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RyGuy
01-17-2013, 03:32 AM
Whats the dealio? How do you match eyeline and what are the rules of thumb? This topic is somewhat of a mystery to me and I know that it is a crucial skill.

kevin baggott
01-17-2013, 10:07 AM
The guy who really explains this gets a house by the sea that me and ryguy will purchase for you. Ryguy I know yer in? Pick yer ocean fellas.

kevin baggott
01-17-2013, 10:09 AM
All I know is getting the offcamera actor as close to the side of the camera as possible to deliver their off camera lines. Try to match camera height - are they both looking at camera height or above or below. And of course making sure yer both angles are shot from the same camera line.

kevin baggott
01-17-2013, 10:13 AM
Let me tell ya though - i'm not a dp - I went to film school and knew somethings from books but I was directing an indy feature last year over in Ireland that I was also shooting and playing the lead in. And the eye- thing had me unnerved at times - big time - and miraculously I only had a slight problem with eye lines when i got into the editing room. And the biggest thing I could do was place the other actors off where they would be in real life - again as close to the camera as possible. Shot sometimes I had the actors hit the record button and then stick their face close to the camera. Anyway.....

Charlie Doom
01-17-2013, 10:14 AM
Are you saying you can't tell if your shots look good or bad to you in terms of eyelines? If that's the case I'd watch a lot of movies from your favorite filmmakers and take note of where they place eyelines in relationship to another. Another great place is WikiPaintings.org -- I've discovered it's a HUGE resource that can be directly applied to cinematography. Composition, color, mood, eyelines, light etc.

Rules of thumb: I'm not an expert, but we match the camera to the eye level of each subject and that works great for documentary interviews. Other times we take note of where the eyeline sits in the frame and try to match it in the other shots. Those were the "rules" I started with, but it always was and is [for me] a matter of what looks/feels right. I'd say you find yourself a visual benchmark and try to reach it. All the great painters started that way, I figure it's no different for film. I know that probably sounds rather esoteric, but I sincerely hope it helps.

Charlie Doom
01-17-2013, 10:18 AM
^^ I should add to just practice, practice, practice! I'm on a roll with these painting references, but there is something called a "study." Basically a test on a particular technique, subject, mood, lighting what have you before you go full blown with it for a finished piece. In video we call them animatics, story boards and other things, but it really helps. Try drawing out a story board and figure out where the characters eyelines are. You can draw them in anywhere so they look right. Or you can find someone to film one weekend and try it out that way.

markmwilliams
01-17-2013, 10:32 AM
One little tip... treat everything as an over the shoulder shot, even when you're not shooting over the shoulder - frame up as though you were. You will pretty much always get a pleasing eye line.

And the whole thing about getting the camera level - well that really depends. I shot an interview this week between someone in a mobility scooter and someone standing on the street. If I had levelled the camera for each of them the eye line would have looked ridiculous. I instead opted for a slight OTS shot with a slight camera tilt upwards from the scooter user and downwards from the standing person (actually more Over The Elbow than over the shoulder). This was subtle (not exaggerated for comic effect) but gave a pleasing a natural eye line to both of them.

Charlie Doom
01-17-2013, 11:24 AM
Yes, it's all relative to what you are shooting and the effect you are going for!

Frank Glencairn
01-17-2013, 11:25 AM
Actually there is no rule.

Woody Allan is famous for using almost 90 degree angles, where others prefer an actor almost look into the lens and everything between that. It's a creative choice.

The only thing you MUST get right (or it will drive you nuts in editing) is the tilt.
If one person sits and the other stands you must tilt up and down, and also get the camera hight right.

One thing I often do, especially when I get the camera between actors is, I stick some red tape at the upper left or right corner of the mattebox, so they have something to look at. Here comes an other ting into play - besides angle,tilt and hight - convergence of the eyes. The closer the (for the camera) invisible counterpart of the actor is, the closer together are the pupils. The red tape works miracles here - try it, the difference in intensity is day and night.

Frank

Joe Giambrone
01-17-2013, 01:47 PM
Now you know why you see so many over the shoulder shots everywhere!

