How many cameras would it take to shoot this video?

Discussion in 'Video' started by michaelchang, May 14, 2016.

  1. The 2 minute musical clips begins at 00:55.
    Lots of rapid transitions and from many camera angles; I suspect at least one steadicam and a crane-mounted camera; possibly a few retakes to fill in the other camera angles.
    What's your take?
  2. Could be just one. Depends on the director, logistics, time constraints.
  3. They shot it on a gray day with non-directional light that wasn't changing. Didn't appear to be any artificial lighting at all, so very easy to just keep moving the camera around and having the performers re-do the lip-syncing/dancing through a dozen takes. There's one camera on a tripod at a distance doing those zoom/pan and establishing shots, and somebody with a gimbal-mounted camera walking around the set catching several different angles during different repeat takes. Lots of those back-up dancer hip-style closeups could have been shot in any order or long before/after the rest of the performance, since that's all cut in without any worry about continuity issues. Not sure they bothered with a crane in that space - could easily have been a single pass (if you watch closely) of just one dance take, using a modest off-the-shelf quadcopter like a DJI Inspire 1 with the X5 camera. If they'd bothered with a large enough crane to handle those big horizontal tracking movements, there would have been more of them. My humble opinion!
  4. Thanks for your analysis, Matt.
    The Wikipedia entry on Glee suggests the episodes have a $3M budget and up to 10 days to shoot mostly due to the elaborate dance choreography.
    I imagine it's conceivable to shoot it in one take with as many cameras as necessary which would actually reduce production cost.
  5. Definitely more than one take there, though - otherwise some of those shots would include the other camera operators. Given that particular piece of staging, it's simply not possible in one take.
  6. I suppose there will be many rehearsals in that type of situation where filming can take place and later spliced, especially when the audio isn't live.
  7. For stuff like this I use my main camera Sony FDR-AX100 4K on a Benro Tripod with S8 fluid head for smooth pans, zooms and tilts. Then I use me and my friends Apple 6s Iphones for the B-rolls. They are great because they shoot 4K which looks great even when rendered down to 1080 HD. You can zoom in on things and really make it look like you are shooting with a different camera / angle when all you are really doing is panning and zooming your one camera.
    The rest is all done in Final Cut X or Adobe Premiere CC where all the different seems are brought together.
  8. What is known as single-camera episodic TV these days is usually really at least an A cam and a B cam, with a 3rd C cam sometimes when it can be used. The reason you don't do more is because on things like this (as opposed to a live concert), accidentally seeing another camera cannot happen. Also, it's very difficult to light for more than 2 or 3 cameras so they all look good. This piece is a bad example of that, because the day was flat and I don't think they did much lighting (except in the closeups).

    I used to direct music videos in Los Angeles, that's why I can speak to it.

    So for something like this, you'd probably do 6-8 passes of the song, playing the whole song with 2 cameras rolling. Once you get a solid take of the performance from one "set" of angles, you jog the cameras around to get another set of angles. Rinse and repeat for a few hours. Then the director would have a few shots to "punctuate" the edit, (closeup reaction shots, sunglass toss, cigarette throw/cigarette land), some of which would be aided by playback of the song so heads/etc are bobbing in time correctly, some of which wouldn't need it. So you break the "large setup", and just get those shots separately.

    So the less cameras you have, the more passes of the song you need to do, but there is a practical limit to how many cameras you want to use. The more cameras you have, the more problems you run into.

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