Shooting a documentary about facial surgery in SF

Written by Cedric on . Posted in Video

Last Week I shot a documentary about Microsurgery for a French TV channel.

I had to shoot an interview of a doctor in San Francisco. Then shoot some B-roll during a facial operation for about two hours. It was a major operation, I won’t go in the details, and just before entering the room I had no idea what would be my reaction, if i would faint or/and get sick.

Everything went very well, the operation and the shoot went very smoothly. I was also very impressed and fascinated by the doctors’ work and how they handle these extreme situations.


For the shoot I thought that shooting with a DSLR would be perfect. In an hospital more than anywhere else you have to make yourself as small and discreet as you can. The low light capability of the DSLR was a big plus too.

So I set the T2i in pal 1080p 25fps to match the French TV format and used a LED light that I just bought. The LED was great: light, small, powerful but not too aggressive, perfect for this shoot.

For the interview I used my Zoom H4n and an audio-technica AT899 lav to record the audio, no way to use the sound of a DSLR… everybody knows that. So I synchronized audio/video on location with my laptop after the shoot.


The shoot went very well and it was a great experience. I shot so many times in hospitals but never during an operation that intense.


Thanks Gael for the pictures !!



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is a a San Francisco based filmmaker - Founder of Story Eyed Media LLC. He is a graduate of the International Institute of Image and Sound of Paris, France. Over the past 10 years, Cedric has worked on documentaries and news reports around the world.

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