RyGuy
01-17-2013, 03:46 PM
All I know is getting the offcamera actor as close to the side of the camera as possible to deliver their off camera lines. Try to match camera height - are they both looking at camera height or above or below. And of course making sure yer both angles are shot from the same camera line.

Yeah thats my basic understanding of it too but I see so many amateur films where the eyeline is just slightly off. Very distracting for me.
I was hoping someone could give a more technical explanation on how to achieve precise eyeline matches.
Thanks!

rawCAM35
01-17-2013, 04:08 PM
Just do not cross the screen line and play with the camera height and tilt, unless for deliberate artistic reason

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/180-degree_rule

http://www.tvtechnology.com/big-picture/0170/crossing-the-line-to-on-screen-confusion/183112

RyGuy
01-17-2013, 04:28 PM
I won't take this personal, perhaps my first post made me sound newbish, but I can assure tht I am not. I'm very aware of the 180 rule, above/below angles etc.

What I have noticed is that there are bad eyelines, acceptable eyelines, and then seamless eyelines. I'm at acceptable level right now. I want to get to seamless and I'm hoping for some techniques that can help me achieve this.

John Brawley
01-17-2013, 04:34 PM
Eyelines are all about trying to set screen geography for the audience and have it look like the characters are actually looking at each other when you cut between shots.

As a DP, if there isn't a script supervisor on set, then it's YOUR job to make them match so the shots will cut together.

If there is a script supervisor on set, then it's job to have a friendly ARGUMENT with them about getting the eyelines to match. (it still amazes me how few understand the role of script supervisors, including script supervisors !). This is because, even with professionals who've been doing it for a long time, you just do it by feel.

Does this "look" right compared with what we just shot ?

Eyelines are one of those things...to get them looking right the actors usually aren't actually looking in the TRUE right spot. We often cheat the eyelines, usually closer or as we say, finer, to camera. There's many things that will influence WHY it won't look right. But the end result is you're moving the offscreen actors around to try and get their eyeline of the onscreen actor in the right position.

If there was a general rule, the eyeline should get finer the closer your shot is. So in a big CU, they are almost looking at the camera. In these cases, as Frank suggested, a small piece of tape on the mattbox or even the edge of the lens is required. there are also always exceptions to this.

I've also found a lot of great actors seem to know instinctively where to put their eyelines. Or they will look at the camera-closest eye of their offscreen actor to open their face up a litle more and fine up their eyeline.

I'm surprised that people don't shoot shootouts for these kinds of just-as-important filmaking issues. We're always clamouring for 5Dmk3 Vs Red VS whatever examples. Imagine if we also started doing *which eyelines cut best* or which diffusion vs subject distance works best clips....

jb

CaptainHook
01-17-2013, 05:21 PM
From what i've watched and studied, where you place an eyeline in terms of relationship to the camera works in a similar fashion to how different shot sizes of someone makes the audience 'feel' towards to the character. i.e

Generally the closer the eyeline of the character to the camera/lens, the more 'connected' the audience will feel to that character, and conversely the further away the less connected.

Generally a CU is used to connect with a character more or when dialog gets more intimate/personal/etc so it makes sense when John and Frank say to get the eyeline as close as possible in those situations to enhance that. I've also seen occasions where in typical reverses the eyeline of the character we should identify with and connect with more is closer to cam, and the other character we should be at odds with has an eyeline further away. It still looked like they were looking at each other due to tilt/angle, but it was another effective tool to get the audience to feel certain things about the characters.

I would love to see tests like John proposes above, which is another reason David Mullens threads are always great as he quite often goes over such issues as how he'll use much less diffusion for wides, and more for CU's and sometimes posts stills to accompany etc etc.

Another thing that's always interesting discussion is 'eye trace', which is kind of related but more about where the audience eye's are led and how we can frame for cuts (even to a new scene) to lead viewer focus. Something for editors too.

Captain Crunch
01-18-2013, 12:11 PM
What John Brawley said...

