Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Unit 21: Single-Camera Techniques

Task 1 (P1, M1, D1)

In the media the 'single camera setup' is where a scene is filmed with one camera, where shots 1,3,5 and 7 would be shot pointing towards one actor in a conversation the director will then have shots 2,4,6 and 8 filmed. The shots will then be edited to appear as one fluent scene. This is possible as they are not live broadcasts. Whereas a 'multi-camera setup' involves many cameras that are connected to a video mixer then mixed to a single tape and broadcasted through cable or the airwaves. The scene will be shot by many cameras simultaneously and the director has a choice of which shot to use whether they are broadcasting live or filming. Multi-camera set-ups are facilitated to record chronologically according to the script, where as it will be more time consuming to do this with a single-camera format, so scenes which use the same actors and sets are filmed together.

Dramas such as Ugly Betty and Pheonix Nights, music videos, commercials, some documentaries and most films are recorded using a single-camera method as the director has more control over each shot. Multi-camera formats are used in soap operas, talk shows, live sport events such as Football etc, this is because the director then has a choice of which angle to use and when during editing.(1) The Multi camera format also enables, for the live events such as the sport events, the whole game to be recorded. It also allows all angles to be covered as with a single camera format this would be impossible.



Within a single camera format different shots are used to maximise the advantages of a single camera recording. The Master Shot is a wide shot of a scene that establishes the major elements, the action and dialogue are taped from the master shot before the closer shots are done, this is to give the director a view of the whole shot and decide where and what shots he wants to use on the closer shots.(4)

Single Camera Set-up.

Directors of single-camera shows also feel that by filming a single-camera programme appears more real and has a greater impact on the audience making it more relatable. (6)

Everybody Loves Raymond.

Single camera formats are also more convenient as not all crew need to be there as it is shot. It also means that other scenes in different locations can be done simultaneously, providing the same actor is not needed. Awkward shots can be shot easier in a single camera set up as the cameraman can move with the camera and be inbetween actors. (8) Single camera formats also enable special effects and lookalike doubles to be added with less complications than in a multi camera set up. Single camera set ups also allow fast paced editing or a more natural look.

The multi-camera technique is used for programmes such as the News, Talk shows such as Jeremy Kyle, Football games and concerts, this is because talk shows and the News that are not live are made to appear live. Whereas live football games would be impossible to film and get every shot with one camera so are therefore filmed with the multiple camera set up. This set up has advantages, where the lighting in a single camera setup can prove difficult due to the white balance needing to be continuous the lighting; in a multi camera format the lighting would not be as difficult. (9) It is also less time consuming as every angle is shot the director will rarely have to re-shoot any scenes, this also means the director has a choice of shots so can pick the one they believe is most successful, were in a single camera set up the director may have to record the same scene numerous times to get the best shots. The mulit-camera technique can be less expensive, as less hours are required from the crew. As the scenes can be done in sequence it can prove easier editing to a single camera production.

Jeremy Kyle, Multi camera set up.

Foot Notes.
1. Class notes.
6. Class notes

Task 2. (P1, M1, D1)

Series, Serials.

A series is a programme such as,
The Street (shown on BBC1 in 2006, 2007 and 2009)(1) that has a set number of episodes. A series is a story broken into episodes, that is a run of TV shows with the same title but after all the episodes will finish.(2) The Street had six episodes in each of its three series each episode being about another character from the same streets' life. The street is classed as a series as it is a set of programmes that are related and is a stand-alone drama, and the last episode concludes the story and the programme itself ends, but another series can be created.

The Street BBC Drama.

A serial is a serialisation of a book or event. The reflect real life and have between one and three episodes, e.g.
Wuthering Heights, recently shown on ITV. Serials are only broadcast once and have no running sequence to them. Single Dramas are also only broadcast once and reflect real life e.g Gunrush also recently shown on ITV. (4)

Wuthering Heights Drama

Soaps are not classed as either a series or a serial as they have no final episode. Because soaps reflect real life and each episode is only broadcast once (other than repeats) they do have elements of a serial however they are a run of episodes with the same title and characters but because each episode cannot stand alone they cannot be classed as series either. The story is a continuous one so therefore cannot be named as a serial or series. (6)

Foot Notes.
4. Class Notes
6. Class Notes

Task 3.

