Monitor? Who needs one?

We got some great scenes shot.  They’re acting, I’m hiding behind a tree.  I see my shadow moving.  oops.  That’s in the shot.  Wait.  Cool.  What if we do a scene where theres plenty of performers doing stuff, but you can’t see any of them.  They’re all hidden and all their shadows are visible and doing things?  Cool.  An actor yells, “cut!”  

 

I walk out and I ask the usual, “how was it?”  The answer, “yeah, felt good.”  I’m sure it did.  I’m working with top-flight talent.  Later I’m looking at the footage and see that the footage would have been better if the actors were closer to the camera.  And, sure, they could have gone a little faster.  Ya know, blocking and speed, two real basic notes.  On stage, it wouldn’t take long.  Without a live monitor, we’d have to move files around and format/watch them, which would double the time required.  Without a monitor, we decided just to shoot a higher volume of takes and improve the odds of nailing it.  But we didn’t.  I guess we need a monitor.  That’s a very basic thing for any video making person, a role I’ve played myself from time to time.  But as avant-garde VR theater makers, it’s a lesson we had to learn ourselves.

The Ricoh Theta S can stream live, but what good is that, with a big ‘ol USB cable tracing though your shot?  Yes, the Theta S can monitor via its hotspot on your phone app, but only for still photo taking.  But you cant roll and monitor at the same time.  Stinkey. We can stream to a laptop, and record what we get on the laptop.  Maybe a transmitter will fit in the stitchline.  We googled it, and couldn’t find a USB wireless transmitter that seemed reliable.  The last thing I need is clipping, dropped frames, any kind of wireless issues.  For now, we decided we’d rather hide a long usb cord than deal with any kind of wireless interference.  Viva Long Cord!