How to set up a 2-camera interview using a motorised camera slider and pan-tilt head
While we were visiting NAB 2019, we took the opportunity to have another chat with Ben from Syrp. We wanted to find out more about how camera sliders and motion control heads can be used in practical situations. Typically, we see sliders being used for timelapse creation, but we wanted to know more about how they could be used for video. So, here Ben shows us how we can use the Syrp Genie II 3-Axis Pro Slider Kit to add a B camera to an interview.
So why would you want to set up a second camera for an interview? Well, sit interviews with just one camera angle and no b-roll can sometimes get a little boring – especially if they’re of the sit-down variety. Having the second camera allows you to shift perspective at key points during an interview and add a little more visual interest. Using a slider to add this second camera is a simple but very effective technique.
The principle is quite simple. You have your main camera locked off on a tripod pointing towards your subject. This is the camera you’ll mostly be using in your final video. The B camera sits on top of the camera slider, continually bouncing from one end to the other. In this case, the positions at either end of the slider are set using keyframes from within the Genie II app for iOS and Android. Then it’s just a case of leaving it to run throughout the entire interview.
While you can add a second camera simply locked off on a tripod for an extra perspective, using a motorised slider adds a dynamism that just isn’t possible with a static camera on a tripod.
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John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.