My production company is considering creating a video shot in a first person POV style. We have discussed using a miniature camera and and somehow attaching it to the actor to shoot over their shoulder etc.
I suppose my question is if anyone has any experience shooting POV shots (with plenty of movement (actor using both hands and walking around an office environment.)) if they have any advice/ suggestions etc. It would be a great help.
Well, Doggiecam Systems makes a rig that does pretty much exactly that...
They are at doggiecam.com. I've never used that exact rig before, but we built a homemade clone of one for a shoot once, it worked pretty well. We bought a fairly robust backpack from REI (I think, or some other camping store) and canibalized the harness, ect. We made struts out of conduit that led up to a camera platform in back, and down to counterweights, monitor, and battery holder in front. We were doing exactly what you described, walking through an office, lots of hand gestures, etc. The scene was a Donald Trump-like character walking through an office berating and firing employees. We had a suit jacket cut to accommodate the struts, and with the POV you could see the office and my head and shoulders (we had a Trump comb-over wig made that I wore). A voice actor had pre-recorded all the character's dialog and with playback on location I could sync all the proper hand guestures.
It worked well, although the rig was quite heavy and tiring to use. But we were using a full-size 35mm film camera, and it was quite high and far back so lots of counterweight was needed in front. With a smaller camera that didn't have to be at such a great distance it would be a piece of cake.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc. fantasticplastic.com
With the new Sony HD bullet/lipstick cam, you could make this much more nimble, and the rig less bulky. My guess is though that you will still wind up adding some motion tracking and stabilizing in post, if the character does a lot of fast walking or running. That's because vibrations and shakes from inertia will still be transmitted thru the harness and arm, and the longer that arm is, and the heavier the cam at the end of it, the more of a lever arm you get, thus, the camera's track will start to vary some from the wearer's track.
And now an editorial comment: The visual effect of this shot is disturbing and "creepy", and I don't know if it is wise to do an entire 30 minutes or hour of it, unbroken. it would be like using the Hitchcok Zoom over and over as every shot transition. I think an audience would tire of it quickly. An effect like this I think is best used sparingly and apropriately. But hey, I didn't see the details of the show, just one guy's opinion, I could be wrong.