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The Opportunities and Limitations of Single Camera Drama

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THE OPPORTUNITIES AND LIMITATIONS OF SINGLE CAMERA DRAMA 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. ...read more.


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 increased accessibility, but with it comes an increased responsibility towards the law, both in assuring the health and safety of the crew and any member of public whose facilities are being used for the shoot, and any legal issues that need to be cleared up in pre-production. A full risk assessment of all considered sets to ensure that the proper facilities are present and the lives of any crew member is not at risk, i.e. ...read more.


The weather can effect the shoot quite badly as we realised on our odd one out shoot, when on the first day the weather was cold but relatively dry, and on the other days of shooting it was snowing. This would have offered some serious continuity problems if we had not have taken all the outdoor shots on the first day. It is possible and more economical to shoot all similar scenes on the same day, this saves you having to move equipment and crew around from place to place, and saves on transport costs. As in some professional productions, crew and actors may be flown in from anywhere in the world, this can become quite expensive and so the lower these costs can be kept the better. The use of the single camera is very useful, mainly for the artistic side of program making; it allows the director to put his own opinions and view of the world into reality. It is not however suitable for every program genre as it does not allow for quick editing and is a very slow process, well trained actors are needed and a close eye needs to be kept on continuity. By Anthony Dziendziel ...read more.

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