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I recently was wondering about a music performance video that used some very strange tricks that I couldn't find an explanation for. Below shows one perspective of the music performance: enter image description here

It appears to me that there is a cameraperson standing in front of the singer on the stage based off of the FOV between the background and the subjects. For reference, here is a clear shot that you can tell was zoomed in: enter image description here The house and the subjects seem to be zoomed in because of the FOV. Now back to the original (first) image, there is another perspective from the exact second of the same stage: enter image description here As you can see from the image above, no cameraperson on the stage. I initially thought it might be prerecorded, but it looked to similar to be prerecorded. It is also from the same day as well. My only thought is that the camera is off the stage far away, yet from the first image's perspective, it doesn't look zoomed in at all. In fact, it looks like the camera is very near the singer, which the third image does not show.

I tried searching for terms like "FOV not matching with distance", "camera appears too close", etc. but got no results. I don't know how to describe this phenomenon.

I am not that familiar with the techincal aspects of this. Can somebody please shed some light on what is happening? Thanks for your help! For reference, the orignal videos can be found here:

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    \$\begingroup\$ I watched about a minute of the first one. They're cutting between [at least] two takes, so all bets are off. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 12, 2022 at 7:13

2 Answers 2

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The first screen grab in your question is quite obviously shot from on the stage, with two of the dancers on the extreme edges of the camera's field of view.

Many staged live music performances have mobile camera operators carrying shoulder mounted or "Steadicam" mounted cameras that will be onstage to get particular shots but not onstage at other times when wider angles of view from off stage cameras are desired.

enter image description here

Directors are often careful not to cut to another camera view that shows the mobile camera operators until they can get out of the way.

Another way to get similar results is to use a remotely operated camera on the end of a jib boom that can be swung around and extended and retracted as needed.

enter image description here

Some "live" studio production facilities even have jib booms mounted from the rafters above the stage.

You can see both types of movable cameras in this YouTube clip shot by a spectator at an outdoor concert. A little later on you can also see that things don't always go as planned by the camera crew. Or maybe kicking the mobile camera operator off was a staged part of the show?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ But how do they cut so fast? From the first clip it seems like the cameraguy instantly leaves the stage so it makes me think that it is 2 seperate takes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vincent
    Mar 15, 2022 at 23:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vincent It could very well be two different takes. But either way, it's obvious that the first frame grab was taken with a camera that was on stage (or being held low by a boom over a spot on the stage). \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 16, 2022 at 20:55
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These images were not taken at the same moment nor from the same location. The perspective (subject distance and angle) is different in all three.

The recorded perspective has nothing to do with the field of view nor lens magnification/zoom... those are just different "crops" of the existing perspective.

It is quite probable that the third image is looking down over a camera much lower and closer to the stage (second image) while also keeping it out of the narrower lens field of view.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So the most likely answer is that these were different takes from competely different times? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vincent
    Mar 12, 2022 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vincent: Yes. You can see extra performers in the third compared to the first two. The body positions are quite different between the first two. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 12, 2022 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ They're also wearing different outifts ;))) [More practically, some of the girls swapped places, but this is done inter-cut in the first video. I didn't watch the whole thing.] \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 12, 2022 at 16:16

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