Monday, August 13, 2007

Over there

If you ever managed to catch Over There, the action drama series developed by Steven Bocho ( NYPD, LA Law) then watch out for the embedded video journalist.

Probably the only TV product I can recall where they give you a generous view of a VJ at work. I'd be demonstrating the style on previous VJ sessions - cantor movement of holding the camera steady and moving fluidly- before this fell into my lap.

Typical huh! Producers put out a show hoping you'll like it and what grabs my attention - an embedded VJ.

I was slouching in my favourite chair one Tuesday evening watching cable, saw the show, and leapt out to grab a VHS.

I have since got the DVD. The two screen grabs show how to hold a DV Cam to give you wide 270 degree shooting ranges. You pivot from your hips and your arms act as a jib

The first grab shows the VJ with the soldiers. The show's makers very kindly give you a view of what's being shot by colouring the VJ's shots blue. Neat!

If you really want to get the technique right go talk to a Marine and see how they hold the turret of their gun when they're "house clearing", the walk rubbing their knees and "cushion' their steps by bending their knees.

Alternatively, a camera person who works close to presenters on live shows has the skill. Here in the UK it would be those working Top of the Pops, Big Breakfast etc. or more recently say, Big Brother.

Word of warning though if you are working the field in hostile zones, take added precautions that other combatants don't mistake you for a soldier.

There's a classic TV News shot from the Intafada caught on camera. A camerman squats to take a zoom shot and someone watching him believing his has an RPG takes aim. The cameraman is violently yanked away when his friend realises what's taking place; the bullet barely misses him. OK he wasn't a VJ but you get my drift.

A lot of 8 days has me "crabbing" and "tearing" shots, and also Conflict and Warco - where I'm yet to post the full video of a training exercise which was so life like, many a few reporter broke down crying.

Image taken from War Games featured on Apple's web site
Please be patient with the two links. They're using Flash MX protocols, so don't load as swiftly and play out well as current Flash VL files

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