Equipping You to Communicate Effectively
| support CMN & share a |
library of 19K+ images, videos, etc
|General Video Production Editing systems and software, cameras, mixers and more!|
| ||Thread Tools||Search this Thread||Rate Thread||Display Modes|
Question re camera placement, small venue
At my small church we're finally getting a 2 fixed camera, live switching setup - mainly for webcasting services.
The venue is perhaps 60 feet wide and 30 deep (or a bit more - see illustration.)
Our consultant/installer has mounted the cameras about 6 feet apart on the center of the back wall. (Positions D and E in the plan)
As our pastor tends to wander over a 10' patch (mainly left to right) I don't see how we can any significant camera angle variation in the streamed video. (He won’t stay framed in a head and shoulders close uop for long, leaving me with medium wide and wide angle shots for my variation.)
I was thinking D and G (or H) in the plan, but I'm used to (and maybe my mind is stuck on) more angular separation of the cameras
Any thoughts and suggestions will be appreciated.
Placement of camera positions should be driven by the following factors:
Regarding delivery vehicle your post states that the primary delivery is webcasting. This is very important as this will dictate a number of things including the prioritizing of shots. For these “broadcast” delivery vehicles tight shots of the presenter allowing facial expression, loose shots of the presenter allowing body language, wide shots of the room establishing the venue and reversal shots of the congregation are all equally important. I would encourage you NOT to fall into the trap of shooting only from the proscenium (or downstage-lip) in (or upstage). The congregation is part of "the story" being told. They (and their reaction to the message) is 50% of your available content. Your limiting factor however is only having two cameras, which is a very real hurdle that there is not an easy solution for aside from adding cameras.
Should the delivery vehicle change in the future, the prioritization of shots should change and therefore the camera locations. Unfortunately, you have chosen the most challenging delivery vehicle to start with! I-Mag (only) is simplest. Second venue is typically a bit harder and broadcast in all its variations is the most difficult.
Regarding the dimensions of the room, because your room plays width wise instead of length wise two camera coverage will be more difficult than if the room played the opposite direction. This is due to the fact that the pastor will attempt eye contact over a 160 degree area (based on the dimensions you gave and rough drawing), verses if the room played the opposite direction the pastor would only need to make eye contact with a 75 degree area. You should attempt to keep each camera in a position which maintains eye contact for the greatest amount of time as possible. The further you push the camera positions off to the side, the harder this will be to accomplish.
Lens characteristics: You post does not state that the camera or lens types
The ability to frame artistically acceptable shots: is really what your post boils down to. Understand that the standard three camera “I Love Lucy” model where there is one camera center, typically on a loose follow shot (head-to-toe) with two other cameras with each about 25-45 degrees off center flanking the center camera, shooting close-up or extreme close-up shots was intended for scripted content. As the content becomes less scripted, as the area (or areas) which you are shooting in become larger and as elements are added to the “show” like a worship band, etc.; the number of cameras needed to adequately cover the event increases.
Sight-line obstruction avoidance for the live in-the-service audience: is for you a mute point IF the cameras are lensed acceptably to achieve acceptable shots from the back wall of the room. For others however this point is an important issue to contend with.
Distraction avoidance for the live in-the-service audience: again here is a mute point for you IF the cameras are lensed acceptably to achieve acceptable shots from the back wall of the room. As cameras are added and “hard” camera operators are added, or moving cameras like handhelds, steadycams, dollys and jibs are added this is an important issue to contend with.
If I were in your shoes and I had to do a webcast with your room dimensions I would likely sacrifice the off-center angle shots which depending on how often the pastor looks off center across that 175 degree arc might only be useful to me 1/3rd of the time (assuming he gives equal eye contact to house left, house center and house right). I would then place BOTH cameras directly on center-line from the stage (assuming the lectern, podium and his 10’ walking area is center). The tight shot camera MUST be at eye level to the presenter. So, if you have a 4’ stage and the presenter is 6’ tall I want the tight shot camera to be EXACTLY at 10’ off the floor. I would then place the loose shot camera directly below the tight shot camera (assuming there are not obstructions like audiences heads). Yes, in doing so I am giving up off-angle coverage, but I am now guaranteeing that I can use both cameras 100% of the time, and since I only have two cameras this is a much higher priority to me than anything else.
The real solution is to add more cameras! The compromise solution is to put both cameras center (in my opinion).
New York City by day & Monmouth County, NJ by night
Thanks! Great discussion which has really helped me tjinking this through.
FWIW - no IMag - we don't need it in such a small room.
The cameras are SD, we tend to do our promotional video work in HD, but I can see mixing in some video from the fixed cameras in edit for the promotional work.*
Shots of the congregation - I tend towards the idea that at any given moment, someone in the congregation is involved in a very private worship moment and that privacy should be respected. (Our pastor is more open to showing the congregation during worship, so the issue is open!)
There is no wrong or right on this, of course.
But 2 cameras are all we will have for the foreseeable future.
But your comments inspire a thought, especially re "setting the scene" -- I can see getting some still shots right at the beginning of the service - quickly transferring them to the control computer and mixing them into the video stream --- [Wow! For example, great way to transition between "sets" as, say, the praise team moves in. Thanks!]
