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Documentary Interview: To use the Letus or Not?

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Eric Cannon
Documentary Interview: To use the Letus or Not?
on May 1, 2009 at 7:40:33 am

So im shooting the FIRST interview for a documentary this weekend on my HVX and im wondering whether i should break out my Letus and primes or not(actually maybe a zoom to change framing during interview)?

"None but ourselves can free our minds"


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john sharaf
Re: Documentary Interview: To use the Letus or Not?
on May 1, 2009 at 1:50:12 pm

Hi Eric,

If you like the look you can create with yout Letus, by all means use it. The issue is whether all the interviews in your doc will be done the same way? Visual continuity is an important concept. If you will be doing all the interviews with your kit, by all means, but if some will be done by others, perhaps in other cities and they don't have access to similar gear, then you might think otherwise.

JMHO

JS



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David Jones
Re: Documentary Interview: To use the Letus or Not?
on May 4, 2009 at 9:07:24 pm

Hi Eric-

As someone who has shot A LOT of interviews for docs/tv news, I'm a big believer in (at least some) consistency, esp. in regards to DOF. In fact, If I shoot indoors, I use to light for f4 on all interviews (keeping the lighting setup/placement the same, as well). I have since adopted f2.8 (more often) for a more shallow DOF. You should be able to have the same control outside, as well, using ND filters.

Regards,

Dave J


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John Cummings
Re: Documentary Interview: To use the Letus or Not?
on May 6, 2009 at 10:06:16 am

I agree with all said above, but another important factor is having the ability to vary your framing during the interview...without disrupting the flow of the interview by repositioning or changing lenses. If your producer wants the ability to do cuts in post on the interview, you'll almost certainly want a zoom lens so you can quickly snap to different framing or do slow pushes and pulls. Almost all producers (and anyone who edits) really appreciate having the flexibility in post to slice and dice sound without always having to use a cutaway shot or ugly jump cuts.

Believe it or not, there is an art to shooting an interview for the edit, and it starts with having a plan before you roll the camera. Typically, you have a discussion beforehand to determine what framing is wanted (wide, medium, tight, ECU) then when you should change framing during the interview (on questions, usually) and whether on-camera zooms are to be used. As an operator, always listen carefully to what's being said and use emotion as your guide to your framing.

As a long-time doco shooter, I hate to say it, but sometimes editorial needs trump artistic when it comes to interviews. A good zoom lens is your best friend for interviews.




J Cummings
Cameralogic/Chicago
cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


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Mike Cohen
Re: Documentary Interview: To use the Letus or Not?
on May 14, 2009 at 3:05:43 am

It is important as an interviewer and a shooter to listen to the interview, so if you need to do a pickup with different framing, you can tell the subject where to go back to.
Usually I am the interviewer and the shooter, so it makes for a lot to do at once.

Mike Cohen


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