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twelvetwelves
10-17-2013, 03:29 PM
Hi guys,

we have a shoot in the next weeks and the script is very dialogue based. so i',m thinking about how to shoot it? normally you have in dalogue scenes different camera angles etc. but is it good to shoot completly every dialogue in every angle (master shot, shot/reverse shot etc. etc)? i imagine that this will take very much time..including false takes etc..
maybe you have some advices and/or links in the internet where something is described?
hope you can help me guys!
best
grégory

Fresno Bob
10-17-2013, 04:28 PM
I would start looking at the most basic guides out there. Possibly on more general filmmaking sites, not camera ones like this

Shoot the master first. Then come in for your coverage.

Frank Glencairn
10-17-2013, 05:00 PM
shoot completly every dialogue in every angle (master shot, shot/reverse shot etc. etc)? i imagine that this will take very much time..including false takes etc..

Yup, that's exactly how it is usually done, unless you have a multi camera multi angle setup, like on most TV shows.

kevin baggott
10-17-2013, 05:20 PM
try and get another camera - a pocket camera - and shoot both sides at the same time - helps with continuity too.

twelvetwelves
10-17-2013, 06:10 PM
Yup, that's exactly how it is usually done, unless you have a multi camera multi angle setup, like on most TV shows.

hm i thought that...maybe we have to think once again about our shooting list, because some dialogues have so many angles that i think it is too much to shoot every angle completly.


try and get another camera - a pocket camera - and shoot both sides at the same time - helps with continuity too.

i have a pocket cam, but it is not equipped atm. no cards etc. have to buy them next days. but still would need another operator for that b-cam. dont know if we will find one.

funwithstuff
10-17-2013, 06:39 PM
Yes, shooting dialogue in the traditional one-camera model can take a while; lots of setups, lots of repetition. If you can find an extra operator, shooting multicam can:

1. Make editing much easier
2. Allow the actors to improvise more

But...

1. Keeping the lights, cameras, wires and crew out of both shots can be hard
2. Lighting for both cameras can be hard too

That said, multicam is awesome, especially for live events and interviews where you might be able to get away with leaving a camera to record unattended.

twelvetwelves
10-17-2013, 09:05 PM
Guess we will go that Way with One Camera setup

Joe Giambrone
10-17-2013, 10:20 PM
From a screenwriting POV one wants to break up large blocks of dialogue with action, interruptions, props, something.

Endless talk is just that. There's a couple films I can recall where long ass dialogue actually worked out well, but I can't even be sure how often they cut away. First is Closetland, with two actors and one location. The other is My Dinner With Andre. Both had very intense dialogue with a lot behind it. Every word matters. That's really hard to do successfully.

innerspark
10-18-2013, 01:35 AM
The "Before" trilogy is also an excellent example of super dialogue heavy film making. But in those movies the characters move from places, which can obviously be more challenging.

I actually prefer single camera method with usually 3-4 full takes, if it's a short, and the budget/time/location constraints also make it an issue. Master, two mediums (generally not a fan of OTS, as I prefer clean singles, but it also depends on the film/shot) and a series of pre-planned close ups. B-roll for later. But that's my preference as a Director/Writer. I am NOT a DP, so if there is a significant technical issue making it intensely more practical to do it another way, then I will yield to my DP (unless I have to DP the shot as well), but that's how I like to do. Isolate a performance and make the magic in the cutting room.

I'm shooting a 33 page short film that's ALL dialogue, and that's how I plan to continue. Having dedicated, professional and talented actors with great rehearsals also help. I guess that's what makes all the difference.

My .02

MiguelFranco
10-18-2013, 04:23 AM
A lot of useful tips here. I too prefer the one camera solution, even taking longer time, because of all of the hassle of lighting and framing for 2 cameras, but also because you can really focus on that specific shot, and not in two or three (also, you can get it quicker with just one camera, sometimes its difficult to make everything go well on all cameras at a time). My final advice is to really work with your actors, rehearse as much as you can, shoot some rehearsal, with light and sound and everything to get them on the mood, and you should be good to go, provided you know the "rules" and when and why you can or should break those rules.

markmwilliams
10-18-2013, 05:05 AM
The other tip I have for dialogue is to get full takes on each shot. Even if your actors blow their lines during the take you may have some great stuff earlier / later in the take that could be absolute gold in the edit - so keep rolling. I encourage them to continue even if they fluff unless they fluff it so badly that it all falls to pieces. On every shoot I've ever done there has been a great moment that I've used in the final edit from what could be considered a blown take.

I shoot both multi camera and single camera for these type of set ups and my personal experience is that you generally get better shots on single camera even though set up may take longer.

And especially on single camera shoots, do encourage your actors to give a full performance even when the camera isn't focussed on them. It really helps the actor who you are focussing on to give a great performance.

Just some general advice...

Tim Hole
10-18-2013, 05:57 AM
Traditionally yeah you have some kind of a master shot, a two-shot from each side and a single medium close up/close up depending on what kind of scene it is and how much we know the characters at the moment (is the audience comfortable with the intruding on the characters personal space at this point in the story, or do you want the audience to feel intrusive).

Always try to do longer takes, try not to segment too much—do as much as the actors are comfortable doing in a single take. Don't put too much pressure on them though. Always have the other character off-camera for both eye-line and someone to converse with. This is important as it does come across forced and odd if not.

Try to get a few cutaways if you can to assist in the edit. Personally I always like to have my characters doing something, and I plan dialogue to be done in motion or whilst they are physically doing something wherever possible. Obviously we rarely just sit and talk. We are very good at multitasking in reality.

I would recommend purchasing Hollywood Camerawork course in future. It's well worth the money and you will learn more than a film school will ever teach you about camera blocking and directing from this course.

twelvetwelves
10-18-2013, 11:49 AM
And especially on single camera shoots, do encourage your actors to give a full performance even when the camera isn't focussed on them. It really helps the actor who you are focussing on to give a great performance.





Try to get a few cutaways if you can to assist in the edit. Personally I always like to have my characters doing something, and I plan dialogue to be done in motion or whilst they are physically doing something wherever possible. Obviously we rarely just sit and talk. We are very good at multitasking in reality.

I would recommend purchasing Hollywood Camerawork course in future. It's well worth the money and you will learn more than a film school will ever teach you about camera blocking and directing from this course.


thanks for those advices! will use them.
and i will definitly take a look on this hollywood camera work. heard often about it!

Tim Hole
10-18-2013, 11:54 AM
I apologise Mark, I repeated part of what you had already stated. Must have missed it.

Michael Carter
10-18-2013, 03:06 PM
All good points above - and plenty has been said, written & taught along these lines.

What seems to separate the men from the boys (so to speak) are cutting decisions - when wide, when close. When really close. Handheld or not?

Everyone remembers "Run Lola Run" fro crazy shots and a wild story... nobody mentions how wonderfully Twyker shot the tense scenes between Lola, her father and his lover. Really powerfully done, but done so well you didn't notice cuts or angles.

So I'd say, try to watch some masterful scenes that are close in feel to what you're shooting if you're new at this. Ask yourself why framing and edit decisions were made. Conversations have a pace and rhythm. Maybe from tense to furious, maybe from worried to hysterical to relieved, whatever... shot choice brings it home.