting, Photography

Normally when conducting a video interview, a one or two camera setup is sufficient.  When introducing a third camera, you can achieve a whole new dynamic. Perhaps the goal is to add the interviewer into the scene or capture the subject from a third angle. Maybe it is to expand on the dimensions and increase the emotional level. A third camera setup is a simple task.  Here are the following steps necessary to get this done.

A and B Cameras

Using a single camera setup for an interview tends to be on the dull side.  Most filmmakers prefer the A and B camera setup to focus head-on the subject and from a side angle.  These are usually stationary on tripods and focussed. With a third camera, you can establish and focus for extreme close-ups or as a moving dolly shot.  Having to readjust one of the primary cameras takes too long. This distracts from the necessary establishment the director is trying to create with the subject.

Setting Up 3rd Cam

To accommodate three cameras and the associated equipment and crew, a lot of space is necessary.  Once set into focus, the stationary cameras can be left unmanned. By having a third camera that moves around must have sufficient space to do so.  Clear out any furniture that will not be in the shot. Next, track the possible movements the third camera will follow.

Lighting is Crucial

Setting up the lighting for the third camera will be the hardest part as shadows will be inconsistent.  After setting up the key lights, find ways to adjust L lights. They need to suit the needs of lighting the subject before adding in the fill lights.  If your third camera has a path of motion then have stand-in actors. They should get into place and follow the track of the third camera to see if any of the lights are visible.  If so, readjust them as necessary. If glare is the only issue then have a crew member follow along with a flag to absorb said glare.  

Footage to the Max

Having extra footage for shots enables the editor to be more creative with the options available.  Since the audio is coming from one source, manipulating all the clips will not be too much additional trouble.  For this reason, you might want to set everything on the same timecode. While a third camera setup is not very common for interviews, it provides some well-needed advantages. Particularly when working with products or trying to establish various emotional settings.


4 Tips For Sharper Focus

By | Photography

Out of focus footage can make your production look low budget and unprofessional. Blurry images are hard on the viewer’s eyes which detract from overall engagement. This is a technical aspect of filmmaking that doesn’t often require many expenses. Getting it right is essential to a production of any budget. A lot of time goes into setting up the camera for the determined angle. When the actors finally are performing you might not have the chance for another take as magical. Here are a few tips to getting it right the first time:

Know Your Lens  

As a professional, you will keep several scopes of lenses in your bag. You should know which one will be best for the shot but also know that particular item. As you adjust the ring you are setting the focal point distance. With practice, you should be able to adjust it into focus without looking at the monitor. Novices and even advanced photographers should start practicing with this all the time. Constantly be holding your camera and pick out objects at various distances to practice with. You could be walking to the store, just keep adjusting. Eventually, your hand knowledge knows precisely where the focal point will be.

Focus Pulling

Apply this technique to focus on a point at a distance. Redraw the focus to a point closer or vice versa. As an object is closer to the lens, it will be harder to stay in focus. You can take advantage of this by focusing on something at a closer distance. Then pull back as the range of staying in focus will become easier. Pulling towards an object that is closer can mean the camera needs a moment to refocus. With practice, you should be able to gauge the ring adjustment to staying in focus the whole time.

Following the Subject

Walk in sync with a moving subject. Become aware of the direction you will need to turn your ring to stay in focus. This comes back to knowing your lens but also being able to properly gauge the distance of the subject. Practice walking with the subject to get a sense of pace. If your movements are at the same pace there should be no problem staying in focus.

Controlled Movements

Know if the subject will switch to a certain location. Mark a piece of tape on the ring and the meter. Align the pieces of tape to focus on the secondary position. Then focus on the subject at the starting point. As the subject moves from one position, it is simply a matter of re-aligning the marks of the tape. You can do this for multiple positions. Ideally, use tape you can write on so you will know which order to scroll through.

In addition to these technical tips, you can purchase a focal gear to assist with smaller focus rings. Most camera offer autofocus. Using it is not a bad solution but set the pace of the drive speed to the subject points as they move. Don’t forget to always review your photos and footage at the end of the day before wrapping up.

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