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The Opportunities And Limitations In Using A Single Camera

832 words - 3 pages

The Opportunities and Limitations in Using a Single Camera

In the early days of film making the director would not have the
choice of using the multi-camera setups and editing suites that we
have today. He or she would have just one camera to shoot all the
shots needed and then when it came to the editing process, all the
shots would need to be selected, the different frames sliced apart,
and spliced back together in the desired order. As you can imagine
this was a time consuming process, and although this appeared to be a
big limitation on some television genre's at the time such as sit-com
and live broadcasts, it allowed the film industry to flourish.

The use of the single camera drew the director into a more creative
role leaving open the opportunity to work more closely with actors,
and to get the best results from them. Because of the number of shots
needing to be taken rehearsals are more intense, and need to be
practiced down to a T. Using a single camera you can mimic the look of
multi camera setups by repeating the scene as many times as needed to
get all the angles, generally the shots that are needed are; master
shot, medium shot and close-ups, with any cutaways that are needed
filmed at the end. The rushes are then edited together into the final
piece. Although this method is extremely time consuming, and gruelling
for the actors, it allows the director to push the actors, and to get
across exactly what is in his mind.

Another creative opportunity opened up by the single camera was the
use of imagined space, i.e. in real life a man leaves his house and
walks to the shop, in film you see him leaving his house, cut, and
then he is entering the shop, the walk is completely missed out. This
is a great time saving device, allowing more of the action to be
packed into the show, but also offers great creative ideas, especially
for mystery and crime films where suspense can be created by not
knowing what's lurking around the next corner.

Casting for a film is very important, as you need the right people to
act the roles that the director has in his head, but a good actor also
needs to be quite patient concentrated and rehearsed, for shots have
to be repeated many times.

One of the problems of multi-camera techniques is that it's not
portable. You can not enter peoples' homes and setup a full 6 or seven
camera studio, its just not practical or cost effective. This is
certainly not a problem of single camera techniques, allowing much

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