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Advice on shooting 1st Person POV restaurant scene

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Calvin Gaunce
Advice on shooting 1st Person POV restaurant scene
on Jun 29, 2015 at 12:52:10 pm

I have an upcoming shoot where I will need to capture a restaurant scene in first person point-of-view. It seems pretty straight-forward, but I want to make sure it truly looks like the subject's point-of-view. At first, I thought a steadicam would do the trick, but wasn't sure if that would actually look like first person point-of-view. Then I thought about mounting the camera to a helmet, similar to the one here... https://www.journalism.co.uk/news/new-approaches-to-online-video-at-the-wal...

Does anyone have experience with these kinds of shots? How did you capture them? What camera and lens did you use? I'd like to be able to get as much as the scene in the shot as possible, so going wide would be ideal. However, I don't want to go too wide if it doesn't look as if we are viewing the scene through the subject's eyes. Any advice?


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Todd Terry
Re: Advice on shooting 1st Person POV restaurant scene
on Jun 29, 2015 at 4:04:24 pm

Well you certainly could go the Steadicam route... or come up with some Frankenstein head-mounted rig like that. Both would work, but each would give a very different effect... if just depends on what you are looking for.

There's a difference in what is truly realistic, and what people think is realistic... and it's an important difference. We see Steadicam or dolly shots all the time that are supposed to be someone's POV. But the next time you walk down the street or hall, really take a look at what you are seeing... your view actually bobs up and down as you walk, quite a bit... but you likely wouldn't want to do POV footage that bobs up and down nearly as much as a human head actually would.

Two things I'd suggest as an alternate... one is to use a stabilizer... a MōVI or a Ronan or one of those clones. I think that would more approximate an actual person's POV than a Steadicam would.

The other suggestion is probably what I would do, and that's just plain-ol' garden-variety handheld. I personally think that gives a more realistic POV style than most anything else.

And as for short focal lengths, yes, wide lenses are fine... as the human eye is the equivalent of a very wide-angle lens, obviously.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Calvin Gaunce
Re: Advice on shooting 1st Person POV restaurant scene
on Jun 29, 2015 at 4:44:09 pm

Thanks for the advice, Todd. I will test out a stabilizer to see that effect. Handheld won't work for me here though, because the subject will need to use their hands on camera.

Good point on the difference between what is truly realistic and what feels realistic. Although the human eye matches a very short focal length, I'm worried that if I go too wide, it's not going to look as if we are looking through someone's eyes. I've read in a few places online that a 50mm lens is the closest match to a human vision. Thoughts?

As I'm researching this more, I'm realizing there is not just one way to do this, and I need to run some tests on various equipment to get the effect I'm looking for. I appreciate the input!


Calvin


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Todd Terry
Re: Advice on shooting 1st Person POV restaurant scene
on Jun 29, 2015 at 4:53:52 pm

[Calvin Gaunce] "Handheld won't work for me here though, because the subject will need to use their hands on camera."

Oh... so you camera operator is also your "actor" and has to use both hands that appear in frame? That I didn't know, and makes a huge difference. Then a stabilizer won't work, as the camera operator needs both hands. Steadicam won't work either, same exact reason. You can sometimes use one hand when handholding, but not both, obviously.

So, if your camera op is the actor, and must use both of their real hands, then the only real choice is a head or body-mounted camera... no need to really even consider anything else.



[Calvin Gaunce] "I've read in a few places online that a 50mm lens is the closest match to a human vision. Thoughts?"

Eh, yes and no (mostly no). A 50mm lens does approximate the focal length of the human eye, that much is very true. That's why when you look through a camera with a 50mm lens everything is pretty much the same size as it is to your naked eye. BUT a 50mm lens is nowhere near the field of view of the human eye (it's much much tighter), and that's what's important in this case. It would bear playing with to see what looks good to you, but I'd suggest starting with a 28mm. If that looks too wide, try a 35mm.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Todd Terry
Re: Advice on shooting 1st Person POV restaurant scene
on Jun 29, 2015 at 4:59:54 pm

I should note that my focal length suggestions are for Super35mm format shooting.

Those numbers won't be the same if you are shooting with a smaller-sensor camera (2/3", 1/3", 16mm, GoPro, anything else), but you'd want to try the equivalent of those focal lengths.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Calvin Gaunce
Re: Advice on shooting 1st Person POV restaurant scene
on Jun 29, 2015 at 5:25:37 pm

Thanks for the tips, Todd. I wasn't sure if the operator of the stabilizer could get away with going handless at all, but I think you're right that it won't really be an option. I appreciate the help!

Calvin


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Mark Suszko
Re: Advice on shooting 1st Person POV restaurant scene
on Jun 29, 2015 at 4:08:17 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Jun 29, 2015 at 4:09:34 pm

Wrote this before seeing Todd's post.
You would think it intuitive to shoot this on a helmet cam of some sort, but that ignores a lot of the built-in motion correction our head and eyes do for us, and you'd end up with something that looks very bouncy and "doggie-cam-like". Even when your head tilts in real life, your eyes and brain compensate that tilt in a way a helmet cam will not. I think you want a slightly wide angle, but in a conventional steadicam type mount, where the operator steers the POV a bit. The stabilization is the important thing.

If you still end up with a go-pro, consider mounting it high on the chest, or maybe on the neck somehow. Test this POV versus a top of the head or side of the head POV.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Advice on shooting 1st Person POV restaurant scene
on Jun 30, 2015 at 4:23:41 am

http://www.shapeways.com/product/7YV3VFB6H/gopro-mouth-piece-camera-mountin...

mnoh crmmnennt


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