Tuesday, April 22, 2008

on camera: mosh pit hands, please

Today's New York Times takes a look at the precision timing and organization behind American Idol and reveals this instruction from producers to the audience:
For the audience members who stand in the “mosh pit,” the area immediately in front of the stage, special instructions are required. “When you are applauding after a performance, we need your hands above your head,” Mr. Almeida said before a recent Tuesday performance. “Otherwise we can’t see that you’re clapping.”
It reminded us that gestures on camera are pointless if they're not in the camera's range--and in most interviews, or even typical videotapings of speeches, the camera will aim for a tight head shot. In other words, gestures below your head won't be seen. You don't need to overreach overhead, but do get your gestures higher if you want your hands in the picture at any point. Want to be sure how you'll be shot? Chat up the camera operator. And if you're speaking live and like to move around the room or away from the lectern, as we recommend you do, it's useful to give the videographer a heads-up, lest your activity wind up off-camera.

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