Single camera dramas use many different types of narrative structures to suit their purpose and genre.
Linear/sequential narratives is where the story is presented in a chronological order, Soaps such as Eastenders use sequential narratives to reflect real life, this also makes them a realist narrative.


Dramas such as Dr. Who use a non linear/ non sequential narrative structure this is because the events are shown in a non-chronological order, by using flash backs, or the same event from different points of views. It can also be done whereby the director shows the ending first then tell the story of how the character got there e.g. ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, where the audience are shown the ending but then flashbacks of his life show how he got to the where he is at the ending. A non-linear narrative is used to tell a story in a different, interesting way.

Slum dog millionaire trailor.

Flash backs are a way of portraying a non-linear narrative as they are an insight to the past of the character and are usually shown to tell a story or re-create the story to show us how the character got to the destination the audience know of. Although Hollyoaks is a soap, it uses both linear and non linear making it an unusual soap genre.


Realist and anti realist narratives are those that reflect either realistic event or fictitious events. Soaps follow a realist narrative as they reflect real life, whereby if it is Christmas in the 'real world' it has to be Christmas in the programme, it also reflects real life situations such as debt, families, affairs, work, friends etc.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer used an anti realist narrative as they included vampires and werewolves, characters that are fictional. The situations that occurred throughout the show were also those of complete fiction.

Endings are important within a narrative they can be 'open' endings where the narrative appears unconcluded, in films they can be left ‘open ended’ and leave it open to the audiences interpretation. In dramas, the ending needs to be open so the next episode can continue on with the narrative. Endings can also be closed which gives the narrative a definite end with no room for alternative interpretations.

  'This is England' Ending. (The fate of Milky and othe Characters is left unkown)

There are different types of narrative that each has a different aim. The 'Goal- orientated plot' is one type of narrative where the main character has a goal to reach for e.g. Inglorious Basterds, were Shoshanna and the 'Inglorious Basterds' are out to kill as many Nazis as they can. A goal orientated plot can also be were a character Is trying to get a date with a girl/boy, to get a job or even to get status in a gang, e.g. the firm. however this links with another type of narrative, the 'Journey' which can mean a physical journey were the story is that of a character getting from one place to another. It can also be a metaphysical journey from child to adult hood or were the audience are shown how a character finds their identity e.g 'The Bourne Identity'. Investigation documentaries or dramas use the search or investigation narrative which is that where the characters are solving a crime, e.g. CSI.


The climax is within a narrative, it is the point of highest tension or drama or when the action starts and in which the solution is given, e.g. the boy gets the date or the job. It usually comes at the end of the film and is the part of the film the
protagonist is in most danger.

According to Propps theory, there are 4 characters that appear within narrative;

The Hero, the main character that defeats the villain.
The Helper, who aids the hero within his challange e.g. Robin in Batman & Robin.
Villain, the character that causes the disruption in the narrative.
Damsel-in-distress, a character that experiences some trouble that the hero will help her conquer.

A narrative can be subjective or objective. Subjective narratives are when the audience can see what the character see's, hear what the character will hear it and how, perceive objects, sound and sight as the character might e.g. If the character is partially blind the shot may be blurred to show the audience how the character is seeing it, subjective narratives also allow the audience see inside the characters thoughts. This is used to create empathy and sympathy for the character.


An objective narrative is where the audience are only shown the external behaviors of the character, for e.g. if the character is partially blind the audience will be shown the character walking unsteady but not know why, this can be used to create enigma.

The narrative can also vary in the way the audience are shown the story, unrestricted and restricted. Restricted is used in some films and dramas as the audience are introduced to information at the same time as the characters, this makes the story more realistic. Unrestricted narratives are used in serials that are a situation that has already happened such as Titanic, this is unrestricted as the audience see and hear everything and usually know the ending. However soaps are a mixture of both as the audience can see other characters and what they are saying, but yet don't know what the outcome will be.

According to
Todorov's theory all narratives follow a structure of;
Disruption and
An equilibrium is the point in the film where everything is calm and 'normal' traditionally a film starts with an equilibrium, then move to disruption were the antagonist will cause a problem wich the protagonist will solve or attempt to resolve, the narrative then moves to the point where the story is brought to a finish with a resoltuion.
However as films have progressed and evolved film directors are taking risks with narratives and changing the order of Todorovs theory, films such as Steven Speilbergs 'Saving Private Ryan'.

