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Old 04-30-2015, 09:53 AM   #1
writersandfilmmakers
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Split screen tips?

Hi, I'm going to shoot a split screen shot. Any tips before i go shoot? Should I place them dead center and then crop after?
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:29 AM   #2
sfoster
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split screen can confuse the audience about where to look.
so make sure you focus their attention accordingly.
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by writersandfilmmakers View Post
Hi, I'm going to shoot a split screen shot. Any tips before i go shoot? Should I place them dead center and then crop after?
To what purpose?

If you're attempting to split screen for creating the illusion of the same actor twice... like twins, that's different than what sFoster is talking about. If you're attempting to use split screen like sFoster is referring, then there are no special rules as to how to shoot, that I know of.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:08 PM   #4
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If you want to split it 50/50 shoot with markers on screen so you can see whether it actually fits.
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:46 PM   #5
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It's actually a simple shot of two different people, each on their own computer having a web chat....typing away
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:37 PM   #6
Ernest Worthing
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Unless you're doing something creative (highly encouraged and you've given me some ideas here), most split screen shots are not filmed at the same time. Shoot them separately and do the split screen effect in post.

Just be sure to match any timing and know how you're going to crop so you can frame accordingly with enough space.
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Worthing View Post
Unless you're doing something creative (highly encouraged and you've given me some ideas here), most split screen shots are not filmed at the same time. Shoot them separately and do the split screen effect in post.

Just be sure to match any timing and know how you're going to crop so you can frame accordingly with enough space.
Agreed.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:18 PM   #8
sfoster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Worthing View Post
most split screen shots are not filmed at the same time.
careful with the blanket statements .. nearly every split screen in 24 is filmed at the same time. they have 2 primary cameras
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoster View Post
careful with the blanket statements .. nearly every split screen in 24 is filmed at the same time. they have 2 primary cameras
Most are not. Especially when it is actions taking place in two
different locations. Like 24. When they used multiple split
screens of actions taking place in different locations those shots
were not filmed at the same time. Sometimes there would be
split screens of the same action in the same location shot using
more than one camera. But most split screen shots are not
filmed at the same time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by writersandfilmmakers View Post
Should I place them dead center and then crop after?
That depends on what you want for the final shot. If you want
them dead center then place them dead center. Is that the
look you're going for?
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:19 PM   #10
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[YT]-Y37wK9fO0E[/YT]

Probably my favourite split screen scene of all time – this was a set built to look like a split screen so that Keaton and Allen could riff off one another and make the timing feel natural.

But, obviously, completely unnecessary for your purposes. I advise doing what Walter suggests and taping your monitor to get an idea of how it fits. If you frame each of them for full screen, it may feel awkward (or involve cropping) to get them to fit side-by-side. So frame them each for their respective half screen (unless you're going to start with each character in full screen and then shrink them into split screen, in which case make sure there's enough room in the frame.
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:26 PM   #11
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I must have seen that movie 30 times before I realized it wasn't
split screen but a set built to look like a split screen.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:36 AM   #12
Ernest Worthing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoster View Post
careful with the blanket statements .. nearly every split screen in 24 is filmed at the same time. they have 2 primary cameras
I am wary of blanket statements as well; I do not believe mine was one. Most split screens are not filmed at the same time and some of the shots in 24 are the exception to the rule.

Actually, I encouraged the OP to break the rule and get creative in filming a split screen scene simultaneously
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:52 AM   #13
sfoster
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I don't think that anyone would assume shots occurring at two different locations are filmed at the same time.

Unless of course two characters are talking on the phone, etc.
Anyway I was just making a point
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by writersandfilmmakers View Post
It's actually a simple shot of two different people, each on their own computer having a web chat....typing away
Split screen is used mainly for one of two purposes, where it's important for the audience to realise that two (or even three) different scenes are occurring simultaneously (in the story's timeline) or as a technique of simultaneously showing different angles of a single relatively complex scene, where a wide shot wouldn't show enough specific detail and a closer shot would eliminate visual elements of the scene from the frame which the filmmakers wanted the audience to be aware of.

The difficulty is, as sfoster mentioned, "split screen can confuse the audience about where to look". In fact, I would go further and say that split screen WILL confuse an audience unless handled very well/carefully. In the case of say a web chat or conversation of some kind, what's most important to the story at any particular instant, the expression/body language of the person speaking/typing or the response of the recipient? Whichever it is, how do you focus your audience's attention on the appropriate screen at the appropriate time? Asking this question another way, what happens to your audience's feeling of involvement or interest in your story if they are looking at the wrong split at the wrong time or even if it doesn't matter which screen they are looking at? I'm not saying this issue can't be solved but I would say that it's an advanced technique which needs thought and skill throughout the various film crafts and phases of filmmaking, to make sure that the split screen actually aids the storytelling rather than doing the opposite and being a distracting gimmick.

G
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:38 AM   #15
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WOW. Thanks for the ideas. I think shooting at the same time might be possible, and that way I only need to direct the scene once, rather than time it perfectly with an imaginary person there. These people being shot are not actors, so it might be useful.

Last edited by writersandfilmmakers; 05-01-2015 at 07:39 AM. Reason: typos and missing word
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