Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How Many Cameras?

Some people want to know how many cameras are used to shoot a movie. In Hollywood, bigger budgeted movies, especially action movies will use two or more-- maybe even up to 8 or 10 on a big money shot. But shooting something "film style" usually denotes one camera. Television will shoot four or five.

However, when we can afford it, I like to shoot with two cameras in my "film style." It makes lighting and sound a little more difficult (you have to make sure both shots are lit and boom shadows have fewer places to hide). "The Imposter" was shot with two almost all the way. On the set, it's usually called "A" cam and "B" cam. On lower budgets, the DP (Director of Photography) will operate the A camera. Ron Gonzalez did this. "B" camera was operated platoon style. Some was Co-Producer Courtney Price, some was me.

As a director, I really enjoy operating. It's not easy. And once I tried to direct a movie while operating the one and only A cam. That was a bad idea. But jumping in on B Camera now and then was great on Imposter.

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