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View Full Version : Cueing/Synchronizing Movement?



Rogue Crew
08-30-2004, 12:27 PM
Here's the scene:
Interior static medium-long shot in a large room. Actress in left third, in long explanatory speech, 3 others in scene listening. 15 seconds into the scene, actress starts to move left to right and then back toward center, still speaking, still the primary scene character. Her movement is slow, causual, almost absent-minded.

- The camers could remain static, but it looks kind of goofy - like a film of a stage play.
- I want to pan slightly giving actress plenty of face space on left to right movement and pan back with her, just enough to leave her on the right third mark when she stops pacing.

I'm having two problems. Cueing actress and camera to start movement at the same time and syncing the two for start, reverse-direction and stop in the right place. I can't fault the actress. She is consistant in rehersals and (wasted) shoots. I'm the sucker behind the camera and I always seem to be behind. It's not too bad on the turn and the stop. In fact on the stop, I let the pan run a little beyond to return to the original framing, but leaving the talent on the other side of the screen.

I need guidance, please.

J_Barnes
08-30-2004, 12:39 PM
Your actress sounds like she's consistent enough to have, at the very least, a "mental mark" of her scene. She probably knows exactly what line she moves on, what line she turns on, and what line she stops on. Since she already has rehearsed the move, you should be following her, not cueing her...so the cameraperson (you) has to take cues from the actor's lines.

Knowing that she's going to move on a certain line allows the camera man to anticipate her moves and adjust accordingly.

If you can't get your camera to follow her in the way you want, you have two choices...have someone else shoot the scene, or shoot it a different way.

Also, this is a matter of personal taste, but from the scene you described I would want to be able to edit in reaction shots of the three other people in the scene and at least one semi-close on the speaking actor. That means you've got coverage and cutaways...allowing you to cover up moments of imperfect framing.

Are you shooting a single-take master for any reason in particular?

Rogue Crew
08-30-2004, 12:57 PM
The whole scene is about 2 1/2 minutes long with several reaction shots, including some of this actress during this long speech (the speech is longer than the movement), but they are before and after she has done the pacing bit, which is only about 22 seconds of the whole scene. But for dramatic reasons, I want those 22 seconds as a single shot.

The fault is definately all mine. I'm so concerned about jerky camera movement that my pan is slow to start every time.

J_Barnes
08-30-2004, 01:06 PM
Lock the camera down then. Let your actor move the scene.

it's hard to give suggestions because it's really all personal taste and style, and only you really know yours.

GenJerDan
08-30-2004, 02:10 PM
You're shooting dead-on? Maybe try going off to the left, so her pacing is more toward and away from the camera (leaving the other 3 more in the background than the side). That should decrease the amount of panning needed and soften the reversal.

NB: I've been up for 18 hours, and heavily medicated, and don't know what the scene's mood should be...so this may be totally inappropriate.

Dan

Rogue Crew
08-30-2004, 07:42 PM
You're shooting dead-on? Maybe try going off to the left, so her pacing is more toward and away from the camera (leaving the other 3 more in the background than the side). That should decrease the amount of panning needed and soften the reversal.

Ooooh! There's and idea! I wouldn't be pressured to start the pan the second she moved and if I set it up right, I wouldn't even have to pan back on her reverse - she would just walk into place. I like it and it will definitely be the next set-up.

It's amazing what a tired, medicated pair of eyes can bring to a scene. ;)

Thanks Dan.

PS - What's the medication you're using? ;D

GenJerDan
08-31-2004, 06:42 AM
It's amazing what a tired, medicated pair of eyes can bring to a scene. ;)

Thanks Dan.

I live to serve.

Ummm....no...I live to eat.

No...wait a sec...that's not right...

We who are about to die...

Damn. Where're my meds?