Camera Script


In a single-camera shoot, the director can easily direct the videographer for each shot or sequence of shots. However, in multiple-camera shoots, the director should prepare a camera script, which s/he issues to each camera operator.

The camera script outlines for each camera operator the exact size of shot and precise camera moves the director expects throughout the scene. In live, as-live, or multi-camera studio productions, in which the director has largely worked out when s/he will cut from one camera to another, a single camera script detailing each operator's moves will work well.On a shoot where all cameras are expected to record the entire scene, each operator should have his/her individual camera script.

The directions can be very simple: maintain a medium close-up on Rico throughout the scene. Or they can involve complex shot combinations and camera moves, with each movement cued by dialogue, movement or lighting changes, and marked by the director on the camera script.

In a production like ours, the director may choose a multi-camera shoot to cover a long and complex scene where s/he might run into blocking, lighting, continuity or performance glitches if s/he attempted to cover every aspect with a single camera.

It's also very helpful to the operator, even on a single-camera shoot, if the director blocks out in advance his visual intentions for the scene as a whole on a script.

For example, s/he might note that s/he wants to shoot the scene in five different ways:

1 - wide shot of whole scene
2 - reaction shots of other characters in scene from WS perspective
3 - MCU on two-shot of Liz and Rico
4 - CU Liz
5 - CU Rico

The videography team can then work out in advance ways to execute the sequence, or offer suggestions on alternative ways to accomplish the director's intentions.

Camera directions conventionally run down the left-hand margin of the script. Directions include the number of the camera, its initial (and subsequent) position(s), the starting, interim and ending shot sizes, and the camera's action(s).

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