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PostHeaderIcon Tips For Better Movie Making

Tips For Better Movie Making

by John   Sirett

 

* Whenever you stop your camera, change the camera angle and alter your subject's size. ( this will help when editing to provide shot variety and avoid 'jump cuts' )

* Remember not to cross "the  line". eg.  You are filming runners passing from left to right on your screen.   If you cross the road  (the line) and film from the other side, the runners will then be passing from right to left on your screen

* "Faces not places "! People like to watch other people.   If the subject of your video is 'steam locomotives', then also film the people watching the locomotives !

* Shoot lots of footage on the day – this day will NEVER come again.    Shoot lots of cutaways and POVs (point of view shots) too.  When editing time comes you will benefit from having a larger choice of shots.

* Get big bold close-ups.  'Close' is hardly ever close enough.   When you think you are too close, you're probably about right !

* When framing a subject for a 'talking head' interview, place the tip of the subject's nose in centre screen.  This works whichever way the subject is facing and however close the shot.     This always ensures 'looking space' . ( Quick and easy.)

* In most cases it is better to keep the camera still and have the subject moving.  However this is not a "golden rule". POV shots ( showing what the subject is seeing) and others where the camera is deliberately following the action, are exceptions.

"Camera Verite", where the camera is constantly on the move, is meant to create a sense of 'realism', but a little of this goes a long way.

* Panning, Tilting and Zooming should be done when initially framing the shot before recording,   and should only be done during the shot for some specific purpose in promoting the story. Then do not reverse the direction of pan, tilt, or zoom in the same scene.  (Advice for beginners :- keep your hands off the zoom !)

* Tracking a subject with camera on wide angle is preferable to zooming, in order to follow the action.  Devices like 'trolley dollies' or steadycam  (if available) will enable stunning results

* You are shooting to tell a story. There has to be a sequence of events.  Don't be tempted to shoot 'stills', ( shots that should be taken on a still camera ). They require a different mindset.

* If local sound is important to your story, leave your camera recording even after your visual take is completed.  There is often valuable dialogue to be gained.

* Edit ruthlessly.  The best film-makers are invariably the best editors.  Short shots from different angles determine the 'pace' of a movie.  The quality of your movie will be improved, not by what you put into it, but what you cut out of it. (Confucius say)

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