How To Shoot A Room To Look Bigger & Production-Quality Sound - Film Riot

How To Shoot A Room To Look Bigger & Production Quality Sound   Film Riot

In our continued coverage of Film Riot's excellent video production tutorial series, today we take a look at episode 49, "Creative Cam Techniques, NAB & a Special Guest," which provides practical, useful tips that any video production professional can learn from. The crew discusses how you can shoot a room to look much larger than it really is, and also brings in a special guest to talk about two great methods for achieving production-quality sound. 

How To Shoot A Room To Look Bigger

After a viewer wrote in asking for some special camera techniques, the show addresses the issue in Episode 49 (4/21/10), when Ryan discusses some neat tricks you can do with the camera to create simple illusions.

The first one he talks about is how to make a small room look a lot bigger. Suppose you have two people talking to each other in over-the-shoulder shots. What you would do is shoot up against the wall, or close to the wall, over the shoulder towards your subject, who is far away from the opposite wall.

When it comes time to shoot your other actor, you make them move so that again, you are shooting against the wall and the opposite wall is in the far background. Connolly says that to sell this, you should never have a shot where both walls are in frame, as it would shatter the illusion.

There is also a trick for making punches more brutal by simply shaking the camera at the point of impact.

Production-Quality Sound - Film Riot Video Tutorial

Episode 49 also has a special guest from a web series on Revision3 that no longer plays (it had its series finale last year) called Web Zeroes. This segment covers how to make production-quality sound, and the Web Zeroes guys offer two different methods.

Capturing Sound Via The "Two System Sound" Method

Guest Daniel talks about "two system sound," where audio comes from two sources and then is married in post-production.

The first sound is captured via the camera (here, the Canon 7D) itself, and the second sound is captured with a digital voice recorder (here, the Zoom H4). Daniel takes the two recordings into Final Cut Pro and combines the two recordings to make one strong, excellent audio track.

Using An Audio Mixer & Preamp

The second method for quality sound that Web Zeroes used was the JuicedLink CX231 (audio mixer and preamplifier) and DN101 (audio adapter), two devices that hook up directly to the camera. The audio mixer can be used to add microphones that are better than the built-in microphone on the camera, and the audio adapter modifies the mixer to add more flexibility in how it sounds.

Trying to make a decision between the two methods is a matter of how much time you have. The first method discussed is the best way to capture audio, but it takes way more time than the second method.

Film Riot is a great resource for filmmakers of all skill levels. If you're looking for tips that you can start applying immediately to improve the quality of your videos, I'd recommend you check out the Film Riot archives.

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About the Author -
Chris Atkinson joined ReelSEO in 2011. He is a longtime film and television reviewer, and has almost two decades of experience in the theater industry. He also writes on his personal blog - View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Michael

    For sure, we'd never want to use the Canon 7D on-camera microphone in any way (never mix in post editing process with high quality separate audio source). Aside from a poor quality mic on the Canon 7D, we wouldn't want to contaminate a good secondary audio recording with a quality microphone that's CLOSE to the subject.

    The real problem is the distance between the camera (typically 6+ feet) and the subject, picking up way too much reflected (hollow) sound.

    Google "inverse square audio"

  • Sam Prigg

    It's called "double system" sound. Not a new technique-from the 1920's.

  • Nitsan Simantov

    @david August
    We don't use the audio from both mics. Audio is only recorded on the camera itself for reference, then the audio from the second system (usually an audio recorder) is added and replaces the original audio.

  • Nitsan Simantov

    @david August
    We don't use the audio from both mics. Audio is only recorded on the camera itself for reference, then the audio from the second system (usually an audio recorder) is added and replaces the original audio.

  • David August

    Careful using "2 system sound" since combining sound from 2 mics that are not in the same place, and therefore do not capture sound at exactly the same time, may lead to comb filtering making it sound bad.