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Single Camera Techniques

Single Camera Techniques

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Published by Ellie Buchan
Single camera techniques handbook
Single camera techniques handbook

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Published by: Ellie Buchan on Mar 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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BTEC Naonal Diploma in Creave Media Producon
Single Camera Techniques
Single Camera Producon Techniques
With the introducon of more television channels, some specically dedicated to drama, the single cameradrama producon has become very popular with broadcasters and audiences. This means that there shouldbe more opportunies for people with skills in single camera techniques to gain employment in this sector.This might be in terms of technical skills in producon or creave skills in developing ideas into producon.This unit aims to give learners an opportunity to use producon skills, already gained from previous units,and develop them further to create a producon using single camera techniques.
The unit gives learners the opportunity to explore exisng single camera producons. This will help them tothink about, plan and produce their own producons. As part of this exploraon learners will invesgate theuse of camera scripts and storyboards as tools of storytelling.
Learners will develop the organisaonal skills required for the planning and implementaon of a singlecamera drama producon. They will idenfy key producon roles and take on one or more of these rolesduring their own producon. Set design, cinematography, lighng, use of sound and eding techniques willall be part of the skills learners develop through following this unit.
Health and safety issues will also be addressed in both locaon and studio shoots, with learners producingrisk assessments prior to any producon work.
Understand the features of single camera producon
: eg series, serial, single drama;
, eg period, dramadoc, crime, soap opera, comedy
Narrave structures
: eg linear (or sequenal), non
linear(or non
sequenal), ashback, realist, an
, eg open, closed
a scene
building a story
Grading criteria
describe single camera producons expressing ideas with sucient clarity to communicate them andwith some appropriate use of subject terminology.
explain single camera producons with reference to well chosen examples expressing ideas with clarityand with generally appropriate use of subject terminology.
crically evaluate single camera producons with supporng arguments and elucidated examplesexpressing ideas uently and using subject terminology correctly.
BTEC Naonal Diploma in Creave Media Producon
Single Camera Techniques
As the name suggests, single camera producons are lmed using
one camera
. This can have itsadvantages and disadvantages, as we will discuss later. The camera is used as a tool to get the audience ‘intothe acon / scene’ and its funcon is to add to the realism and
create a more inmate feel
. Singlecamera producons do, on occasion, shoot with more than one camera but only if there is a parcularlydicult scene such as one with a
or one that is
heavy on dialogue
. Directors oen favour singlecamera producons as they have
more control
over the camera and they are able to set up each and everyshot individually. Single camera producon also allows you to shoot anywhere; in mul
camera produconsyou can be limited to as few as three sets due to logiscalrequirements.
Single camera producons require enre scenes, andsecons of scenes, to be re
acted over and over so that thedirector can capture that scene from various angles andshot lengths. The repeon makes lming more expensive,if lming onto actual lm (as opposed to digitally), as lmstock is expensive, but it
allows actors to get intocharacter
The lighng in a single camera producon is far
easier to control
as you can light each shot individually.When shoong with mulple cameras, the light must be ‘adequate’ for each shot, this can result in scenesbeing at and unvaried (it can also look fake/like it has been lmed in a studio). Lighng in single camera isfar more intricate and adds to the tone and style of individual scenes.
An example of a basic
low keylighng set
.In single camera producons, everyshot is lit individually to add to thedesired tone or intended style.
BTEC Naonal Diploma in Creave Media Producon
Single Camera Techniques
Sound is the trickiest part of our producons as we do not have professional sound equipment that wouldenable us to record high quality audio onto a separate track and synch it later. However, now that we are inyear 2, we should never be relying on the built in microphones to capture audio—they are not good enoughand the background noise will be far too much. The quality of the audio can enhance and improve a videothat would be otherwise OK, or it can make a very well
made video appear amateurish. Do not be afraid touse the boom mic or separate microphones when lming (use the dead cat if outside).
When lming with a single camera, the shots that are lmed always require a
certain amount of overlay
;this means starng a lile earlier than the scene you are lming and running over a lile at the end to ensureall of the scene is captured. It also avoids awkward and jumpy starts. As menoned earlier, some single cameraproducons will ulise a second camera in order to capturecertain scenes or shots with lots of dialogue. As with allproducons, sound eects (Foley sounds, ambient noiseand dialogue) can be added or enhanced in post. In a mul
camera producon, it is easier to mic the characters,interviewers or interviewees individually as
a lot of mulcamera products allow for mics to be visible withinthe scene
, whereas in a single camera producon you maynd that a central microphone will suce. It is important toremember that not all dialogue used in a scene (that you would see on screen) is from the same take. It isoen the case that one take of audio is used over the top of various lmed/visual takes. Over the shouldershots, cutaways and any restricted narraon mean that you don’t always need to see the source of dialogueat all mes.
In lmmaking, coverage is an important consideraon because lm is expensive compared to digital storagedevices; therefore, discipline is called for when you're thinking what needs to be shot and what isunnecessary. With digital video recording however, the director may shoot everything, even the rehearsalsbecause the cost is not an issue and the quality of the footage when reusing a digital recording device, likean SD card, does not degrade unlike DV tapes. Of course, if you shoot a thousand hours of tape, you have tolook at it all and gure out what you need, this is where a lot of me and money is used.
How muchcoverage (angles and types of shots) you shoot depends on your budget
. However, you need toshoot certain angles and get in the necessary number of shots for each scene, to be able to make your movieviewable, no maer how small your budget. When lming with one camera it is essenal to reshoot thescene numerous mes to obtain enough coverage for the post
producon stage. How many mes have youfound you haven’t got the shot you needed when you get to eding?!Single camera coverage:
Mul camera coverage:

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