Camera Set-up, Shots

Set up of camera

The first and last minute of all tapes is more prone to damage during loading and ejection, so use this portion for non-crucial material. Record 1 minute of color bars and tone (-20db for digital, 0db for analog) at the beginning of the tape. If the camera does not record color bars, record 1 minute with the lens cap on. Edit controllers require continuous, unbroken timecode during postproduction, as well as 10 seconds of preroll before each edit. Do not reset the timecode while recording! The one minute of bars or black at the beginning of the tape will also provide necessary preroll time for the edit controller to play back tapes at the proper speed. Material recorded less than 10 seconds into the start of a tape cannot be accessed by the edit controller and will not be used in editing.

All cameras and decks should be set to DropFrame (DF) recording, 48Khz or 16-bit sound.

Do not attempt to do in-camera editing of image or sound, such as fade-ins or outs.

Camera Placement

Cameras should be positioned in such a way as to be:

  • close enough to the subject so that the camera doesn't have to be zoomed in all the way to compose a medium shot; the long lens shots should be steady
  • closer to a frontal or head-on angle than a profile; the camera doesn't need to be directly in front of a speaker, but you should see both eyes clearly; avoid side angles or profiles even if they are closer to the speaker
  • near the eye level height of the speaker, so you're not shooting up someone's nose or looking down onto the top of their head
  • unobscured by people walking or sitting in front of the camera
  • to the side of walkways so it's not interfering with foot traffic (this will also lessen the chance someone will bump the tripod)

Camera Shots

Everyone who speaks and is seen or heard on camera should have clean audio and pleasing and sufficient lighting. Recording should start before the host or introductory speaker reaches the microphone and should end only after the last applause. The use of both close-ups and wider shots are desirable to enhance production value and maintain viewer interest. However, if zooming during the course of a lecture is unsteady or jerky due to camera-subject distance and zoom length, then a steady, static shot is preferred. A variable zoom controller is necessary for all "hot" moves and will reduce camera jitter. While recording a lecture, you must realize that the camera is always "hot". If you are able to use more than one camera make sure that each is assigned different looking shots. One should concentrate on the close up while the other concentrates on the wide shot.

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