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Old 30th November 2018, 08:46 PM   #1
PhantomWolf
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MSNBC decides it doesn't have enough shakey cam?

Disclaimer - Okay so I have no idea where to actually post this, so if the Mods think they have a better idea where to put it, please feel free to move it.

If you don't get sea-sick then watch the following video from about 30 seconds in to around the 2:15 minute mark, if you can make it that long.

Trigger Warning - The following footage might make you nauseous, and could induce headaches, and swearing at your monitor, oh and the camera work might make you feel all queasy too.

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I AGREE


The issue isn't what the video is about, there is enough of that in the Politics section, but rather the camera work. Why is it that we need to make the viewers of a news segment feel like they are on the deck of a boat in the middle of hurricane?

Is the use of "shakey" cam getting to the point of lunacy when it starts turning up in news presentations?

Let me know your thoughts after you finishing posting your lunch to the porcelain god.
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Old 30th November 2018, 08:50 PM   #2
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Well, why are they pointing a camera at a TV instead of just using the footage normally?
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Old 30th November 2018, 09:11 PM   #3
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That camera isn't shaky at all. The camera movement is perfectly smooth and fluid. The camera isn't hand-held and is probably the standard huge TV camera on a dolly in the studio.

I can't recall a more bizarre example of camera operation involving dolly, pan and zoom. What was the operator thinking? It looks like an insider prank. Maybe the crew was laughing their asses off.

I would have posted it in our TV forum.
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Old 30th November 2018, 09:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
That camera isn't shaky at all. The camera movement is perfectly smooth and fluid. The camera isn't hand-held and is probably the standard huge TV camera on a dolly in the studio.

I can't recall a more bizarre example of camera operation involving dolly, pan and zoom. What was the operator thinking? It looks like an insider prank. Maybe the crew was laughing their asses off.

I would have posted it in our TV forum.
I have no idea what they were thinking either, unless it was to make the viewer even more queasy over the article. It seems crazy. And I agree, I have never seen this sort of thing before, it is truly bizarre.

I did consider the TV section, though usually it's about discussing the content of a show, not the camera work.

I did think General maybe too, but as I said above, if a Mod has a better idea of where to put it, please do move it.
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Old 30th November 2018, 09:27 PM   #5
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That's bad. You have to wonder how that idea got past the morning planning meeting.

They should have run it past a focus group.
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Old 30th November 2018, 09:32 PM   #6
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Instead of a group of focus pullers.
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Old 30th November 2018, 09:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
That's bad. You have to wonder how that idea got past the morning planning meeting.

They should have run it past a focus group.
My guess is that it wasn't approved by the production chiefs and was instead an impromptu prank done by the camera operator. It was intentional and even requires keeping the screen in focus while the camera moves all over the place. I suspect that it was a wild time in the production room as they could see it happening.

What the hell is Henry doing now?
Boss, you already know that he is a practical joker and look at him go. LOL!
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Old 30th November 2018, 09:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
My guess is that it wasn't approved by the production chiefs and was instead an impromptu prank done by the camera operator. It was intentional and even requires keeping the screen in focus while the camera moves all over the place. I suspect that it was a wild time in the production room as they could see it happening.

What the hell is Henry doing now?
Boss, you already know that he is a practical joker and look at him go. LOL!
It still would have required the idea of filming the screen to have been given the go ahead, even without the wild camera ride, and that seems somewhat strange in the first place when, as LTC8K6 noted above, they could have just as easily feed it directly to the broadcast.
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Old 30th November 2018, 09:59 PM   #9
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The camera work was pretty funny but as soon as this guy popped up on the screen I burst out laughing

https://imgur.com/a/IdqCLeq
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Old 30th November 2018, 10:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
It still would have required the idea of filming the screen to have been given the go ahead, even without the wild camera ride, and that seems somewhat strange in the first place when, as LTC8K6 noted above, they could have just as easily feed it directly to the broadcast.
I understand. But it's not that unusual for a TV studio to have a TV monitor near a news anchorperson with it facing the viewers. It's there because they show the audience video news clips and it represents a more understandable or pleasing transition to direct feed. I think that's why they do it.

