Filming a play is an art. Especially now as people have been accustomed to seeing movies on computers, cellphones, YouTube platforms and the like. With movies having many closeups and camera angles, a stationary camera in a theater performance may not be appealing to viewers anymore. That is why HMTC will film a recent play production with three to five cameras.
Years ago, Repertorio Español Theater filmed my play "Boxcar/El Vagon." The film of the play is superb and professional. They used ample camera angles to make the play come alive on a screen. I remember insisting they use at least two cameras. Perhaps that was their intention anyway since they are a very professional NY theater company. They filmed without a live audience. Streaming of this play can still be purchased on their website.
Recently, I purchased streaming access for a play from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It was delightful to see wonderful actors performing "Julius Caesar" by Shakespeare. However, it was a one-camera view from the back of the audience. I could see the back of the audience's heads and I kept thinking how I was missing the live experience of such a wonderful play expertly performed. Perhaps, OSF intention was not to use the video to stream in the first place. They were asking for funds during the crowd restrictions and pulled from their archives theater performances that were taped. Then streamed them to use as fundraisers to help them through these times.
Filming a play is now an experience for HMTC. We got this experience with the pandemic restrictions. We had to film the plays "Don't Just Look," and "Pedro the Puppeteer." "Don’t Just Look" is purely a puppet performance. Pedro the Puppeteer is a play with both humans and puppets. For each of these we used at least three film cameras.
This weekend HMTC will embark in filming a recent play production, "Death of a Social Security Benefit." Like Repetorio Español Theater, our production will be filmed without an audience. Three cameras will be placed in close proximity to the stage. Two other cameras will be strategically placed in the theater for extra film footage.
The editing from many cameras will be time consuming. However, the viewer will have a more satisfying experience with the end-product.