The reasoning behind proper eyelines is to make the line of sight and geography between actors appear as natural as possible. One simple way... If you don't have both actors in a scene, use a "stand in" to get proper eyelines. Place a "stand in" at the correct spot in the scene and the actor can deliver their lines to them. One of the easiest and most natural ways to go. Just follow the 180 Degree rule, and if you cross the line just make sure you show the camera move in your edited sequence.

vealti
01-20-2013, 12:18 AM
A book that was recommend to me is "The 5 Cs of Cinematography" Part of it explains eyelines and camera height along with examples. It's a bit dated and could have had a better proof read but has a lot of good info in there.

Grug
01-30-2013, 12:25 AM
I'm surprised that people don't shoot shootouts for these kinds of just-as-important filmaking issues. We're always clamouring for 5Dmk3 Vs Red VS whatever examples. Imagine if we also started doing *which eyelines cut best* or which diffusion vs subject distance works best clips....

jb

Haha, eerie stuff JB. My 1st AD and I were talking about this same idea just yesterday - I've just been introduced to Friday Night Lights, and we were talking about how they managed to get away with breaking the 180 degree rule constantly. We came to the conclusion that they get away with it, because they clearly establish the geography of their scenes in the masters, and then their eyelines are spot on in the close-ups - so there's never any confusion about who's look where.

We're now thinking of doing a test/shoot-out just to see how far we can push things with eyelines and 180 degree rule without confusing the scene in the edit.

CaptainHook
01-30-2013, 01:04 AM
We came to the conclusion that they get away with it, because they clearly establish the geography of their scenes in the masters, and then their eyelines are spot on in the close-ups - so there's never any confusion about who's look where.

Establishing geography then jumping the line is one of the suggested ways to cross the line in the Hollywood Camera Work DVD series. After watching that DVD (several times and counting) i notice it done all the time now in US tv shows, along with the many of the other suggested techniques. That DVD series is REALLY great.

http://www.hollywoodcamerawork.us/mc_index.html

John Brawley
01-30-2013, 03:30 AM
Yeah I think as long as the eyelines match in the close ups, you can pretty much master / wide from anywhere....

jb

Jules
02-01-2013, 06:28 AM
Great, but what if you have a pure CGI character who is supposed to be in frame, not just off-screen? Are the rules the same?

I have a story to film where the character is a kind of hobbit sized goblin. Do I rely on the actors to look down at the right spot or are there other ways that can help?

Cheers,
Jules

morgan_moore
02-01-2013, 06:38 AM
A tennis ball on a stick?

John Brawley
02-01-2013, 06:54 AM
Great, but what if you have a pure CGI character who is supposed to be in frame, not just off-screen? Are the rules the same?

I have a story to film where the character is a kind of hobbit sized goblin. Do I rely on the actors to look down at the right spot or are there other ways that can help?

Cheers,
Jules

yeah the accepted practice is to use a proxy. Either a puppet or as simple as a bit of tape on a c stand arm. Just to give the actors something to interact with and "act" against. the same rules apply with regard to shot size and "fine-nee" of eyeline with regard to close ups. No-one can ever fake their eyes tracking an object that moves...say someone or something that leaves the room, crosses camera etc...

jb

Jules
02-01-2013, 03:41 PM
Thanks Morgan and John,

Proxy it is then.

Jules

Chet
02-02-2013, 08:38 PM
Let me tell ya though - i'm not a dp - I went to film school and knew somethings from books but I was directing an indy feature last year over in Ireland that I was also shooting and playing the lead in. And the eye- thing had me unnerved at times - big time - and miraculously I only had a slight problem with eye lines when i got into the editing room.

I understand where you're coming from, but this is really not a problem for the DP. DP's are lighting/exposure/lensing. Blocking, eye-lines, actor positions/movements, ect... are really up to the director. I've worked with allot of small productions around LA that hire a "DP" and expect them to just be this magic dude that get's the movie "to work". Nope, that's the directors job.

Is it just in the last few years (since DSLRS cam in the scene) that people have started expecting DP's to be the "movie makers" on set, while the directors just give opinions on what they like? I don't get it? There IS an objective skill set to directing, it's not just this "ceremonial" position someone gets to have because they have "an idea" for the film. I'm not calling you out in general... but your post got me reflecting on the last year or so.

