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Multi-camera Formats in Creative Media Production

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 3735 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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A multi-camera production is a type of production that is usually filmed in a studio setting, with a few exceptions.

The studios they are filmed in will consist of the set that is constructed before main crew even set foot in the studio, the lighting to make sure that each subject is visible, and the cameras that the director has helped positioned and helped to frame each shot. In an adjacent room there is a gallery which contains the vision mixer. The vision mixer is used for live editing which is vital during the filming of a live event because it controls exactly what is broadcast to the public through which camera. This is where the director sits to give commands to the people operating the desk

Multi-camera productions use more than one camera to capture each shot and scene from different angles. This means the directors and producers have more freedom and choice in the shots used, which comes in very handy for creating a linear story line. Multi camera techniques can be used for live events, public events and studio programs. Conversation scenes are filmed in one take and this makes the actors reactions more realistic. This is why multi-camera setups are used on sitcoms:

Generally, the two outer cameras shoot close-upshots or “crosses” of the two most active characters on the set at any given time, while the central camera or cameras shoot a wider master shot to capture the overall action and establish the geography of the room. In this way, multiple shots are obtained in a single take without having to start and stop the action.

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Multi Camera production almost speaks for itself and is used for the majority of day-to-day television programs and films we watch. For example, sitcoms and soap operas, talk shows, sporting events and newscasts. Majority of Multi camera productions use 3 or more cameras that are constantly rolling catching reactions rather than having to run a scene over and over again. Here are a few examples of programs that use multi camera drama

a)      Live multi-camera programme

An example of a live show that has a multi camera set up would be the Barclays Premier League as they broadcast everything live from the stadium. This means that within the club’s stadium itself there will be multiple cameras set up on the ground to film the player’s arrival, when they leave the changing room and enter the football pitch, and around 50 cameras on fixed locations on ground level to capture close ups of the action. On top of this there are also cameras that are used to film the crowd and a couple cameras higher up to film wide shots of large portions of the pitch at a time. There are also cameras in fixed places, connected by wires, to get shots that cover all over the pitch. There will also be a vision mixer to do a live edit for broadcast on TV. Live events will often use a similar setup, with cameras focusing on the main part of a live event E.G presenters at an end of year/new year. There will also be cameras to film the crowd and several at vantage points to capture establishing shots of large crowds or exteriors of stadiums.

Analyse structure e.g. title sequence, introduction, segments within the programme, ending.

At the start of super Sunday, which is when sky sports show what games are on a Sunday, they play their title sequence which lets their audience know the game is about to start or the pundits. This would also be played when there is a break after half time or after the game completely. During these little moments there will be segments of the show in which they discuss football related topics. Before the match they will speak about the line ups and what they predict will happen. During the game they will then speak on what each team should change to try and get the victory or maybe just even a draw. After the game they will then summarise the whole game with negatives and positives of both teams. Whilst they are speaking on all of this there are multiple cameras on set which are constantly recording so they would switch in between shots to make sure the audience doesn’t lose interest. Due to sky sports being just dedicated to sports the ending is well after the title sequence as so they do not have a dedicated one and it is infecting the same as their title sequence as they feel it gives across the same message. Whilst recording the title sequence the have the multi camera set up so they can start speaking straight after and

Analyse content e.g. presenter, performers, interviewees, topics, pre-recorded footage.

The presenters, or pundits some people call them, will only be seen before and after the match and a little bit during half time. Within the BT sport they have many different presenters and pundits that speak about football and many different sporting topics as well. The most famous and popular ones are; Rio Ferdinand, Gary Lineker, Jermaine Jenas and Jake Humphrey. Many of the pundits are ex-footballers so they have a very good understanding of football which makes it very easy for them to become footballers. When BT interview people related to sports it is always after the game and they typically interview the Managers of both teams and then the man of the match as they performed to a high standard than everyone else on the pitch and that time. They would ask questions like; What were your thoughts on the game? How did you train for this game? And, was this a fair result? Depending on whether their team won or not can change the answers to them questions drastically as sometimes the managers can be fired up after an underserved lost. At the start of the game there will be pre-recorded footage of old game clips between the two teams to give the audience an understanding on what happened last time the two teams met each other and then they discuss it in further detail after the clips are shown

