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Fake Video Camera View

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There is a practice in some TV shows and especially in commercials that shows the view of someone using a video camera. This usually includes a rectangular "frame" in the scene and the "REC" indicator with a red dot in the bottom right corner of the screen. Or, depending on the camera, any of the other three corners.

This is not the same as captured video, which includes the date and time stamp, but rather implies that we are seeing the video display on the camera from the viewpoint of the person recording it.


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  • Activia yogurt has Jamie Lee Curtis with their special "breakfast blend" yogurt, in which she completely shatters the fourth wall to speak directly to the audience to show how she starts her day including using the sponsor's product, with the video showing "Rec" and red dot in the top left corner of the screen.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Haruhi Suzumiya's anime adaptation has this for the entirety of The Adventures of Asahina Mikuru, the SOS Brigade's film project. Since the movie is meant to look deliberately amateurish, the video quality is often blurry and the camera sometimes has a hard time focusing.
  • Kagewani: "Doba" has Takeru filming himself on camera as he and his crew went through the hole in the chain link fence.
  • The Anime Adaptation of 86 -Eighty-Six- used this trope twice, via the recordings of Spearhead Squadron's Team Pet Fido: first had snippets of the remaining members of the squadron before their Suicide Mission; while the second had those same members (plus a few others) prior to their much-awaited meeting with their former handler Lena.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Turning Red, the panda hustle scene starts with Mei recording on a camcorder and the view switches to the POV of the viewfinder which has a red dot and "REC" in the upper left corner, a battery indicator icon on the upper right corner, the date in the bottom right corner and framelines in all four corners.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Core, a man is recording video of his family in Trafalgar Square, then we see them through the viewfinder of a video camera, including blinking red dot and "REC" in the upper right corner, just before a scene of pigeons falling from the sky, dead.
  • In EDtv, several scenes are shown from the view of a professional video camera, complete with internal indicators and battery life, and filmed by main character Ed Pekurny and his cameraman.
  • Groundhog Day when Phil is filming the groundhog ceremony.
  • Near the beginning of the 2018 Australian film Occupation has a young lady stepping out of her family RV to do some vlogging, taking time while her family is stopped at a gas station/convenience store. The camera view is apparently intended to be universal, as opposed to being directed to users of English. The recording indicators are a timer display in top center, and a recording indicator of a red square surrounded by a white circle.
  • Tommy Boy: Richard is filming parts of the wedding.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Good Luck Charlie: Used for Teddy's video diaries.
  • iCarly: Always used when Freddie is recording "live" segments of the web show. Mostly done to avoid Stylistic Suck by showing it 'as streamed' online.
  • Trading Spaces had the Paige Cam (previously the Alex Cam), for episodes which featured an actual host. The footage was from a handheld camera carried by the host, but the footage was overlaid with the typical trappings of this trope, as well as the words "PAIGE CAM" (or "ALEX CAM").
  • Babylon 5: From time to time, the perspective would switch to one of the station's security cameras or exterior maintenance bots. Typically there would be an indicator identifying which camera they were viewing.
    • The episode The Deconstruction of Falling Stars is noteworthy for featuring this trope in a post-apocalyptic monastary, using hidden cameras.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the episode "Storyteller" sometimes we see the red "REC" with the frame, when Andrew is recording something. Other times they show a green "PLAY" when he's reviewing video he shot earlier.
  • A few times on My So-Called Life. Brian was usually behind the camera, and at one point aims a camera directly at Sharon's chest.
  • An episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun had Mary filming an anthropological documentary about the Solomons. Most of the episode is seen from the camera's point of view, with Mary giving them some direction and interviewing them from off camera.
  • Star Trek: Voyager Season 2, episode 20, "Investigations" has Neelix doing a daily roundup of ships events and crew interviews, in which the episode opens with one of his shows from the viewpoint of the automated camera, including a red "REC" flashing at the bottom of the screen, with the field of vision marked by lines surrounding the frame.
  • Bosch episode 4 has the District Attorney having a video made of an alleged serial killer showing where he buried his first victim, with the red dot and "Rec" appearing in the viewfinder
  • Used on Good Eats in the episode "Behind the Bird," which dealt with post-Thanksgiving leftovers. The camera was used in this fashion, in a Shout-Out to The Blair Witch Project, as the crew was stuck at Alton's house with only the aforementioned leftovers, awaiting rescue during a snow storm. (Since they were in Georgia, this meant an inch of snow.)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live!: The 10th anniversary show in 2013 opens this way, with Matt Damon revealing that, after years of Jimmy Kimmel running out of time for him, he's abducted Jimmy and staged a Hostile Show Takeover, retitling the show Jimmy Kimmel Sucks!.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy VIII: during the ending sequence.
  • Voyeur does this when the player is supposed to be recording footage.
  • Outlast has you use a video camera to both record events and to see in dark areas with the night vision function.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins has this after Batman grapples a news helicopter that Vicki Vale is on, and then glides off to resume fighting Bane's goons. The first 15-20 seconds of the fight are from the camera of the news chopper as Vale talks about how Batman is on his way to becoming a household name.

    Web Animation 
  • The fourth episode of The Strangerhood mini-series "The Pitch" was done like this, as Sam's interaction with the focus group was being recorded for a "documentary style reality show sitcom".
  • Homestar Runner: A number of examples, including the "videos" on the character page and Strong Bad's "most amazing e-mail" from "Weclome [sic] Back".
  • This was done in one of the IndieGogo campaigns for Season 4 of The Most Popular Girls in School.

    Western Animation 
  • Used to interesting effect in a two-part episode of Arthur, in which Arthur and his best friend Buster visit New York City. Much of the episode is animated as usual, but whenever New York is shown through Buster's camcorder, the show becomes live action.
  • Despicable Me: At the end. Notable in that they actually used a 1920x1080 resolution marker in the bottom corner.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: One episode was almost entirely from the viewpoint of a camera. First there was a scene to set it up, then the rest of the episode is all the camera's view.
  • Rocket Power frequently did this, usually to indicate recording of the kids doing various extreme stunts.
  • Features prominently in the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Camera Shy."


Video Example(s):


A match

Jerry examines the video taken from Maddie's offical LAPD body camera to investigate Kurt Dockweiler's likelihood as a suspect. He then later examines a screenshot to a police sketch after he finishes watching said video.

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5 (1 votes)

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Main / FakeVideoCameraView

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