Guild to editing a conversation?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Brian, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I noticed in a TV series or an interview when there are two people
    talking to each other the editor cuts to the person who is talking.
    There are sometimes a jump between the faces of two people talking.
    Other times the editor cuts to the person who is listening. There is
    also a mid shot so the viewer can see both people in the frame.

    Is there any guide for this type of editing or is it done at random?

    Regards Brian
    Brian, Apr 2, 2005
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  2. Brian

    Rôgêr Guest

    It's a judgement call. What is going to be the most interesting thing to
    show at the moment? On a live show you cut between cameras according to
    what you're seeing on the monitors. If you do it in post, you can use
    the tapes to get just the shot you want at any particular moment. Most
    movie/TV productions with any budget/time to work with do the talent
    shots separately and intercut them.
    Rôgêr, Apr 2, 2005
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  3. Brian

    DanR Guest

    Keep in mind that the conversation content is being edited. i.e.: sentences are
    being removed. So firstly editing has to cover "jump cuts" with "cut aways". As
    you edit the person being interviewed you might show the interviewer nodding to
    cover the jump cut. This type of editing can be done with only one camera as the
    shots of the interviewer are done afterwards. (cheating ?) Sometimes the
    interviewer questions are shot afterwards and re-inserted back into the
    interview. (more cheating ?)
    If you have the luxury of 2 or more cameras the editing process is much more
    fluid. You can cut back and forth between the 2 people at will to make the
    interview more visually interesting. Often split audio video edits are done
    where you visually cut to the person about to speak a bit early or late. This
    can make the conversation feel more "real time" when you are actually editing
    out material.
    The wide shot or over the shoulder shot is often used to hide a jump cut.
    Usually the editor has nothing else to cut to and if you look carefully you'll
    see the jump cut. Sometimes it's just another shot for variety
    The "ask the questions later" (one camera) type mentioned above can be exploited
    to form the question already knowing what the answer is.
    The camera person, knowing the interview will be edited later, will get a
    variety of shots... constantly zooming in and out when questions are being
    asked. Tight head shots, not so tight head shots, head and shoulder shots etc.
    This is usually done when the final edited program will only have the
    interviewee on camera with no questions.
    DanR, Apr 2, 2005
  4. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Thanks Roger and DanR for the information.
    I remember one of the worst times when video recording with a single
    camera is when people from the audience were asking a guest speaker
    questions. I did not know who is the audience was about to speak then
    after recording the question I had to quickly pan the camera to the
    guest speaker, who had already started answering the question.
    I could have kept the camera on the guest speaker but then people
    viewing the video would want to know who is answering the question.
    I could have kept the camera on the audience but I'd lose the
    expression on the guest speakers face when answering a difficult
    I was standing against the side wall near the front of the audience.

    Out of interest how would you record this type of situation?

    Regards Brian

    Regards Brian
    Brian, Apr 4, 2005
  5. Brian

    Cory Guest

    Out of interest how would you record this type of situation?

    Are you expecting to get an answer other than "try using two cameras"?

    Cory, Apr 4, 2005
  6. Brian

    DanR Guest

    Most likely I would have stayed on the guest speaker. Sloppy swish pans don't
    look good in a situation like this. But there are exceptions and maybe you did
    the right thing.
    DanR, Apr 4, 2005
  7. Practice is the best way to learn how to handle this. If you have
    the time, try to do some projects which aren't critical -- just pure
    practice or low impact/cost/volunteer sorts of things where being
    perfect isn't essential.

    One camera per person is best for a live style show, where the
    interview is done in real time, minimal or no retakes. One more
    camera for a wide shot can help; a second (or more) camera operator
    can add versatility by giving more variety to the views by changing it
    during the interviews. It is easier to practice editing when you
    can change your mind on the shots afterwards.

    Single camera interview type shows work well when everything is
    scripted. Since you know how it should go in advance, it does make
    the editing easier. OTOH, the planning stage is a lot harder, and you
    need people who will follow it.
    The single camera to cover a speaking presentation gig isn't an easy
    situation. Taking more cameras is a solution, but that isn't always
    easy or even practical (some places barely have room for one camera!).

    Fast pans are painful to watch, so unless you know you can cover
    every one up with something else (still CG if no shots are available),
    it is best not to do them at all. Slow pans are watchable, but can't
    keep up with the action.

    What to do?

    Well, the fast pan method with a still/CG identifying the speaker or
    writing out the question covering it can work. You don't get the
    guest speaker's face right off, but at least you don't see the ugly

    Slow panning across the audience with few breaks back to the main
    speaker also can work. Titling onscreen to spell out questions and
    the situation can fill in for the lack of face time for the main

    Neither of these is a perfect solution. The first requires more
    editing, due to the need to make up visuals to cover each cut.

    Redoing the guest speaker questions after the program can work, if
    you can get them and they can repeat their question nicely. Doing
    added video/dialog requires the right sort of presentation/program and
    participants, but it is worth keeping in mind.
    Jeffery S. Jones, Apr 4, 2005
  8. Brian

    DanR Guest

    It now occurs to me that you could have shot some audience wide shots to cut to
    while panning back and forth. Of course you can't re-use the same shot too
    often. Also you could have gotten a medium wide shot of the speaker standing
    there to cover some cuts. But Jeffery's idea of CG works too. Maybe a
    combination of these things.
    When you find yourself in a situation like this you have to start thinking THEN
    about the edit. Live and learn.
    DanR, Apr 5, 2005
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