Analyse camera techniques

When the game is kicked off, there are very minimal shots that are of it which are extremely common in football. The first main shot is the birds eye, high angle of the stadium. This shot is necessary as it allows the people watching at home to appreciate the football pitch and shows all the players, from both teams, getting into position just before the game is about to kick off. Whilst the game is going on the camera is constantly panning from left and right to follow the ball and to also make sure the audience can follow what is happening. Another reason it is a high angle is because it shows the audience, that are watching at home, the whole game and they can further interpret the games meaning they can analyse, in much more depth, the style of play, attacking runs, how the defenders are structuring themselves and many more. A part from this shot, there are occasional close-ups on players who have played a key role in the game or is focused on them. This normally happens when the player has been booked, being substituted, taking a free kick and many more. These are all usually still high shots however are zoomed on the player to make a medium shot/close up of the person to highlight him from others. The typical football match on TV such as Chelsea, ends on a commentator or looking at edited highlighted parts of the game and then fades out onto the adverts. When a player is near the corner flag in will probably change to a long shot so it can show both the attacker and defender in the situation. Also when a penalty is being taken the camera will zoom in for a close up both the player taking the penalty and also to goalkeeper to make is seem even more intense as it could change the whole game.

Analyse sound techniques e.g. theme tune, tie clip mics, reporter mic, pre-recorded sound.

Match of the Day is a football analysis show which is filmed on the BBC and varies from when it is shown on television. The show also uses the format of multi camera set up. Match of the day has a very catchy theme tune which hasn’t been changed since it was made in 1970 by Barry Stoller. This gives the audience a sense of satisfaction when hearing it as they know it’s about to start and they begin to become excited and get ready to watch highlighted clips from the week’s games. The reporter mic would be with one of the presenters or pundits when they are outside on the actual pitch itself rather than when they are inside the studio. This is so they can interview people with a more aesthetic background rather than just the normal set up. To link with pre-recorded sound, Match of the Day has a cheering sound that gets played whilst they are first being shown on camera. This would get the audience in the mood for watching the show as the atmosphere of a football pitch is being recreated.

Explain the reasons for using a multi-camera format

A huge reason why a multi camera format is used in football is to maintain the viewers interest throughout the whole 90-minute match. If the camera shot was the exact same during the whole game the viewer would end up becoming bored whereas if the camera was constantly showing different shots and angles the people watching at home will have a much better. For example, the camera could go from an extreme long shot of the whole pitch to a mid-shot to show the player who has the ball at the moment of time which allows the audience to stay alert whilst watching as they have a lower chance of becoming bored. When they are recording before or after a game they go to studio as the game has either not started or just finished. This is also a multi camera set up and this is due to there not being enough space to record otherwise. To fit the commenters in, whilst avoiding being boring, a multi camera set up had to be used as without it not everyone would fit into frame.

b)     Pre-recorded location multi-camera production


My chosen example for a studio production is a big TV show it Britain called “The Jeremy Kyle Show” This Show is presented by a man called Jeremy Kyle and it is about him solving disagreements in the most effective way possible, which often does not happen. These disagreements could be between family members, friends or partners. The main area that is used for filming would be the main stage as that’s where the guests would sit down when they go onto the stage and also where Jeremy Kyle sits downs or stand ups when there is not enough room. On top of this there’s also some filming done with the fans so we can see their reaction to certain stories. This shot is more than likely going to be in the form of a low shot as it gives the illusion Jeremy seems much more powerful and bigger than everyone else in the room, including the guests on the stage. The way this particular show is filmed is like a typical interview style editing were cameras usually just switched between two or more interviewees on the stage. A lot of these cameras are stationary however pan and tilt a lot of the time on specific people. It is very common in this show that a person would walk behind stage and try to get away because of normally stress however, Jeremy usually follows along with a camera man who is doing traditional one handed camera tracking shots.

Analyse structure e.g. title sequence, introduction, segments within the programme, ending.

The title sequence of Jeremy Kyle is well known throughout England due to having search a large audience. It has blue background and shows previews of what is going to happen in the show and what has happened. During the breaks in between segments it cuts to a different camera where Jeremy speaks on how it is possible to be on the show whilst there is an email below him which visualises what the audience would need to do. he show is based on confrontations in which guests attempt to resolve issues with others that are significant in their lives. The issues within Jeremy Kyle are more than likely going to be; addiction, family relationships, sex, romantic relationships and other issues which can be put in the same programme. These issues are spoken about in segments as each episode will have more than one person coming in to speak about their problems. Depending what is being spoken about in each segment some guests show heavy emotions, which could consist of anger or sadness, whilst discussing what is happening in their lives. The ending of Jeremy Kyle is normally a happy ending where two, or more, people end their feud and figure something out. It would then cut to the final scene which is very similar to the title sequence.

Analyse content e.g. presenter, performers, interviewees, topics, pre-recorded footage.

