Unit 23: Multi-Camera Techniques
Assignment 01 - Multi-Camera Case Study
Multi-Camera is a method in which multiple cameras (two or more) are used during a shoot. It is used in both film and television. The multiple-camera setup is especially advantageous in terms of being able to record simultaneously, and to film from a number of different angles - thus giving you a wider range of shots (to be edited later in post-production).
(As a prime example for my case study) I have chosen to focus on QI’s multi-camera production format. QI (‘Quite Interesting’ for short) is a British comedy panel game and TV quiz show. The panel consists of four participants (typically people with a stand-up ...view middle of the document...
When Stephen Fry asks a question, it’s down to which contestant buzzes first, using multi-cam is the only practical way to cut to a person or object; multi-cam is also a feasible way of following the pace of the show and thus ensuring a sense of fluidity throughout. The multi-cam format is efficient and reliable. It is also useful for filming soaps / sitcoms, allowing for an entire scene to run without interuption (i.e. re-positioning of a single camera to create a new angle). The only downside to multi-cam is that it doesn’t quite have the same aesthetic quality of a single camera, this is especially obvious in film. A single camera allows for a more immersive experience (through the feel and atmosphere of a particular scene).
In QI there are three tables, the main presenter (Stephen Fry) and four contestants. The show is also comedic thanks in part to the contestants - typically comedians (or with a comedy background), therefore capturing the jokes and reactions allows the audience (the viewers) to understand and interpret what they see, and to make the show entertaining as well. Multi-cam is great for capturing ‘comedic battles’ between contestants, accompanied by a shot(s) of the audience laughing / clapping. With a single camera the show would be longer, and reactions from the audience (such as laughter, etc) would simply not be shown. Also, a single camera would require a number of re-shoots in order to capture the reactions of other contestants, the main issue with this – say for example the same joke is heard four times over, the reactions would pale in comparison to the very first time. This would dampen the overall appeal of the show and make it generally less entertaining. QI is a pre-recorded show, the multi-camera format works by shooting the entirety of the programme, editing it down (for airing on TV); the more interesting and successful jokes, puns, comedic gestures, etc remain in the final cut - provided there is enough running time to fit most of them in.
QI has in fact a very standardized setup in terms of the presenter being in the middle, with the contestants on either...