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Old 04-25-2006, 03:05 PM   #1
Raisingdad2004
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Default Things you hate about Multi-Camera Sitcoms

For those who do not know, Multi-camera shows are shot on a sound stage with multiple cameras. For each camera to not appear in the shot, they are where the 4th wall of the set would be - hence why we usually only see 3 walls. Shows like Friends, Seinfeld & Frasier were multi camera.

1. Becuase the shows usually stick with existing sets, on stories where the family go out they usually wait until they get back to the house to discuss bad points of the evening (like 'I can't believe your behaviour tonight') when they could have easily just said it in the Car, or outside the resteraunt.

2. People only sit around one side of the table, sign of a lazy director.

Continue the list
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Old 04-25-2006, 04:17 PM   #2
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The sets look fake. And the houses are never proportional, even with other parts of the set (like the upstairs doesn't seem to fit with the downstairs...one thing that bugged me about Full House).
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Old 04-25-2006, 04:27 PM   #3
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Even some single camera shows shoot on bad sets though, I don't think that single camera is used correctly unless you see all 4 walls of the set in a scene - otherwise, you might aswell use multi camera.
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Old 04-26-2006, 04:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barwars
Not entirely. The sets used for Cheers and Friends, among other series, look on par with anything in a feature film.
Cheers was a good set, but you can't really believe the Friends lived in those apartments and they were always clean - they don't look like somebody lives there, then again Monica lives there.
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:41 PM   #5
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I hate the fact that they're usually not funny anymore.
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Old 04-26-2006, 11:41 PM   #6
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Thanks to Desi Arnaz for developing the multi-camera technique.
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Old 04-27-2006, 03:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Not entirely. The sets used for Cheers look on par with anything in a feature film.
That's true. It looked like they spent money on that to make it look real.
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Old 04-27-2006, 04:09 PM   #8
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The problem with the Cheers set was you had 2 lanes of traffic, next to the camera and far away from the camera (where you would enter tha 'bar', drink serving part of the bar) and so when characters would walk back there you would be watching from far away with the main part of the bar blocking view. It was a great set, but logistically not great for multi-camera.
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Old 04-28-2006, 03:38 AM   #9
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I agree on the sets, for the most part, and the instances of staging that Raisingdad2004 mentioned.

Also, the lighting. Everything looks so goddamn bright. I like experimenting with different sources of light depending on the scene. It really adds something to the mood and atmosphere of a scene.

But mostly, everything in multi-camera seems too rigid and limiting nowadays. Single camera offers more opportunities in terms of location, directorial style and usually allows you to do things like bigger stunts.

I still have a soft spot for multi-camera sitcoms, but to me, single camera seems more exciting and open.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raisingdad2004
For those who do not know, Multi-camera shows are shot on a sound stage with multiple cameras. For each camera to not appear in the shot, they are where the 4th wall of the set would be - hence why we usually only see 3 walls. Shows like Friends, Seinfeld & Frasier were multi camera.

1. Becuase the shows usually stick with existing sets, on stories where the family go out they usually wait until they get back to the house to discuss bad points of the evening (like 'I can't believe your behaviour tonight') when they could have easily just said it in the Car, or outside the resteraunt.

2. People only sit around one side of the table, sign of a lazy director.

Continue the list
Multi-Cam gives you much more easy cookie-cutter formats. These are filmed on a sound-stage, much like a theater play. So all of the microphones are in place, every angle is perfectly staged, all of the lighting is pre-set, all of the props are always facing the correct direction, all of the actors know where to look, and it's really easy to cut between takes. Do 2 or 3 lines for that camera. Okay, reset. Now 2 or 3 lines for this other camera, and back and forth. The whole process is just much more controlled and streamlined (thus cheaper). This saves costs because you can get all the angles you want in fewer takes, so it takes less time to film.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:26 PM   #11
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I prefer multi-camera comedies to single-camera comedies. Having said that, I don't like not seeing a fourth wall. For example, the way the ladies sat in the kitchen in The Golden Girls was ridiculous: all four squished together on three sides of the table, or Sophia standing by herself at the island, or at the stove all the time.

Roseanne does show the fourth wall in the opening, and Friends did show the fourth wall briefly in the episode where Chandler breaks into the closet with the green door in the back, but typically, we don't ever see a fourth wall, outside of those shows.

(And as a side note, it also drives me crazy that exterior sets or locations rarely match the interior. But that goes for many shows, not just multi-camera sitcoms).
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:40 PM   #12
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Some multi camera sets are really good, Two and A Half Men--superb. Some, pretty bad, Everybody Loves Raymond--D minus. Most single camera sets look more realistic--the biggest reason is squared-off walls that don't look like they're set up for a play.

On-location scenes is the advantage most single camera comedies have. Most multi-camera comedies never leave the the soundstage (there are exceptions once in awhile, of course).

I agree with that last post about exterior shots not matching the soundstage sets--in either format. That exterior shot of the My Three Sons California house bugs me--what room is that first floor window to the left of the front door?
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevea
I agree with that last post about exterior shots not matching the soundstage sets--in either format. That exterior shot of the My Three Sons California house bugs me--what room is that first floor window to the left of the front door?
YEP!

And why does the Huxtable house have three aboveground floors, but there are only two aboveground floors inside?



Even worse: how does the Tanner house have an attic above the second aboveground floor?!

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Old 05-17-2018, 06:55 PM   #14
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That there aren't as many as there used to be.
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawsongirl
The sets look fake. And the houses are never proportional, even with other parts of the set (like the upstairs doesn't seem to fit with the downstairs...one thing that bugged me about Full House).
The thing that was weird about Full House was the 2 stairways. They had the stairway to the second story in the living room, and then another in the kitchen. OK, so having two sets of stairs is weird in itself. But the other thing that's weird if you'll notice that when they used either stairway to get to the upstairs they both seemed to enter into the same area in the upstairs hallway. LOL. They didn't really think that one through.

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