Saving private Ryan Opening.

Foot Notes


Task 4.


As the documentary starts there is the sound of moving trains, this is a diegetic sound as the characters can hear it aswell as the audience. This anchors the scene before the first shot has been shown. The first shot is an establishing shot, showing the audience the setting of this scene, it is also a long shot of a woman who is unkown to the audience. The sound of a woman walking in heels is heard as the character is introduced, this is, again, a diegetic sound which connotes a real life setting. There is a close up shot of a puddle on the floor, two characters walk towards the puddle and their reflection is shown, this is almost a worms eye view shot which connotes importance in the characters. The extreme close up of the female shows her real emotion as their is a tear running down her face, showing she is upset, this creates an enigma. Throughout the drama the shots cut between characters quickly, this creates tension and urgency.
There is a matched cut from the womans shoes over the track to a medium shot of all 3 characters standing in order of height. This could connote the order of authority or power, however it could also show the male characters are more powerful by surrounding her, which in turn would be intimidating connoting they have more authority. The drama begins and continues to use natural light through out, this creates a realistic sense of location and connotes a real life setting.

The flashbacks through out the drama are in black and white, this could connote that it is a dark uneasy part of her life she regrets, however it could connote that it is a part of her life where she has been scared or something or somethigns he has done. The flashbacks consist of mostly close up shots of words of a negative semantic field; 'death' 'drugs', this emphasises the wrong doings. As we have already seen a shot wereby a character is lying on the floor and extremely quick cuts between this and a hand holding some pills, the audience are able to figure out what has happened quickly. However the flashbacks use soft focus, this creates an enigma. The sound through out the flash backs are very selective. At the begining and end of every flash back their is a loud crashing sound as the shot merges to a white screen, this connotes disruption and fear. The flash backs use extrmeley significant shots; the low angle shot of a black figure with a dark sky in the background , is standing in an almost angelic, God-like way but the black and white effect creates a demonic feel to the character, as the shot the shows the grave it becomes more significant.

The close up shot of the character throwing the newspaper to the ground and standing on it after the audience has been shown, through extreme close ups of words, the story of somebody being killed by drugs connotes a disturbed character as they see the story as unimportant as they have walked all over it.

The audience are almost involved into the characters conversations through over the shoulder shots and reaction shots as these show a clear view of who is talking.The male characters are shown as important as we see them through high angle shots and from their point of view. There is a shot were one male character forces her to the ground and we see her head hanging off the pavement and over the train tracks through a birds eye view shot this makes the male character seem powerful but yet a cruel disturbed person as this happens a church bell chimes this suggests its time for something to happen. Eerie non diegetic music begins to build up as the cuts get quicker which adds to tension and urgency, this gives the impression that something bad is about to happen, as the music gets louder the tension builds and the audience are expecting it to happen at any point.

The cuts between shots and characters starts to quicken again and a flash of white seperates each shot with the sound of a train as each flash appears, as the flashes get quicker the sounds ebcome more clear, as though a train is getting faster and closer to her. A medium shot, of the female crouched on the tracks, begins to get closer to her with a motion that signifies a trains movement this gets quicker as the camera gets closer, the sound of a trains horn is then sounded signaling that it is going to hit her the shot then fades to black, suggesting the train has collided with her and killed her.
A sound bridge is used in the majority of this drama; even though the shots vary the sound is still continuous.

Foot Notes.

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ6deQIyNf4&feature=player_embedded

Task 5.


Modern audiences have alot of variations in technology, they have the ability to watch, listen to, and read any form of media they want any time, anywere e.g. On-Demand allows audiences to watch a series on their TV when ever they want, the internet also allows younger generations to watch programmes they missed, (
channel 4 catch up) read newspapers online (the sun website) listen to radio shows (podcast) and download music. Modern audiences are being introduced to new things all the time; the ipod touch, notebook laptops, Mobile phones,




Videos, pictures, music and podcasts etc can all be uploaded or downloaded onto ipods etc and can be watched on the train, bus, car journeys, anywere. Modern audiences also have access to Sky, Cable and supsription possibilities, giving them hundreds of channels to choose from. This means audiences are fragmented as it is rare to find a mass audience on one channel at any time, making it harder for advertisers to reach all audiences, big events such as football, rugby matches etc, and world wide popular shows such as Xfactor still draw in a mass audience.

