Shooting good video

A photographer friend asked us how to go about shooting good video – maybe you are interested too?

Shoot a wide shot of a situation, then drill down into 5 to 10, 2-3 second long segments which show up close detail, ideally pull focus between foreground and background to either sweep over an area of interest or to land on it.

Start the filming of each segment a second before and then a second after what you are wanting to capture so you can put it together cleanly in the edit. Repeat through trial and era each ‘take’ until you get the focus pull / general movement right, so 1 of your 2-3 second clips may have 3-8 attempts before you nail it.

Remember in your mind which was the good take to save time in editing.

When considering what to film in the close ups, make sure they tell a visual story related to the wide shot you took. Move on to the next situation when this has been satisfactorily captured. Also ensure your camera angles are more than 30 degrees away from each other so you don’t get ‘jump cuts’ in the edit.

Try to start with the supporting music in mind, as high energy audio will require sharper / quicker camera work than laid back music which would be sweeping and panoramic.

You require a tripod for wide shots and a stabilising device for hand held (press it against your face, use a monopod, lay on the floor, hang it from your neck and support with your arms, use a shoulder mount, lean against a wall, whatever, just get stable).

Alternatively spend hours in post production trying to add stabilisation which never looks as good as doing it properly in the first place.

Also try for interesting camera angles. It can be quite dull to walk around taking photography orientated video segments when you put it together.. People live at eye height so they know what it looks like.

Lastly, film what interests YOU. It is your story and your art. You can’t please everyone, so just follow a path and see where it leads you.

– Regards, Philip Bateman

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