Good Camera Work Please

Have you ever seen a film and the visual quality of it was just unexceptional and you basically ended up feeling nothing from the story and the characters in it. No connection. No response. Just plain, “Can we watch something else?” Have you ever seen a bad movie but with really high camera quality and handling but still wanted to keep watching it and ended up feeling satisfied with the movie? Well, don’t worry, it’s not just you. The camera work can make a huge difference to the outcome of a film. A broad spectrum and imaginative camerawork will actually increase the connection between the audience and the story you are telling.The several different aspects and techniques in framing are the following:

Framing: Framing your subject is the first thing to do when filming which can be done using one important technique. The rule of thirds. The rule of thirds sets the placement of significant vertical an horizontal elements following the vertical and horizontal thirds which can be seen through this photo:

rule of thirds

According to awildclassroom.com, “This creates 9 equal sections.  Where these sections meet are four points on the frame.  By aligning the central object into these points of the frame (often called the power points), instead of centering the object, you get more aesthetically and professional-looking shots.” However, many sources believe that this should only be a guideline and is usually used in framing an interview or shooting a horizon.

Shooting: There are several ways to maneuver a shot of your subject. This involves your opinion of how these shots will affect the overall outcome of a scene because this is where you decided to use things such as close ups. First there are Extreme Wide Shots (EWS) which act to establish the area whereas Wide Shots (WS) show the entire person or area.  WS are good for establishing the scene and allow for good action of the characters which is sometimes also known as the long shot. Medium Shots (MS) frame the subject from the waste up and is also the most common shot and allows for hand gestures and motion. Medium Close Up (MCU) shots show the subject in more detail and are often framed from just below the shoulders to the top of the head. Close Ups (CU) show a particular part of your subject.  For people this usually means the shot frames just the head. Extreme Close Ups (ECU) are much tighter close-up shots in which you get detail much more than the human eye might be able to normally perceive. Here are a few examples of these shots in comparison:

Camera-Shots

other types of shots include adjusting the angle. For example low angels shots, where the camera points upwards from below, make people (and things) look bigger, more courageous and more important. These are also good for filming people who are looking down at things, so you’re filming their face instead of the top of their head. On the other High angle shots from above usually make people or things look weaker and less powerful.You can also use a high angle shot to give an overview of a scene as an establishing shot.

You can see a few examples of such angels and shots within this tutorial video:

Focusing: In an Article from lavideofilmaker.com, “Whatever it is that you want to be in focus, use this technique: zoom in all the way on the subject, pull focus and zoom back to get the framing you want. In this way your subject will be pin-sharp. You should do this as a matter of course on every single setup, and indeed on every take, especially if the subject moved after the last take.”

Other aspects and techniques to also look out for include Neutral-density filters and Fore-ground objects and many more. There are endless techniques you can use to make the overall quality and outcome of your film better. These are just a few basic things that I have researched about and I am excited to use once I start filming.

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