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shooting documentary dialogue with 2 people, rather than just one

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Marcus Gardner
shooting documentary dialogue with 2 people, rather than just one
on Mar 23, 2015 at 1:03:02 pm

Hi all,

I filmed 350 hours on my own for my first documentary, and was wildly swinging the camera from one person to another. It was a group of people in spontaneous action/dialogue.

I've now got a 2nd cameraman for a similar project (20 people sitting in a circle for discussion with incidental b-roll of the scenery inside/outside) and here's the system I came up with to prevent the abbreviated scenes:

Camera 1: Default to medium shot of the speaker/main action
When 2nd person speaks cam 1 waits for ~3 seconds where he's at (last speaker) and then switches to medium shot of next person

Camera 2: Default to wide shot of main speaker OR reaction shots from others in group
Cam2 is the first to catch (and watch for) a 2nd speaker. Catches 2nd person in wide and holds until camera 1 establishes medium shot.

Other than that, I figure with 2 cameras we'll have some freedom for one person to roam around and get B-roll. If anybody has tips for a 2 camera system, let me know.

thanks
Adjul


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Roger Bansemer
Re: shooting documentary dialogue with 2 people, rather than just one
on Mar 23, 2015 at 1:31:22 pm

Get enough B roll shots of the speaker from over their shoulder so you don't see them actually speaking. It can come in handy when editing as you don't have to edit parts of what they are saying without breaking the continuity.

Borrow or buy another camera so you'll have two static cameras and one roving camera. The more shots you have for something like that the easier it is when putting together the piece.

Roger Bansemer - PaintingAndTravel.com


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Marcus Gardner
Re: shooting documentary dialogue with 2 people, rather than just one
on Mar 23, 2015 at 2:45:12 pm

Roger, thanks for the behind the head tip, I haven't utilized that much.

Also - I'm not sure if this was clear: I'll have two cameras AND two shooters.


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