CaptainHook
02-02-2013, 08:53 PM
I've always thought blocking/etc was a collaboration between Director and DOP, but that the director always has 'veto' power in the relationship as it's ultimately their vision?

Paul Stephen Edwards
02-02-2013, 09:26 PM
No-one can ever fake their eyes tracking an object that moves...say someone or something that leaves the room, crosses camera etc...

jb

Why is that, do you suppose?

kevin baggott
02-02-2013, 11:16 PM
Hey Chet - I'm just seeing this now - well I wish someone had told me directing was a 'ceremonial position" i could have just sat on my couch eating hagen dazs these last 30 years of trying to make films. I was just talking about eye-lines - "not blocking, actor positions/movements, etc." Trust me - there's alot to learn when it comes to directing feature films my friend. i just spent a year co-writing a script with a director who made many a film that you would know and everyday he told "jesus this making movies - just so much to know....." kurosawa at 81 said "I'm just now learning to make films." If it was only conquering eye lines...... I was also playing the lead actor in that film I was shot. Which also made eye lines trickier then usual. Anyway..... Sorry if I'm coming off shitty/pissy - thank god for this forum and all the peeps here - had they had these forums 30 years ago when i started making films - brother watch out! Id'a been the shit of eye lines!!!!

John Brawley
02-03-2013, 02:40 AM
Why is that, do you suppose?

My guess....

We spend 70% of our time when we look at someone's face looking at their eyes.

We're really really good at picking up when something is not "true". I think when we THINK about the eye performence rather than just doing it automatically...it seems fake.

It just that we spend a lot of time looks at people's faces.... The same way were all really good at picking skin tones....

JB.

John Brawley
02-03-2013, 02:41 AM
I've always thought blocking/etc was a collaboration between Director and DOP, but that the director always has 'veto' power in the relationship as it's ultimately their vision?

There's a spectrum of ways directors like to work.

Some don't want to have much to do with blocking and shot design.

Some are incredibly prescriptive.

Most are somewhere in between.....

JB.

CaptainHook
02-03-2013, 03:46 AM
Do you have a preference for how a Director works John? Does it make it easier for you if they have an idea for blocking/staging or do you not mind either way? Great recent blog entry by the way, was good to read all that background info about Puberty Blues (including how things were left 'loose' in terms of blocking to let the actors move more freely etc). :)

John Brawley
02-03-2013, 06:54 AM
Do you have a preference for how a Director works John? Does it make it easier for you if they have an idea for blocking/staging or do you not mind either way? Great recent blog entry by the way, was good to read all that background info about Puberty Blues (including how things were left 'loose' in terms of blocking to let the actors move more freely etc). :)

Cheers.

You getting Pubes in NZ ?

TV and Films tend to be different. Films generally have a lot more dreaming time. Time where you're with the director, talking about scenes even before the film gets financed. You'll often see three or four drafts and discuss in a lot more details the practicalities and logistics of execution.

Episodic TV drama doesn't really work the same way. Some directors have definite ideas about specific shots, but wont generally have anywhere near the same amount of detailed pre production.

The only time you get to nearly do this is in pre for the very first block.

So a show like Puberty Blues, or Offspring, the show I'm on now, has blocks of two episodes.

Each block has a new Director, script supervisor, AD and Editor. Each episode generally also has a different writer too.

Offspring is a 13 episode series, and we're shooting 46 mins episodes (1 hour with advertisments). The first or last block is a "super block" of three. So that's 14 days to shoot 90 mins of screen time.

That means 5 directors for this series with the setup director (showrunner in the US) returning for the last block.

Each block shoots for 11 days with main unit and three days with second unit.

We shoot every day. The rehearsals for the next block have to somehow happen around the main and second unit shooting. Which basically means the cast are in the middle of shooting two episodes, whilst trying to rehearse with the director for the next two, and usually doing post (adr etc) for the previous two.

I just finished the second block on Friday. That director, AD, script supervisor now move onto second unit from Monday. On the same monday, I've started with the next director, AD script supervisor on the next block while second unit are finishing the previous block.

Because I'm shooting with the main unit, I don't have any time to work with the next incoming director, save what I can manage if we have dinner or meetings during my 45 min lunch break on set.

