7 deadly camera sins

December 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I just ran across this video on youtube, "the 7 deadly sins of camerawork." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-6tWTPTmcE).

 Although they are textbook 'sins,' I would also like to add that sometimes this is the effect that you are looking for:I'm going to disect this as I watch it- just remember-it's not always the right thing to do to go-by-the-book on creative outlets like video.

1. Backlighting: yes, this is a horrible thing to do if you're doing a personalization piece like a news story or interview. UNLESS the interview subject needs to be protected. Backlighting is GREAT for silouette shots and protection shots. ...I did notice in the video when they corrected their backlit shot, they positioned him so there's a building coming out of his head. Definitly avoid doing things like that.

2. Headhunting: depending on what you're filming, this can be a nice effect. I don't recommend shooting this particular shot for too long (again, depending on what you're filming) because you will being to lose audience attention if they don't understand what is going on with the character. However, with that said, if the character is in some sort of deep consentration mode, this shot works great.

3. Upstanding: also called the Inferior shot. I disagree with them putting this angle in there. I think it's a great angle. This is a particularly great angle if you want to profile your character with low self-esteem or to make them seem lonely. Inferior, if you will. ...on a similar note, a superior angle will make the subject look important.

4. Jogging, or the Blair Witch effect. Yes, this is to be avoided UNLESS you are going for the Blair Witch effect. This can be corrected with a steady cam rig. You don't have to drop a whole paycheck on one of these systems, you can easily make one yourself or find a bargain one. I personally use the figrig.

5. Motorzooming. The Waynes World Zoom. If used sparingly, this can work. If you use it all the time, you will make your audience sick. If you're filming a calm, relaxing piece, this should be avoided. If you're filming an action-packed scene and you do a Waynes World, I'm willing to bet no one will notice that you snuck one in on them.

6. Snapshooting: hold your shot for at least 5 seconds. Post production is the time to edit, not when you're filming random action. If your video requires a variety of shots to be thrown together, don't just go willy-nilly. Find a rythem; either with sound effects or music or a consistant time-frame cut (every 10 seconds, every 5 seconds, etc). Thowing together random edits will frustrate the viewer.

7. Firehosing: This will definitly make your audience ill. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this effect. If you find during post-production that you've shot the firehose style, you can correct this with cutaways and/or transitions.

 

Filming by-the-book is fine and dandy if you're going for the cookie cutter approach. But look at some of your favorite movies, even favorite commercials and pick out why they are your favorite.


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