Each episode features a different number of guests which discuss what is going on with their life and they proceed to ask Jeremy Kyle for help. Kyle tries to resolve to problem between the people whilst trying to keep the whole situation stable, but that does not normally work. Some of the most common reasons people go onto Jeremy Kyle is; to try and find out the father of a child, unnecessary theft and addiction to high end drugs. After the show Kyle always offer backstage support or after show support which is taken which famous psychotherapist, Graham Stanier. On top of this DNA tests and lie detectors are also commonly used to further help the understanding of whether who the child’s father is or to see if someone is lying upon stage. Commonly a fight or heated argument will break out backstage which would then cause the cameraman to switch from one camera to another so the audience can see what is happening. Just in case anything extremely dangerous happens there are security guards to sort out the problem.  Jeremy Kyle is different to most presenters as he does not care about shouting at his guests if he feels that they are in the wrong or acting childish. Many people describe him by saying he has a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude as a lot of people on his show are mentally ill, vulnerable, poor or even all three in some stages. The content of each episode is always very different but they all have a similar goal or vibe per say.

Analyse camera techniques e.g. ELS, MS, CU, 2 shot interviewees, crane/zoom shots.

During the beginning of the show there is a wide variety of camera angles that are used to show Jeremy Kyle, the guests and the audience members. The shot of Jeremy and his guests would be an extreme long shot so it can show everyone and the set that they are on. It would then switch up and go to a mid-shot of Jeremy and then go to the guests, which would be back stage at this point, so the audience can get a better look of each person. Throughout the show there will be a couple over the shoulder shots of the audience members looking on the guest and what their view is like. There would also be close up of guests when they are becoming upset to make the audience for sorry sympathy of them as they have, more than likely, gone through a very difficult stage of life. As the camera is constantly switching between Jeremy, the guests and the crowd it makes it seem less repetitive and allows the audience at home to focus on a person with more attention. On top of this it is also showing the majority of the studio whilst switching shot positions. In the set of Jeremy Kyle there is a camera above the studio, that is used for high angles and long shots. There are also some cameras at the front of the stage that are used for close ups of the guests and also cameras placed at the back of the studio, behind the audience, that’s main focus is to get a full shot of the stage and can also be considered an over the shoulder shot of the audience members themselves.

Analyse sound techniques e.g. theme tune, tie clip mics, reporter’s mic, pre-recorded sound.

In Jeremy Kyle, as its live, there isn’t any many added sounds in the show as majority of it comes from Jeremy or his guests. All the people that will be shown on camera are fitted with a microphone underneath their clothes which allows the audience, that are watching from the comfort of their home, to hear them clearly. If they didn’t wear these mics than the sound quality would be extremely poor and difficult to understand. At the start of Jeremy Kyle, when the title sequence is being played, a theme tune is also played with it to let the viewers know the programme us about to start. The most used sound effect is the ‘bleep’ sound as this is used when guests swear or say offensive slurs. The reason these would need to be blurred out is due to the fact that the show is aired before the watershed and this means anything offensive cannot be shown.

Explain the reasons for using a multi-camera format

I think multi camera shows are best suited to live events, allowing for the event itself to be captured with diversity of shot type and for the crew to not miss out on any of the action when broadcasted. They can show the event with the same flourish as a pre filmed show. It also allows studio shows to increase their output on certain shows. By adding multiple cameras, you eliminate the need for multiple takes and moving the camera around, allowing for a scene to be completed in much less time and giving the crew time to produce more episodes. On top of this it also captures the raw emotions each character gives off when they are acting. If Jeremy Kyle was a single camera production, then it would be nowhere near as popular as it is now due to the fact they would have a lack of variation between shots, angles and movements which are all needed to make Jeremy Kyle to show it is. When the people backstage is being spoken about their reaction is normally shown. However, if the show was single camera it would be impossible to show their reaction at the same time.


Within my assignment I learnt a lot about multi camera productions and how to use them to their most effective possibilities. I analysed two shows which would be the whole sport of football and also the tabloid talk show Jeremy Kyle. The reason I picked these two is because one of them is a live event whereas the other one was pre-recorded. Also in the report I have produced I have learnt that for certain genres the multi-camera format is advantageous as it provides benefits such as better coverage of action and reduces the overall time and cost the production requires to produce a single episode. An example of a genre that often benefits from the multi-camera format are live events such as concerts, due to the nature of the genre the action cannot be repeated or replicated as concerts are performed live to audiences, therefore it is essential for the production team to get the correct coverage the first time filming as opposed to staged dramas where the action can be repeated if it needs to be. The multi-camera format is essential for this genre as it enables the production crew to cover the entire action as opposed to a single-camera format which would disable them from capturing all of the action taking place at the concert. I have also learnt about the inherent differences between studio and location environments for multi-camera productions and which genres tend to utilise which. For example, sporting programmes will utilise the location (a stadium or arena) to film the action as the nature of the content requires the production crew to go to where the action is taking place in order to film it, which is an external location such as a football stadium, where as a sitcom can be filmed entirely from within a studio environment.



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