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Viewer-Selected Point of View

a-fly-in-the-air movie watching
  [vote for,

Now, everyone watching a movie sees each scene shot from the same angles and distance. The film’s centers of attention and points of view are determined by the script, director, editor, etc. What if instead, the home viewer could move about like a fly on the set – the spectator’s cut?

A movie scene shot with several cameras from different angles could after computer processing be viewed with the proper user interface and hardware as if filmed from any point in space. By use of a mouse or hand control, like manipulating a CAD object on a screen, the movie viewer could choose to concentrate on one particular character during a dialogue, see a close-up of an extra or item, pan the scene from above or follow a car chase from different positions, all done live based on the stored, three dimensional video and sound data.

Of course this would place demands on the placement and use of crew, cameras, light and sound equipment while at the same time challenging and limiting the director’s and editors’ skills. Computer generated imagery would make this concept easier to realize. The ability to choose perspectives during every shot, with the possibility of an improved or in some cases even a deteriorated movie experience, might be a breathtaking freedom.

FarmerJohn, Feb 04 2005

Ebert's Glossary of Movie Terms http://academic.sun...sary/ebert_glos.htm
[FarmerJohn, Feb 04 2005]


       I had a good laugh over the Ebert quotes. and the idea would be interesting, but I'd bet artistic directors are adament about a shot being made one way and one way only.
dentworth, Feb 04 2005

       It might be a breathtaking freedom. There are definitely films where my mind has wandered and I wish I had this freedom, but the point of the camera is to tell us some story in images as the director sees it. It is his or her story to tell and thus if you changed the camera work it would no longer be their work. I'd hate to rob any great artist of such dignity. However, the concept is intriguing and in a world where anything is possible I'd like a film where not only could you roam the scene, you could roam the entire set (or "set" in the case of cgi) even so far as to be completely out of hearing of the action or getting involved in another story line two doors over.   

       It's starting to sound like a video game isn't it?
k_sra, Feb 04 2005

       How about, for a computer-generated movie, having an optional 'back camera' view (using a DVD angle selection) which would show a wider view than would normally be visible, perhaps with the 'director', 'main camera', and even 'dolly track' visible in foreground?
supercat, Feb 04 2005

       I think that if this ever happens, it will be driven by the same genre of movies that helped VHS win over Betamax. And it might not just be the crew and director who were placed under additional demands.
Basepair, Feb 05 2005

       Certainly a great idea. but is complex. with so many cameras and lights, you have to make sure that you dont show other cameras in the movie which are capturing the movie too in real time. orelse you will have to make the actors enact the same scene for different cameras at different locations. anyways, noone can stop an idea born..i would give it a score of 9.9. hey here is an alternative.. you can be present at the sets of the movie yourself, so that you can move around and see everypart of the film from every angle you -- you get to see the unsensored version of the picture.. live!!
sridhar236, Feb 08 2005

       There are many "play within a play" conceits, dating back to Shakespeare, for example "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Tempest."   

       The more recent "Kiss Me Kate" revival on Broadway is a semi-modern PWAP version of the Shakespeare "Taming of the Shrew."   

       DVDs were touted as the new format to realize viewer changing "point of view", as [Basepair] points out, and probably will realize this dream at some point.
csea, Feb 08 2005

       Guy Guillet and others from MIT Media Lab deployed an interactive television system across about 300 homes in Pennsylvania in 1989 or 1990. One of the features of this system was that, with special shows, the viewers could switch cameras on the fly as they wished.   

       One of the featured programs was a Peter Gabriel concert shot in Greece with 7 cameras. 7 35mm film cameras at that.
bristolz, Feb 08 2005

       [bristolz], any links to MIT/PA interactive? Do viewers actually want this kind of control?   

       P. Gabriel concert sounds like great DVD content.
csea, Feb 08 2005

       No. No links that I could find but I know Guy Guillet and have seen pieces of the Gabriel work (the camera switching "menus" which were built atop the footage).
bristolz, Feb 08 2005

       Actually, [csea]'s comment made me think. Would I, indeed, want this kind of control? Frankly, if I'm watching a movie I expect the actors, cameramen, director, editor and everyone to give me their best shot and entertain me in the style of their choosing, and I either like it or I don't. If I have the opportunity to play cameraman, then why not let me choose the actors, the script, the dialogue, the location...and then I'm just watching my own home movie. Would you stand up at a concert and tell them how to play? (Well, OK, at some it would probably help...)
Basepair, Feb 08 2005

       This actually already takes place. Its called volunteer video productions where a local vidiot cons a bunch of would be film/video makers into helping make his/her personal video. This vidiot selects all the shots, dialogue etc. as if he/she is a born producer, just overlooked by society. There is a wrap party and no-one ever hears of the production again because the vidiot doesn't know anything about post production and ends up wasting everyone's time.
mensmaximus, Feb 08 2005

       (I think someone's bitter)
Worldgineer, Feb 08 2005

       I'm surprised no one has called this baked. The seamless aspect of it is currently a technologically limited factor, but I've never seen a DVD player remote control that didn't have a button marked "Angle" for changing to an alternate camera angle.   

       Am I missing something???
contracts, Feb 09 2005

       I think this could only be done with movies which were entirely or almost entirely CG. Even with as much live action as possible, the amount of equipment you'd have to cut from the environment would mean that a large portion of the environment would have to be post-produced anyway. With a movie that's completely computer animated, this concept is easily bakeable. I mean, being able to switch from camera to camera is one thing, but to have "fly in the air" freedom, while way, way cool, would be really hard to do, or impossible, with real actors and real sets. Even if you could have some kind of 3D scanning camera, it couldn't be visible light, it would have to be like terrain-mapping radar, so what everything actually *looked* like in full color would have to be imagined and added later.
Wisconsin, Feb 09 2005

       Just the last volunteer production ended this way. The producer and the tapes are missing but as I ran a miniDV camera to record additional stereo sound on the set, I have a master shot of every take. Maybe I could electronically zoom in, crop and edit but the story was air-head though. Some of my best sound work goin' down the tube.
mensmaximus, Feb 10 2005


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