Usually 3 days before their block starts, the incoming director does a location tech rece. I don't go on these, but my Gaffer and Grip go along, basically to hear what the director is planning. Sometimes they'll want a certain kind of shot or rig, but usually it's more about logistics and where to park the trucks and unit, and if a black out for day for night is possible.

There is NO TIME to really rehearse with the cast for an incoming director. They're too busy shooting on the active block.

There is NO TIME to talk to me beyond the most basic of questions like... "can we do day for night at X's house ?", "Can we do a steadicam shot down the front of Y's office?" or "can we do a speed ramp in Z scene ?"

So as of the first scene on the callsheet, you're basically trying to do the best you can with what you've got. It's really like this...

We have a 3 page scene with 4 characters. I like to run the lines, then let the actors do what I call a "natural" block. Often in this there's important story stuff to do with characters arriving or leaving mid scene, stuff that can't be moved or shifted. stuff int he big print they have to do to move the story.

So the actors will hit those beats and then *play* with the scene. You're basically looking to make discoveries together. AFter the initial block the director will usually comemnt on what they like or don't like and you make changes and go again...then you're asking what can the actors bring to this. is it better when they use the table as a barrier...what if they can't see character X till the third line....workshopping this, usually with the director, script supervisor and the cast while the AD, operators and crew HOD's watch, you form a plan.

We have (lets say) 2 hours scheduled to shoot it, including waiting for cast to return from wardrobe makeup changes. With 4 electrics, 4 grips, 4 Epics and 2 blackmagics, what can we do ? I'm looking for firstly the fastest way to get the most value out of setups. I'm asking myself, how can I most efficiently cover this scene...? Sometimes a one shot steadicam is the answer.....sometimes when you've seen what the cast are doing you realise it will be great if you're outside the room looking in on a dolly....or hand held....?

Each director has different tastes and so I try to tailor my *offers* to those tastes. This director like really really long shots with lots of foreground....so I try to influence the staging to allow for more of that.

Some directors are more visually literate than others. Some are also more prescriptive and will ask cast to start with a certain object, or doing a certain thing....

This is more film style blocking and tends to favour one camera style shooting. In modern TV drama shooting, though it can be done, the problem usually is that you run out of time to do the setups you need to get the shots. And the modern "way" is to let the actors dictate the blocking in this style of coverage where there hasn't been months of pre-production.

An average day for me is 30-35 setups. That's almost always with 2 cameras, and often it's more like 3 or even 4. So that means you're looking at about 60-100 shots per 10 hour shooting day. That's usually 5-8 minutes of screen time but sometimes you're doing more. You're not going to get through more than a setup every 15 mins. No matter if it's one camera or more than one.

Doing single camera film style coverage ends up being a bit indulgent, just because you just can't get through the screen time for the day.

Each scene of course has it's own requirements. Offspring, the show I'm on now has a central character who often talks to herself in the scene and runs commentary of her thoughts as events unfold which we the audience can hear, but no one else can. That tends to mean a special VO run where we are more frontal and closer to this character so we are *with* her....

Episodic TV drama is a machine and it's my belief that my first responsibility is to get the call sheet shot on time without overtime. That's what gets me hired. At this level, it's a given that you can light and shoot. But as the most senior person on set as a constant aside from the cast, I'm also the momentum and consistency. You're also there to guide the director, especially if they're new to the show. In TV the producers are relying on you to keep things running and getting shot. The real challenge is to be creative and think on your feet. Nothing hones your instincts like shooting TV drama. You don't really have time to muck around and you have to trust your instincts and react very quickly. You also have to be able to distil what's important in the scene and storytelling and make sure you hit those story beats....

On a film, you basically have a lot more time. You tend to have a single camera mentality where you're trying to stage for one perspective. And you've been thinking about it for weeks.....

As I said, there is such a range of ways to have this "blocking and staging" relationship with a director. They all can work, but lately i've favoured the more naturalistic actor lead blocking. As long as you have a cast that can trust you enough that when you ask them to go a little further for light or to turn a little later to make sure you don't see the light in the BG before your dollies made it across then you're in good shape.

