SINGLE CAMERA SETUP: PURPOSE IN DIRECTING
Films are shot using either a single camera set up, a multiple camera set up or a combination of the two. In this article we will discuss the single camera set up and why it should be used to purposefully capture your shots. Below is a diagram of a single camera setup.
SINGLE CAMERA SETUP: PURPOSE IN DIRECTING
Films are shot using either a single camera set up, a multiple camera set up or a combination of the two. In this article we will discuss the single camera set up and why it should be used to purposefully capture your shots.
As a film director you need to strive for every shot (frame, composition) in your film to be meaningful and purposeful. You cannot shoot a film and then just go in the editing room picking out whatever shot works. No, your shots need to be purposefully shot, so you can purposefully select them in editing. Otherwise your shots become frivolous, having no meaning, no intention. That’ll be the end of you conjuring up capacity to emote your audience.
IF YOU DON’T SET UP THE SHOT, YOU DON’T GET THE SHOT
In spite of all the bells and whistles and elaborate filmmaking equipment available to filmmakers many of the great directors still prefer to shoot their films using one camera. They wrap up one shot, with one camera, and then go on to the next, with the same camera, just like in the beginning of filmmaking history.
However, It’s not as simple as it sounds. As a matter of fact, it’s challenging. One camera at all times! You don’t setup for the shot, you don’t get the shot! That’s not the case when using multiple cameras. Whereas even if you didn’t set up for the shot you might still get it because there’s multiple cameras rolling at the same time.
The reason why this can be done proficiently by these directors is because they have a precise vision of what they want their film to look like. They can close their eyes and see the film being cut sequentially.
They’re very detailed about principal photography. They prepare shot lists and also draw up story boards when necessary.
Many great directors are so good at filming with one camera that it’s impossible for editors or studios to edit their films any way other than the way they shot it. The reason is because they don’t do “coverage.” They just shoot what they know they need.
Now, filming with the single camera method takes extreme precision, experience, talent, preparation, study and research to execute correctly. For the beginning director who uses this technique, be prepared to add pick up days to your schedule. The reason is because when you get to the editing room you’ll become aware that you did not get all of the shots you needed and it’s making it impossible to edit your film coherently.
Therefore, for the beginning filmmaker, we encourage you get plenty of coverage and have an additional camera rolling when possible. Either way, plan for pick up days, it comes with the learning process. The more films you make the faster you can get through the continuous need for pick up days. Check out Our 7 Recommended Must Dos Before You Make Your First Film.
Great directors know the significance, importance and emotional purposes of shots (camera angles, composition). They use them to control, manipulate and heighten the emotional state of their audience. The single camera method is instrumental in cultivating such traits. Therefore learn it and become one with it.
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