As the audience now decide what, when and how they want to recieve information the media production is changing, instead of the top producers saying what programmes will be on when, they are having to put what the audience want to see and when.

Foot Notes.
4. http://www.iphonic.tv/iphone.jpg

Task 6.


**Key; (m)- Male audience (f)- Female audience.

Planning and Creating a Two Minute Single Camera Production...

Task 7.

Write a report with screen-shots, detailing the equipment and software you will be using and how you intend to use it.

P1 M1 D1.

To create our single camera drama we will be using equipment such as a Panasonic DVX-100-B video camera so the film is clear and to a high standard. We will also use a tripod to create professional, steady camera work. And an Edirol R-09 voice recorder for the voice over and ambience sounds.

We will use both i-movie

Editing in I-movie.

and Final Cut Express to upload our shots and edit the film; we will include sound effects, transitions, video FX and titles from both of these software’s.

Editing in Final Cut Express.

We are going to use two of our peers to act in the film and Sophie and myself will do the camera and editing work. We are also hoping to get two police officers to aid us in one scene.

For the film we will need to use props such as kitchen knife and tomato sauce, and phones. For the location of the film we are going to use back streets that seem run-down for the dead character and the argument;

a car park for where the murderer is sat trying to ring her;

Pudsey park to show the character running away (during the flash back);

and Sophies house for the end scene where the sirens and Police ‘knock’ are heard;

Task 8. Write a treatment and script for your single-camera production.

Objective: The following proposal is for a short single camera drama portraying a story of love and death. There will be an eerie feel to it to create tension and show mixed emotions and longing felt by the main character towards the murder victim. The film takes an urban look on the classic tragic love story.

Setting: Backstreets of what appears to be a run down area, Pudsey park, a car park and bedroom.

Time duration: 1 minute 58 seconds.

Description: This is a short film shot as a single camera drama. This will be a short film based upon an argument between, what appears to be a young couple and the murder of a young woman, and the unraveling and revealing of the crime and events leading up to it shown through a flash back. The film will be composed of 8-10 short sequences of a number of scenes, with transitional effects that connote a flash back; from the image to a white flash. The film is shot from an “on lookers” point of view, to create the feeling that the audience is seeing the incidents happen which will create a sense of reality. Therefore images will be shot from high, low, point of view and long shots. Extreme close ups are used to show the characters emotion, the quick cuts between the point of view shots shows a juxtaposition of emotions, creating a sense of empathy for the female character. The actual murder is not filmed to create an enigma and sense of confusion as to who killed the character. The film will be edited with black and white effects, during the flash back to create an eerie feeling this adds to the enigma and connotes to the audience that something bad is, has or is about to happen, the juxtaposition to the rest of the film also connotes the traveling back in time to previous events. The flash back sequence of the film will also have ghost effects to create the sense of a bad, blurred memory which gives the audience the chance to interpret the film in different ways. The goal is to show how important it is to appreciate what you have got before it is taken from you.



· All footage will be shot in high resolution DV

· The sound throughout the film will be non-diegetic. The song “Not Too Late” by Norah Jones will be used as it has a dominantly piano background to add to tension, confusion and the eerie feel to the drama.
-There will be no speech from the characters.
- Some special sound FX, and a voice over of William Yeats’ poem; “He Wishes His Beloved Were Dead.” Which is a love poem that connotes control through death. Which could lead the audience to interpret the film differently. These will also be non-diegetic.

Proposed Sequence Sample of Events:

1) A black screen, which then cuts to an extreme close up of a phone screen.

2) Zoom out to close up of the phone screen with somebody ringing it.

3) Sharp cut to long shot of a male character sat looking worried on his phone. (Several different shots of the same image.)

4) Cut back to close up of phone ringing.

5) A high angle shot then shows a female character laid on the floor with the phone next to her. Effects to connote a flash back.

