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Surgical Video

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John MorfesisSurgical Video
by on Nov 9, 2010 at 4:43:02 pm

I am shooting a video in the operating room and I need to find out about placing of the cameras and if there are any procedures with regard to sterilization of the equipment.
I will be shooting with a Panasonic HVX2000 or Sony Z1. How can I place the cameras. Should I use a small crane and keep the camera close to the lights pointing down to the surgical area. I figured a tripod on wheels may be in the way. Does anyone have experience in shooting video in a sterilized operating room?


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Chris TompkinsRe: Surgical Video
by on Nov 9, 2010 at 5:56:04 pm

I have shot a surgical proceedure b/4. We were dressed up for sterile. Cams were not.
We had a video feed as part of the surgury so we didn't need to get right in with the shot, so I can't answer to that. Can you have a phone chat w/ the surgens?

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC

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Mike CohenRe: Surgical Video
by on Nov 13, 2010 at 4:14:30 am

Check out my article - it may help.

General rule of thumb - anything blue is sterile, or at least something you don't want to touch.

When people ask me how to shoot surgery I of course say "hire me!"

But what i will tell you is, have good communication with the surgeon. Setup a small monitor that the surgeon can see without having to turn his or her head too far away from the operation. Watch your exposure - surgery is extremes of light and dark.

If you are not accustomed to the OR, be prepared for some odd smells and long hours on your feet. I keep some mints or lozenges in my camera bag. Eat when you can.

Good luck.

Mike Cohen

Medical Education / Multimedia Producer

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Timothy J. AllenRe: Surgical Video
by on Nov 17, 2010 at 5:48:57 pm

That's an excellent article, Mike. Even though it's been years since I shot a surgery, some of those same tips can be applied when working in research labs. Thanks for sharing it again!

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Martin CurtisRe: Surgical Video
by on Dec 1, 2010 at 12:02:00 pm

Everything Mike wrote is spot on.

My own experiences:
  • talk to the OR nurse ASAP because you DON'T want to get in their way
  • say "hi" to the anaesthetist. for some reason those guys are really jumpy about "are you recording audio?".
  • we use different colours here. our gowns are light green. the super-sterile-do-not-touch stuff is dark green. do not touch it.
  • I talked to our Infection Control Practitioners and they didn't care about my cameras

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