The bigger problem is when you get cast that do something different each take....

jb

Frank Glencairn
02-03-2013, 07:08 AM
Great read and insight John, thanks for sharing.

Frank

CaptainHook
02-03-2013, 07:45 AM
Ditto to what Frank said, thanks for the thorough reply John! Great read indeed. :)

ryan brown
02-10-2013, 12:11 AM
Great thread, and great post John. Good stuff.

New in town and working as a somewhat entry level DP in hollywood I run across way too many actors that just don't understand what all is involved and what's expected of them as actors. As you said, one of the biggest problems I see with the actors I work with is their lacking of repeatability. That and stepping on each others lines. That very small beat in between two separate dialogues will drive me absolutely crazy in the edit room (I started in this industry as an editor, and still edit a few of the pieces I shoot). I've come to realize that both of these issue's I'm talking about are only mastered with experience. The director can ask the actors over and over again to just repeat what they did on the previous take, but with the less experienced actors, it's difficult.

30-35 setups in a DAY!? I didn't even know that was possible. I suppose the only way to keep it rolling like that is to have that revolving crew you talked about at a constant spin. Crazy... but the thought of that makes me dizzy. Juts shows you why every single person on a working set has to be so very good at their specific job. It really is like a machine, and when one nut or bolt comes loose, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant that bolt is, the entire engine can screech to a halt. When I really think about it all, the logistics of a successful production blows my mind

Anyway... oh yeah... eyelines... where were we...

Rakesh Malik
03-01-2013, 09:02 PM
I'm surprised that people don't shoot shootouts for these kinds of just-as-important filmaking issues. We're always clamouring for 5Dmk3 Vs Red VS whatever examples. Imagine if we also started doing *which eyelines cut best* or which diffusion vs subject distance works best clips....

jb

Knowing the hardware is a lot easier than learning the craft. Any bozo can pick up a camera and shoot with it, but not many people are willing to dedicate the time and effort to developing their craft.

Of course, you'd also expect to see more of discussions like this than about the tools in a forum called "cinematography" :)

So far my experience in matching eyelines is that it mostly requires paying attention to the scene's blocking and staging. I don't have that much experience as a film maker yet, so I still trip over the line now and then, especially since I haven't script supervisors working with me as part of the crew.

A good set of storyboards helps a lot with this though, and it also helps to plan shots to do proper eye tracking. When I started storyboarding shoots (like I said, newbie :)) my eyelines got a lot better, almost overnight. And my shots edited together a LOT better overall.

jambredz
03-01-2013, 11:30 PM
Can you pls tell me John why on Episodic TV one cant just have a single Director / AD/script supervisor for the season? Like the rest of the crew.

CaptainHook
03-02-2013, 04:45 PM
Wiki says:


Some shows have a small stable of directors, but also usually rely on outside directors. Given the time constraints of broadcasting, a single show might have two or three episodes in pre-production, one or two episodes in principal photography, and a few more in various stages of post-production. The task of directing is complex enough that a single director can usually not work on more than one episode or show at a time, hence the need for multiple directors.

And another answer from google-land:


Showrunners love diversifying their director talent pool in order to keep television programs "fresh". While one director might have a knack for helming more dramatic shows, another might excel at comedy or romance.

Lots of episodic (long-arc) shows have different writers on a per-episode basis as well. Some -- like Lost, for instance -- have writers or directors who are hired to write for or direct certain characters.

In the end it's all up to the creator of the show.

Another reason is workload. It's not uncommon for a particular production company to have two or more episodes in different stages of the production pipeline. While one episode is in pre-production, there might be two filming simultaneously and an additional episode in post-production..

jambredz
03-02-2013, 05:41 PM
thanks...interesting stuff.

John Brawley
03-02-2013, 06:11 PM
Can you pls tell me John why on Episodic TV one cant just have a single Director / AD/script supervisor for the season? Like the rest of the crew.

Hi....

Lot's of reasons, but time is the main one. Most of the time when you start shooting a series, it's sometimes starting to go to air while you're still shooting the last eps or shortly thereafter. The delivery to the network is very tight.

