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Mimik
07-10-2004, 02:05 PM
hi guys,
I'm planning on shooting documentary where friend of mine will be conducting the interviews and I will be doing DP. There will be a lot of natural behavior recordings, so I'm trying to figure out how to create that invisible wall between the subject and me. Anyone of you who have done documentaries have suggestions for this type of shooting situation??

M.

Slapdragon
07-10-2004, 02:39 PM
hi guys,
I'm planning on shooting documentary where friend of mine will be conducting the interviews and I will be doing DP. There will be a lot of natural behavior recordings, so I'm trying to figure out how to create that invisible wall between the subject and me. Anyone of you who have done documentaries have suggestions for this type of shooting situation??

M.

Here is how I do it in ethnographic work.

1) Do not speak while the subject is in the room.
2) Have your stuff already setup.
3) Do not stand at the camera. If you must, get an LCD and each phones and hold it in your lap while you sit.
4) Dress down, but not to far down. Wear a polo shirt and khakis, shave, get a hair cut, and be unremarkable in general.
5) Do not wear logos.
6) Arrange the place you are shooting from to be darker than the rest of the room.
7) Teach the researcher how to position the microphone, or swicth to a PZM which looks like table clutter instead of a mic and gets both people.

Guest
07-12-2004, 07:17 AM
Most recently I've been shooting a BTS (behind the scenes) documentary for the DVD release of a Warner Bros film, whereby being able to be a fly on the wall is essential. First off, your gear should attract as little attention as possible - as in, nix the tripod (but use some other kind of support) & light kit (but have a dimmable on-camera light available) - that is, unless you're doing a sit down interview. Also, I assume you're using the DVX, it's small size will go far in letting them forget about your presence. Also, it wouldn't be a bad idea to cut the cord, & go wireless from your soundman to yourself, that way you can position yourselves anywhere - especially useful in tight spaces. People WILL notice you initially, however, with time they WILL forget your presence, especially if you are able to draw as little attention to yourself as possible.

J_Barnes
07-12-2004, 09:16 AM
One of the biggest mistakes that beginning doc crews makes is that they discuss technical problems in front of the subject. Something about hearing a bunch of technical jargon pulls people right back into the fact that they're on the spot.

All tech talk should be discussed and decided beforehand, no questions should come up during the interview, and any problems should be solved very quietly and as far away from the talent as possible. Ideally while giving the talent something to do to distract them from your crew (ie-any extra release forms or contact info sheets are perfect busy work)

Also, it can be very distracting if the interviewer has a monitor...as he/she will likely be checking it periodically during the interview...once again reminding the subject that they're on camera.

It's best to just trust the DP and concentrate on notes and the subject.

ransom
08-10-2004, 09:02 AM
Todd, can you reveal the wb movie so we can check out your work when it's out? thanks.

Todd_Mattson
08-10-2004, 02:17 PM
It's Richard Linklater's version of Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly", which won't be out for eons, as they are rotoscoping it, a la "Waking Life", except they're aiming for one look.

Todd_Mattson
08-10-2004, 02:18 PM
Um, that should read Philip K. Dick. ;D

Todd_Mattson
08-10-2004, 02:19 PM
Um, why won't this board let me write out D-i-c-k, that is an actual name? ???

donnyshawn
08-12-2004, 05:19 AM
Another little trick I use, if I have time, is just following the subjects around with the camera prior to the interview. I do not hide my presence during this time (not blatantly obvious either) I just act as if I'm taping different things they're doing (often don't actually roll tape). Usually within 1/2 an hour, people have forgotten a camera is watching their every move.