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Multicamera setup

Pioneered by Desi Arnaz with three cameras, commonly now four, the multicamera setup is used to shoot most studio-produced television programs such as situation comedies, soap operas, news programs, game shows, and talk shows. Television dramas, however, are usually shot using a one camera setup[?], as are movies.

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Generally, the two outer cameras shoot close shots[?] or crosses of the two most active characters on the set at any given time, while the central camera or cameras shoot a wider master shot to capture the overall action and establish the geography of the room. In this way, multiple shots are obtained in a single take[?] without having to start and stop the action. This is more efficient for programs that are to be shown after editing, and vital for live broadcasts[?], as well as providing continuity for the actors and studio audience[?].

While shooting, the director and assistant director[?] create a line cut[?] by instructing the technical director[?] to switch the feed to various cameras. The line cut may later be refined in editing, as the picture from all cameras is recorded, both separately and as a combined reference display called the quad split[?]. The camera currently being recorded to the line cut is indicated by a tally light[?] on the camera as a reference both for the actors and the camera operators[?].

Most situation comedies are shot on film, while other programs are usually recorded on less expensive video.

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