Good producers (what american's seem to call show runners) will have plotted but not written the arc of a TV series season by the time we start shooting the first block. It might make more logical sense to have the whole show written before you start, but the good producers do it deliberately. So they can see how the show is going and adjust things along the way. A new character introduced in the first block might not be working out or doing what they wanted so they can more easily write them down or out if they need to. Or add more of them ! The producer I work with, arguably Australia's most successful will tell you we don't have a deep enough pool of talent to do more than 13 episodes a season. In other words, the final episodes aren't even written. And the show's usually have three core writers, plus guest writers that they try out each season.

There's a huge workload for directors on episodic TV drama.

Simple example. Most shows have a guest character that might appear for two or four episodes or even ongoing. But it still has to be cast. Casting takes a long time to do. Same with locations. There might be new ongoing locations, or new "guest" locations. They have to be found and rece'd as well. They are all specific to a two episode block. A director already directing a block has zero time to find new locations and new cast let alone choose them. Directors are also working with the writers on their block, constantly tweaking their scripts and sending things back to the writers for work.

A script supervisor does a lot of work on the script in terms of breaking it down and being across all the fine threads of story. They are wedded to the director with all the small changes and adjustments, most of which come from the director themselves. It makes sense for them to be by their side.

The first is scheduling the block and again, there are specific requirements for each block. This also takes a lot of time to do.

So a series will generally have two script supervisors, two 1st AD's and two editors. They each do alternate blocks. Once the first and script super finish their shooting block, they go straight into pre production for the next block. The editors start a new block the day after the block starts shooting. They are assembling scenes from rushes until we finish shooting and then they generally have the block's shooting time (14 working days in my current case) to edit two one hour episodes with the director and get it to picture lock off. This include producer and network screenings.

I have done a show that was 8 episodes and had the same director / 1st AD. But the show was more self contained. You could pretty much swap the episodes around in story terms. There wasn't the same season arc.

jb

Paul Stephen Edwards
03-03-2013, 01:16 PM
Really cool information, John. It's amazing to see what the television series "workflow" has evolved into.

RE: the eyeline issue... here's a personal example. I shot this for the actresses reel. We had about an hour to write, block, and shoot this. In my haste, I forgot the 180 degree rule.
We were working in a cramped studio, and I went over her wrong side shoulder for the male actor's close-ups.

To fix it, we flipped all of his closeup clips. It changes the motivation of his lighting, but preserved the eyeline which was more valuable.

Here you go: hope you get to learn from my embarrassing mistake. :)

BTW, this is BMCC footage.

https://vimeo.com/60947382

jambredz
03-03-2013, 02:05 PM
In the above case I prob would have left out the Wide (frontal) shot of the dude reading the book so as not to give the audience any idea of that angle (lighting and set design), hence obscuring the flip more. I think the reverse (00:11)of that shot is sufficient the let the audience know he is reading a book.

Paul Stephen Edwards
03-03-2013, 04:05 PM
In the above case I prob would have left out the Wide (frontal) shot of the dude reading the book so as not to give the audience any idea of that angle (lighting and set design), hence obscuring the flip more. I think the reverse (00:11)of that shot is sufficient the let the audience know he is reading a book.

Good call. This was my first time working with FCP X and I think that I was so focused on learning the program and correcting the eyeline issue that I lost sight of the bigger picture. Thanks!

John Brawley
03-04-2013, 06:33 AM
To fix it, we flipped all of his closeup clips. It changes the motivation of his lighting, but preserved the eyeline which was more valuable.


While it CAN work sometimes...the problem with this solution, is that people's faces aren't symmetrical. It's really obvious when you do this in a film where you've gotten to know someone's face, and really bad on someone that's well known. it just looks weird.

http://www.youbeauty.com/face/galleries/face-symmetry-of-celebrities

jb

CaptainHook
03-04-2013, 03:10 PM
It's also weird seeing your own face for most of your life in a mirror where as everyone else sees you "flipped".. I always find seeing a photo of myself weird for this reason.

Paul Stephen Edwards
03-04-2013, 11:22 PM
It's definitely not a solution that I care to fall back on ever again. I think that I'll just stick to the good old 180 rule. :)