6) A close up of two pairs of feet stood facing each other, camera then zooms out and pans up to an eye level shot of the two previous characters arguing. Point of view shot from each of the characters as the other speaks to them. Medium shot of the female character walking away with the male character in the left side of the screen watching her, cut to an extreme close up of the male characters eyes. Medium shot of female character walking away, camera then follows her as she walks away, using a 'hand held' camera technique to create a feeling as though the audience are chasing her. Cut to black. Birds’ eye view of trainers running over leaves, quick cuts of the male character sat on floor at the bottom of a tree create tension. Shots here include high angle, low angle, and medium shots of him. Flash back effects as he stands up connote end of the flash back.

7) High angle shot of female character laid on floor, with two police officers crouched at the side of her checking the body, as one picks up the phone camera zooms to phone as it starts ringing.

8) Cut to medium shot male character sat on a bed in a dark room to signify sadness and loneliness, trying to ring somebody. Then a knock as a siren sounds the character jumps up looking scared and worried and as the character looks out of the window there is a knock at the door.

9) Conclusion; Fade to black with sound of voice mail recording and song slowly fading out.


The drama has a non-linear structure as a flash back is included and the audience is shown the murder victim before they know what has happened, we used this to create a sense of mystery and enigma. Although it is in a non-sequential narrative it is a realist one as the story uses, fictitious yet realistic events that can and do happen in life. The drama also concludes with an open ending leaving the film open to individual interpretation, as the audience is left unaware who killed the woman and who was knocking at the door, however the pattern of the narrative is a journey of regret and hope as the character regrets the argument, and the audience may assume he is regretting killing the woman although this is not concrete knowledge, but he is also hoping she is alright which contradicts the idea that he has killed her. The drama has a restricted story line as the audience is unaware of what has happened and who has done it, as are the characters.

In the drama the characters include a damsel in distress, a character that appears to be the villain and characters that appear to be the heroes, however as the story is a complete mystery and the audience don’t know whether the male character did kill her the characters role in the story are determined by the audiences interpretation. The drama begins with an equilibrium, but with an enigma, this is then disrupted by the images of the body and knife, this is the disruption in our drama, although the drama has two features of Todorovs’ theory the resolution is not present in our drama. As the drama has no definite ending a resolution is not reached, we have done this, as the aim of the drama is to instigate individual interpretations as to who killed the female character and what happens to the male. Throughout our film we use both subjective and an objective narrative. We use point of view shots and images that portray mental subjectivity whereby the characters thoughts seem to be shown over the objective view of his actions. This connotes confusion and adds to the notion that the flash back is a bad, unwanted memory.

Task 9: Create a storyboard and a shooting script for you drama and make sure everyone in your production team has a copy.

The first scene description for our single camera drama.

Story board.

Task 10: You must create a production schedule, this will help you set some targets and will also keep everybody who is in the production, informed of what is happening when.

Task 11: Health and safety and floor plans/location plans

** Click to enlarge the images.

Task 12: Create Your Single Camera Production.

Task 13: Evaluation

Production: Evaluation.

We set out to create a two-minute single camera drama. We decided to create a short drama that was a modern urban twist on the classic tragic love story. I think we achieved this as the narrative created enigma and suspense. The open end also helped us create a twist on the ‘murder’ within the drama, as it leaves the whole story open to individual interpretation. We also used appropriate transitions and sound effects, as they were all conventions of what the audience would have expected to see in this genre, darkness, police sirens, music that created tension etc.

Audience Feed Back.

The target audience for our single camera drama was teenagers of a high school age. I think the drama appealed to the preferred audience as most of the feedback was positive. We also received positive feedback from people from an older audience that saw our drama.

What did they say about your video ….

“The juxtaposing music and poem work extremely well with the imagery to create the atmosphere really well.”- “Recruitment Manager” Bradford University.

“The variation in shots let the audience relate with the characters so you don’t have to expand and explore who you want them to be.”- Jade Fretwell-Pudsey Grangefield School.

“The effects work well and I knew straight away this was a ‘flash back’ without it being obvious.” Laura Platt- Pudsey Grangefield School.

The majority of the audience got the preferred the reading, however I had to explain to some of the older audience that the ending was left open to interpretation.

Our drama gave negative messages as it showed how love can be complicated, and how easy it is for a life to be taken, however as the drama revolves around individual interpretation, the messages will differ, so therefore some of the audience may not have got the preferred reading.