Maybe it wasn't a prank and instead everyone in that studio drank some really bad Kool-Aid.
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Old 1st December 2018, 04:22 AM   #11
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I've seen similar camera work quite often on CNN. But the motion is a lot slower, instead of going for the Dr. Tongue 3D! Effect.
I suppose it's mostly because it was a text segment that was on screen and they felt the need to do that to make it more "exciting". For me it just made it much harder to read. Jeez, that camera must have been on a Tilt-A-Whirl.
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Old 1st December 2018, 11:37 AM   #12
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Am I watching the same video?

I agree it is goofy presentation mode, but it appears to me the the studio camera operator got the call to capture the monitor, and had to play around a bit before they got a good angle, and still continued to tweak the framing a bit.

I don't see any shaking at all.

I watch so little TV news, maybe my bar is just not that high...
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Old 1st December 2018, 11:45 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
Am I watching the same video?

I agree it is goofy presentation mode, but it appears to me the the studio camera operator got the call to capture the monitor, and had to play around a bit before they got a good angle, and still continued to tweak the framing a bit.

I don't see any shaking at all.

I watch so little TV news, maybe my bar is just not that high...
I agree - much of the clip was fairly standard. Only the video of the screen was really strange. Probably someone's desire for a "Ken Burns" effect gone wrong....
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Old 1st December 2018, 12:48 PM   #14
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A Ken Burns Effect is used on the lady in red right before our wild ride. It's a very slow zoom to her face and it's nearly imperceptible.


Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
had to play around a bit before they got a good angle, and still continued to tweak the framing a bit.
It's easy and straightforward to frame the monitor image so that the viewers can see everything. Henry seems to be striving for something other than that.

There is a large plastic or glass panel in front of the monitor. It's probably there to protect an expensive monitor. That panel is reflective and acts as a mirror. You can see that it reflects an array of studio lighting and the result is bright white hotspots in various places. Those hotspots don't move but sometimes they obliterate text and other things on the monitor. Henry might be trying to prevent the hotspots from ruining the view - but even so he seems overly active for that goal.

This may have been the first time that this was attempted and a discussion in production might decide that they won't try it again.
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Old 1st December 2018, 01:16 PM   #15
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It just occurred to me that moving the camera around may have been to prevent the sort of strobing and moire patterns you can get taking a TV picture of a TV.
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Old 1st December 2018, 01:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
It just occurred to me that moving the camera around may have been to prevent the sort of strobing and moire patterns you can get taking a TV picture of a TV.
I think that is not an issue for them because the monitor is not a CRT. They may have also adjusted the monitor refresh rate to prevent such problems. Somebody else here is probably more knowledgeable than me about that stuff.
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Old 1st December 2018, 02:06 PM   #17
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The opening few seconds of the motion and pan to pick up the monitor seemed completely normal to me as a cut to the material. But if it's going to last more than 15 seconds, I expected it to switch to just the feed, not the camera.

The motion itself didn't seem that weird, just that they stayed with the shot for so long. Kind of like someone walking on stage by waving and smiling and then continues to do that for 2 minutes....
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Old 1st December 2018, 02:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I think that is not an issue for them because the monitor is not a CRT. They may have also adjusted the monitor refresh rate to prevent such problems. Somebody else here is probably more knowledgeable than me about that stuff.
I just experimented by pointing my phone at an LED TV and did see a few artifacts. Not a lot, but a few.
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Old 1st December 2018, 02:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I just experimented by pointing my phone at an LED TV and did see a few artifacts. Not a lot, but a few.
I think that may not be an apples-to-apples comparison. We know your phone is not a professional TV camera and their monitor might be meaningfully different than your TV.

What we have in our homes is not what you find in a TV studio.
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Old 1st December 2018, 05:06 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BowlOfRed View Post
The opening few seconds of the motion and pan to pick up the monitor seemed completely normal to me as a cut to the material. But if it's going to last more than 15 seconds, I expected it to switch to just the feed, not the camera.