I should have mentioned - the pastor looks and makes eye-contact mainly stage center and stage left - probably 80% of the time. (People generally sit stage right only when the center and s-left seats are filled.
I haven't actually worked with the system yet - installation isn't completed, but with the center position camera and his amount of movement, I cannot frame a head and shoulders close up and have any assurance he will remain in the frame for any period of time.
As he tends to move left-right (as marked in the rough plan) and he tends to look stage left, I figure an "off axis" angle from stage left will allow me to frame tighter (along the axis of his movement) with better assurance of his remaining in the frame than for tight framing from right angles to his axis of movement.
RE: >>Lens characteristics and the viability to change-out cameras or lenses
I just don't know yet - the installer "consultant" isn't very communicative
>>The ability to frame artistically acceptable shots
I'm thinking two cameras from essentially the same angle are pretty much duplicative - I can choose between medium wide and wide angle (where head to waist = medium wide)
If I have a camera off axis, I have at least twice the number of shots, and probably add a close up option with the off axis camera.
>>Sight-line obstruction avoidance for the live in-the-service audience
The cameras are mounted about 8' up behind the congregation. (If I mount one "off axis it will still be out of the conscious view of all
>>Distraction avoidance for the live in-the-service audience
I'm not sure what that means.
Thanks again, you've really helped me clarify my thinking.
= = =
* Mixing SD & HD. An example - we are starting a project of short witness videos (to share between the 2 services and on the web.) One of the subjects some folks might discuss is "What's one specific message you've learned from Pastor Julian?" If we happen to have fideo from the service on HD, I can see possibly mixing a short shot into the witness (which we record in HD)
>> Shots of the congregation - I tend towards the idea that at any given moment, someone in the congregation is involved in a very private worship moment and that privacy should be respected. (Our pastor is more open to showing the congregation during worship, so the issue is open!)
This is obviously a question which each church will debate and grapple with in their own way. If production is for I-Mag it’s a mute point. If the delivery vehicle is broadcast (television, cable, live-streaming, vod or DVDs, etc.) then need for audience shots increases dramatically in my opinion. At the 2012 Gurus of Tech conference in Chicago, four famous live TV Director’s were interviewed and they were all unanimous on two points … the need for a A.D.; and the need for audience shots. I think we would do well to consider their advice.
>> but with the center position camera and his amount of movement, I cannot frame a head and shoulders close up and have any assurance he will remain in the frame for any period of time.
This is the reason for the two cameras coming from the same angle. One to be on a safe shot, head-to-toe for example, the other on a tight shot, for example head-to-chest. As soon as the pastor makes a break out of the head-to-chest frame your director cuts to the head-to-toe shot. You then have time to reframe the head-to-chest shot if needed and when the pastor stays put for a moment you can then cut back to the head-to-chest.
It is here that 95% of all PTZ systems are at a disadvantage. A decent camera operator on a good tripod will always be able to follow the Pastor better than a PTZ.
>> and he tends to look stage left, I figure an "off axis" angle from stage left will allow me to frame tighter (along the axis of his movement) with better assurance of his remaining in the frame than for tight framing from right angles to his axis of movement.
You may want to rethink that as an off-axis shot. If framed off-axis keeping the “rule of thirds” in mind you will have the image of the Pastor occupying less framing real-estate (occupying only about 1/3rd the frame as people are smaller in profile than they are head-on) than a similar field-of-view framing coming from the front (occupying usually ½ the frame, unless of course they are "big-boned" as I in which case they will occuply more than 1/2 the frame). I admit, I am splitting hairs on this argument though.
Final thought ... eye contact, eye contact, eye contact! Have I made my point?
New York City by day & Monmouth County, NJ by night
Tom's offered some invaluable information not just for this particular situation but also in general. Lots of good stuff there!
Because of budgets and use, I encounter numerous venues where they may have a couple of installed cameras and then bring in portable cameras for special events. In those cases, for the installed cameras I almost always end up with something similar to the clustered two camera arrangement Tom noted.
There may also be a desired result oriented factor. Cuts between radically different shots might be used to great artistic affect but are likely to create something other than the experience of being in attendance (and can get distracting if overused). Overhead or high angle shots can be dramatic, but is drama what you want?
You may also have to consider your lighting. Ideally the lighting would be perfect and not have to be considered, but that is not always a practical reality and in many cases you may want to consider how the shots might be affected by your lighting. An off-center shot that has everyone's faces in shadow may limit the value of that shot.
Thanks for all the good observations!
Rethinking my reluctance to include congregation shots, now I'm thinking locating my second camera at 'H' in the rough plan - which gives me the choice of using that camera for (1) CU along the pastors path of movement and (ii) shots of the congregation with some faces showing....
We have a similar set up in our small auditorium. We are using the D & H camera placement. "D" works fine for head-on shots and "H" works for pulpit side shots and audience. I would go with those.
|The Following User Says Thank You to racersax For This Useful Post:|
rjwalker (Saturday, June 30th, 2012)