Our drama doesn’t have different ethnic groups as for ease we used people that were available.

The music we used throughout our drama contrasted with the fast paced editing making it more dramatic and added an air of romance. However the music at the end of the piece over the credits contrasted with the piano based music used throughout the film.

The locations we used were appropriate as they were quite dreary, run down looking, which adds to the urban feel we intended in the drama. We edited the scenes in black and white, which added realism to the film and created the image of a bad memory or flash back. It also made the drama realistic for the genre.

As we weren’t able to use swearing we didn’t use any diegetic speech as we thought it made the piece seem unrealistic. The speech we did use was a voice over of an 1800’s poem; therefore the language was not entirely appropriate for our audience but the poem added drama to the piece.

I believe that in a similar professional product the narrative and music choices would have been similar but as they have advantages over us such as; better equipment, more experience, and have less limitations as we did with the actors and location. However I feel the locations we used were appropriate and created the atmosphere we wanted for our drama. I also believe the music would have been of a similar genre, as the suspense and calm feeling created juxtaposed against the quick editing created an urban yet romantic atmosphere.

The narrative we used in our drama created the twist we intended on adding to our tragic love story genre. We opened the drama immediately with enigma and a sense of disruption, the narrative throughout the drama included disruption and enigma, however as it ended with an open ending it’s the audiences interpretation weather there was a resolution or equilibrium, we did this deliberately to create the ‘twist’ to not knowing who committed the crime. The drama is made up of a single strand narrative as it only two minutes were required we wouldn’t have had the time to create characters and portray the story lines without it becoming confusing. The characters we created were a damsel in distress, heroes, and a character that appears to be the villain but there is no proof he is the villain.

I think overall our film was good and fulfilled its purpose, I think our strengths were our ideas and ability to work productively together, I think our weakness would be portraying our idea using the editing programmes we had, I think we struggled to put the editing visual ideas we had in our heads into the final product.

I think we were both good team members as we used both of our ideas and incorporated then into one. We listened to each other and discussed what we thought would be the best idea and how to change and improve on original ideas together, we didn’t argue and we prepared to use the best idea whether it was our own or not.

Throughout the editing process we had to adjust voice and music levels, however I think we achieved this to a very high standard, as we had a voice over, diegetic sound effects and a non-commercialised soundtrack we had to adjust the music to play seamlessly around the FX and the voice over. I think we have edited them seamlessly to fit around each other so they are all audible throughout the drama.

Our camera work included a variety on shots including, panning shots, extreme close ups, high angle shots, point of view shots and a tracking shot. The hardest shot to get was the point of view shot whereby the male character is running over leaves, as we had to ask the actor to hold the camera as he ran through the leaves the shots were unsteady and unclear, however we did achieve the right shot. Through out the filming process we used lots of different angled shots to create a fast pace when we edited it. We then chose the best shots rather than filming long continuous shots. We didn’t have any reason to use an external microphone as we didn’t use any diegetic speech or sound. For the titles we used a quite formal font and used a black background with white font, we didn’t use images throughout the titles as the ending of our film created a sense of death. We also thought it would draw the audiences attention from the drama they juts watched and wouldn’t have given them chance to decide what they wanted to believe happened in the end.

Future targets:

Future targets for me would include having more shots and editing at a consistent pace, I believe this would give it a stronger impact and make the drama look more professional and seamless.

D1 Critical evaluations of single camera productions are fluent and arguments are supported using elucidated examples and the correct subject terminology.

Targets: In task 3, try and use the narrative terms by applying them to examples rather than explaining what the actual terms mean, particularly with the new terms that you are less familiar with and with Tordorov’s theory.

Generally superb, sophisticated and detailed analysis with well cited examples and well structured footnotes, quotes and references.

You have shown great determination in seeking to understand new language and in carrying out extensive research, these skills will very important to you in the future. Well done.

Unit 21:

D1 Critical evaluations of single camera productions are fluent and arguments are supported using elucidated examples and the correct subject terminology.

D2 Single camera production planned to a quality that reflects a near-professional standard, showing creativity and flair. Work has been carried out independently and reflects professional expectations.

D3 Within the production there is evidence that the technical quality reflects near professional standards, taking in to account the equipment available. The production shows creativity and flair and the student has shown great independence in striving to meet professional expectations.

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