The motion itself didn't seem that weird, just that they stayed with the shot for so long. Kind of like someone walking on stage by waving and smiling and then continues to do that for 2 minutes....
Maybe they planned to cut, but for some reason couldn't - "technical difficulties" or something - and ended up telling the cameraman to just keep vamping for the rest of the segment.
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Old 6th December 2018, 11:41 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Maybe they planned to cut, but for some reason couldn't - "technical difficulties" or something - and ended up telling the cameraman to just keep vamping for the rest of the segment.
That is what it looks like. As if they were supposed to go back to Camera 1 on the presenter, but she was holding a page to her face struggling with the reading so they stuck with Camera 2 far longer than intended.
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Old 6th December 2018, 12:32 PM   #22
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They just hired the guy who ran the tumblr upskirt site (he needed a new gig). He has mad moving the camera skills. He'll get used to his new gig. I wish he took the job at Fox instead. That's one target rich environment.
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Old 6th December 2018, 02:20 PM   #23
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Did they not explain this, it's been a week or so?
I think the guy was fighting an undirected input glitch in the 600 lb studio dolly's drive/control software.
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Old 6th December 2018, 05:56 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jim_MDP View Post
Did they not explain this, it's been a week or so?
I think the guy was fighting an undirected input glitch in the 600 lb studio dolly's drive/control software.
Nope, but it also hasn't been a one off. It seems the be something new they are doing, though I have noticed the the repeats have been slower and not quite as motion sickness inducing, as well as using a bigger screen. I guess someone in their newsroom thinks that just having static figures isn't exciting enough so they need to have a drunk camera to make them more exciting.
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Old 9th December 2018, 07:14 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Why is it that we need to make the viewers of a news segment feel like they are on the deck of a boat in the middle of hurricane?
I call it "annoyance cam" when we include:

panning and zooming
rapid-fire quick cuts
bizarre angles
strobe light flashes in your eyes

etc.

I found this, beginning with MTV so offensive I undertook a study of it and incredibly, found the answers in psychological warfare literature.

I can't watch the vast majority of TV and modern movies. It just gets me angry and I came to understand that the producers are relentlessly trying to shut your mind down.

At the opening of your clip: a bright flash is known as a strobe. The purpose is to blank your mind out. Pow.

If they put red or blue in there, and most devastating of all is rapid-fire red/blue alternating, then they can induce epileptic seizures. So they went beyond the hum-drum all-white screen strobe there. The additional pan/zooom effect, this is borrowed from the hypnosis field.

That is their opening.

Next is the relentlessly moving camera, either panning or zooming or cutting or shakey-cam to prevent the subject from ever gaining equilibrium, never able to establish a point of perspective.

In this war game, you have to ostensibly be providing content, in this case "news". So do this experiment: close your eyes and treat it like a radio broadcast.

You will be surprised how little content there is. How repetitive it is. We're going to tell you about X. But first here. We're telling you about X upcoming. But now here. X is about to happen. Now X.

The visuals are running a covert psy-op on you, one I find repulsive. It is never doing the thing it claims to be doing, in this case the visual adding to news content. No, it is actually an annoying distraction.

TV addicts love it, and tell you it imparts a feeling of actually "being there" whether it is a fake fight scene, news, or action movie.

I inquired about it at a forum for editors, directors, and producers some years ago. One director was particularly enamored of it and did one movie from opening scene to closing credits where the camera was never still for one moment.

He said he was imparting a feeling of "tension" in his audience. Well sure, in the same way I feel tension when an ******* starts a conversation with me while I am already on the phone.

The producers of MSNBC want to impart a feeling of "action" or "tension" with the visuals. Of "being there", oh here is the president walking down some stairs. See how much information content there is in that? Wow. The president. Air Force One. Stairs. People in suits. Microphones. A flag, a presidential seal. A podium.

30 seconds of zero information content.

I am in a cabin in the woods most of the time and I have to laugh when I see a "news" show with the man and woman doing the back-and-forth. If I am at someone's house or an airport. It is so idiotic I can hardly believe my eyes.

Fortunately, this is the medium controlling the minds of an enormous swath of the electorate. I find great comfort in that. At least knowing where my civilization is, rotting before the fall.
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