How to get a wide shot and a close up at the same time for a demonstration video

Discussion in 'Video' started by robabram, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Hi. I'm a fairly new video maker. I'm making videos about rock hunting and lapidary arts. I am trying to improve videos that I make in my basement, showing how to tumble rocks, among other things. I would like to be able to shoot a video of myself standing behind a table showing rocks or other small items. I want a wide shot of my head and torso as well as close ups of my hands showing a rock that I'm talking about. I have a Sony DSC-HX200/HX200V point and shoot camera and a GoPro Hero 7 Black. I have the GoPro on a tripod and the Sony camera hanging from the ceiling above my table. It's the Sony camera that I need help with. I need to keep it far enough away from the table that it isn't in the shot from the tripod camera, but I want close up shots from it. I tried zooming in, but the video was blurry. I think I'm too close (about 4 feet) to use the zoom. If I just crop the unzoomed video in Final Cut Pro, the resolution isn't good enough to produce a good video (it's only HD, not 4K). Is there a way to make this setup work with my current equipment? If not, can you recommend a camera that would do the trick? I'd like to keep my costs as low as possible if I need to buy a new camera. I'm not opposed to buying something used either.

    I have also tried shooting the videos separately from the wider shot. The problem is, that when I'm talking, I'm pointing to something on a rock. It's really hard to reproduce the same motions at a later time and get it to sync up with what I'm saying.

    Thanks for the help,
  2. The HX200 only focuses as close as 2 meters at full extension. You should have no problem getting a closeup of your hands if you keep that camera far enough away.

    It's easy to shoot with two cameras then sync with sound in post. The most direct method is a variation on the clapper board. Clap your hands in view of both cameras at the beginning of each take to mark sight and sound. Final Cut can handle multiple synchronized streams so you can instantly switch between views while editing, and adjust the switching points as needed. You can also record sound separately, and sync it with the video streams in this manner.

    It's harder to do with one camera, but possible. Shoot the entire sequence in wide view, then play the audio back while shooting the closeup view. Repeat your hand motion as best as you can, based on your words (and memory). An outstanding example is the cooking show of Giada de Laurentis. Less obvious is a one-camera shoot of most location reports on the evening news.

    A typical VLog style is to show a talking head, then cut to the detail shots as you speak. That way you don't have to do everything twice for a one camera shoot, or repeat two camera shots. You can shoot the cuts in any sequence,then sort them in post. You can use the cuts to mask audio edits, a real time saver for production!!!

    There are a lot of things you can do to make this job easier. All it takes is time and money.

    While most cameras record sound in real time, the quality is generally poor. For one thing, they are too far from the speaker, so you get "shower stall" acoustics and room noise.
    • A little Zoom hand recorder (H4 or H6) has excellent quality, and decent microphones.
    • For good, consistent sound, it's best to use a lavaliere microphone. Wireless is best, but it's far cheaper to make a wired connection and conceal the cable inside your clothing.
    • Since you're working alone, external monitors for the video cameras you can see from a distance help keep you on target. Monitors which record (e.g., Atomos Ninja and Shogun) get around the 29 minute clip limit and produce much higher quality video.
    • Work from a script, or at least notes, with a shot schedule. A sketched storyboard is ideal, but any amount of planning will make the job easier.
  3. Thank you Ed. There are some really good ideas here.

    I just made a video last night where I did the wide shot and then replayed it on my computer while I did the close ups. It worked surpassingly well, although I feel like I lucked out with some of the sounds. For example, setting down a rock makes a noise and I used the sound from the wide shot and the video from the close shot and it was not noticeably off. This was a pretty simple video thought and it will be harder with more complicated hand movements.

    I don't know what a lot of the stuff is in your bulleted list, but I'm going to look it all up and research it. I am making a bit of money from YouTube, so I have a few dollars to spend. I don't want to get carried away with camera equipment, but if it makes my life easier and my videos better, I don't mind spending some of my income.

    I'm excited to try moving my camera two meters away and then try zooming. Where did you find that information? I wasn't even sure what specs to look at for that. If I can get the camera to focus on my hands, everything is going to be easy from there.

    Thanks again. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond in detail.
  4. @Ed_Ingold I just got a chance to go try my camera from two meters away. It works perfectly. You just saved me a ton of frustration, time, and money. Thank you so much!!!

  5. If you use Premiere Pro or Final Cut with multiple streams, the sound follows the video as an option. When making the closeups, repeat your narrative. If you're careful, the sound quality will be close. If you use a lavaliere mic, it will be seamless. With a little planning, your narrative can seem to continue uninterrupted. I do the cuts in real time during editing, then stop and make adjustments to the cut as needed. You can only be as precise as one frame, but that's good enough. You can even use a separate sound track and mix it underneath the live sound.

    That's how movies are made - many takes, many cuts, mixed sound, and seldom even in sequence. Good luck. Have fun, Be creative.
  6. I shoot multi-stream video for concerts and events on a regular basis. I typically use two cameras, one fixed with a medium to wide shot, and the other moving, with a telephoto zoom for closeups. I record the sound separately on a portable recorder, often a long distance from my viewpoint. It is impractical to wire direct sound to the cameras, so I combine and synchronize the video and audio tracks in Premiere Pro, using sound picked up by the camera microphones as a guide.

    To sync the streams, you use the respective sound tracks and mark an easily identifiable percussive sound in each stream, and line them up on the timeline. You have to re-sync the timeline each time one of the recorders is stopped and re-started. I generally record continuously, even through intermissions and sync once at the beginning of the track. The timings hold well within one frame for several hours.

    There are devices which will lock time-code time code to several devices via wireless. That would be extremely useful if you have a steady-cam operator who only shoots intermittently. It's overkill for my work, but worth consideration. Professional editing programs can snap clips into near perfect alignment based on time code.

    The time lag due to distance is rarely more than 2 frames at 30 fps, which is good enough for "government" work. If greater precision is needed, you can step through the video one frame at a time, and slip the sound track to get true lip-sync.

    Which brings up another point. There is a 4 frame (30 fps) lag between real time and the video signal to tape (so to speak). That's enough to be both visible and distracting if you watch the subject visually while monitoring the camera sound. Some cameras have the option of passing sound only without delay, which results in a 4 frame mis-match in post. I prefer the lip-sync to video option, then watch the talent on the camera monitor, which has the same lag, hence visually in sync.

    It may sound complicated, but it's not. The process is precise and takes very little time, once you get it into mind-muscle-memory.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019

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