The Media Question Amnesty Thread

Are decisions on camera shots used on studio TV programmes when being recorded made "live" or is it more of an editing decision later?

To better highlight this clumsy sounding question, here's a lady winning the 101 in 6 darts gamble on Bullseye:
www.youtube.com 

I know there is a full blown method of reading the body language and intention of a professional darts player when taking a match live and they can 99% of the time get the right close up of the right bed at the right time, which is quite impressive when there are multiple routes to check out from various numbers.

But for the purposes of the Bullseye example where it's the non dart player who would be happy just to hit the board at all... she ends up hitting treble 19 on the second dart presumably by accident and wasn't going for any particular number or value, and that's outside of the default top view and there's a cut to the whole shot of the board.

I suppose what I'm asking is when they recorded the episode do they do all the shot cuts "live" on the night or would somebody have decided to insert the full shot of the dart board afterward for some reason? I know there's such a thing as if you see a camera cut when you aren't expecting it its going to be covering something up.

Also related question I know split screen darts is pretty much the norm now for Darts coverage and Bullseye was doing it from its second series onwards but I've seen a thread on Digital Spy that suggests the concept came about because somebody had an idea in an OB truck to do it that way and they were fed up of switching the shots. I've also seen it argued that Bullseye popularised the whole split screen thing for the sport but not really sure how true that is, though of course Bullseye was pretty much cult viewing on Sunday nights at its peak (20m at its peak apparently) so it probably did more for darts at the basic level.
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I think it's different these days, it's quite feasible to record the output of multiple ISO feeds from different cameras to be able to put it back together in the edit. When that was made, it's much less likely just due to the amount of kit it would take up.
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Well it can 'done' in different ways. A small studio based programme is likely to have a restricted post production budget or indeed none at all so it would be vision mixed at the time of recording with perhaps little or no post production. Think a small studio based discussion prog for example.

A large scale programme (think something like 'Have I got news for you') will be at the other extreme and will be a mixture of being vision mixed live but also a number if not all of the individual cameras being record individually so that they can be edited into the final edited programme.

Even a simple 'down the line - DTL' interview for use within a news programme is likely to be vision mixed live but also the presenter and interviewee being recorded additionally for post production editing.

So its horses for course really, a big change from the days of the 1970's say when recording facilities were limited and very expensive to today when recording facilities are comparatively cheap as chips.
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Some old Doctor Who eps had multiple video recorders going at once, one for the vision mixer output and others for certain ISO cameras, so as Who wasn't the most prestige production of the BBC, it would certainly have happened for other shows at Television Centre, and maybe other ITV companies, though they wouldn't have had the technical capabilities as the whole of TV Centre.
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(05-07-2024, 02:50 PM)IndigoTucker Wrote:  Some old Doctor Who eps had multiple video recorders going at once, one for the vision mixer output and others for certain ISO cameras, so as Who wasn't the most prestige production of the BBC, it would certainly have happened for other shows at Television Centre, and maybe other ITV companies, though they wouldn't have had the technical capabilities as the whole of TV Centre.

I know nothing of Dr Who. The first programme that I'm aware of that used ISO recording was Bruce Forsyth's Generation game. Bruce's 'mugging' to the camera was considered an essential element of the show and in order not to miss anything a camera was always on him so that it could be edited into the final tx copy. Bruce was well aware of this of course and knew which camera to look into.

But tape was a very expensive broadcast medium in the 70's and 80's, I don't think even the BBC could tie up more than a couple of machines on ISO records. If you had a show which needed more than one ISO cam it was not unusual to adopt a 'switched' ISO method. In this technique the director (usually) sits in front of an auxiliary mixer panel which has all the studio cameras on its input and it's single output would feed a VTR machine. So, as the director decided he wanted to record this camera or that camera he would switch the panel output to that particular camera. Generally the ISO recording VTR machine would also continuously record the main studio programme output sound to make subsequent editing easier.

Which leads on to the question, although a TV show is almost always very well rehearsed and not much left to chance how does the cameraman know that the director has cut their camera to the VTR machine recording the output of their camera - especially if the show is somewhat freewheeling in it's content? The obvious answer is that the director says something along the lines of 'camera X on ISO' so that the cameraperson would hear it in their headset and know that they need to be a bit careful when framing shots and not do anything untoward. But there was another technique and this was to feed an additional tally to the camera. In our company this was known as 'Green' tallies. On the viewfinder in front of the cameraperson there were two cue lights - the RED tally was the usual on-air warning, the GREEN tally was a warning that although the camera was not on-air its output was being recorded on an Iso recorder. The GREEN tally was of course driven by the panel in front of the director. I hope that all makes sense.
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There was a story on one of the tech ops or similar sites about a Stewart Morris production where in addition to the main vision mix based on Stewart's direction a second vision mixer was tasked with ad-libbing a second mix on what these days would be called an M/E bank.

I think the idea was to have options in the edit but iirc the two recordings drifted out of sync and it didn't really work.
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I know on the Red Dwarf DVDs they mentioned some of the deleted scenes were patched up from iso feeds when the main feed didn't get the shot they wanted, of course that show was made in the late 80s/early 90s by which time recording several feeds was easier and cheaper.
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