Motion Factory Blog
Industry insights, advice
and general musings
from the Motion Factory Team
Posted by Chris Thomson
There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to shooting techniques, from exposure, to framing, to aperture, to... well I could go on for hours... The point is, the way you shoot a certain scene will completely change the mood and feel for it. You can shoot an interview with one angle showing both people static on a tripod and you’ll lose your viewers within the first 15 seconds. Utilising your gear by incorporating multiple cameras, and sliders will make such a difference.
You’ve got to make your shot attractive to the eye by creating movement. Now whether you use a controlled piece of gear like a gimbal or a slider, or go handheld to create a sense of urgency, every scene is unique and that’s up to you to work out what shot is needed. Just imagine a Jason Bourne style fight scene shot with one angle from a camera on a tripod for three or four minutes… boring, right? Or a nature documentary that has been shot using quick cuts and all handheld? It doesn’t suit the production. At Motion Factory, we analyse every shot before we shoot it, we work out what the mood is, get a feel for the scene and create the correct emotional connection to that shot that will also blend and form the connection with shots before and after.
Creating surreal movements that give you that floating camera movement can be very handy in showing the beauty of something such as real estate, nature and weddings. Utilising gear such as gimbals, Glidecams, Steadicams and jib cranes will really help you get that effect.
If you have an action-packed scene where you want to increase the suspense, you might want to run in handled mode, get up close, move with your subject and get creative with movements and crash zooms. All of this you will pretty much have to have choreographed along with the talent so you know exactly where they’ll be at what point.
Now, I don’t want to tell you how to shoot, and to be honest, there’s no right or wrong way to shoot your video. As we mentioned in a previous post, rules are there to be broken and that’s what could make your video standout from everyone else’s. Most people will be able to recognise a Martin Scorsese film or Quentin Tarantino film, and you know why, because they have their own unique film techniques... and they worked!
Put your creative cap on, and next time you are about to shoot that scene, just think, “can I film this in a different way that will be more emotionally effective to my audience?”
The video below is a good example of something we've shot that's utilised a specific technique to help enhance the video. It's a music video for The Wildbloods single "Amy Baby", and it was shot entirely on a hand-held 3-axis gimbal. There were a number of reasons we used this technique with this video. Firstly, we wanted it to be a single shot video, meaning there are no cuts for the entire length. That meant we needed to be mobile, but we needed to avoid all the shakiness and roughness that comes with proper hand-held filming, as it wouldn't have suited this video's look. Secondly, the feeling of gliding beside the video's subject gives this video a very dynamic look, and adds to the viewer's experience. Let us know what you think of it in the comments!
Producer, videographer, editor - Motion Factory's Director of Photography has a huge passion for film making.
Travis james annabel
Filmmaking has been a passion of Trav's for as long as he can remember.