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A Basic Guide to Shooting Video


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Presented by the Ohio University chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on January 11, 2011.

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A Basic Guide to Shooting Video

  1. 1. A Basic Guide to Shooting Video Society of Professional Journalists January 11, 2011
  2. 2. The Camera <ul><li>Flip Camera </li></ul><ul><li>Point & Shoot Camera </li></ul><ul><li>Handheld Camera </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Camera </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why learn to shoot? <ul><li>Quality Video is Invaluable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Neda’s Death (Iran election fallout) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zapruder Films (JFK Assasination) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virginia Tech Shootings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Homeless Man with Golden Voice </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Key Vocabulary <ul><li>B-roll : Supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot in an interview, documentary, news package. </li></ul><ul><li>SOT : Literally means “sound on tape.” It is most often referred to as a “soundbite” and is essentially the broadcast version of a “quote.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Tripod <ul><li>Used to stabilize the camera. </li></ul><ul><li>IMPORTANT: Use a tripod whenever possible. </li></ul><ul><li>If you do not have a tripod handy, place the camera on a steady object or lean against your body. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Steps: Setting up your Shot <ul><li>Secure the camera on the tripod. </li></ul><ul><li>Place your subject in front of the subject. </li></ul><ul><li>When adjusting the height of the tripod, the camera should be eye level with your subject. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inferior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Superior </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Steps: Setting up Your Shot <ul><li>Step to the side of the camera. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure that you are eye level with the camera and subject. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ask your subject to look at and talk to you, not the camera. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Framing the Shot <ul><li>Rule of thirds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep your subject in one of the screen’s thirds. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The subject should always look towards the open space. </li></ul></ul>Good Framing Bad Framing
  9. 9. Framing the Shot (ctd.) <ul><li>Leave plenty of room for lower thirds and pay attention to head room. </li></ul>Too much headroom
  10. 10. Zooming and Panning <ul><li>Do not zoom or pan. </li></ul><ul><li>When these techniques are used, they must be motivated -- there for a reason. Don’t use these buttons just because they’re there. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  11. 11. Holding the Shot <ul><li>Keep each and every shot steady for at least 10 seconds. </li></ul><ul><li>If you do not hold your shots, you’ll kick yourself in the edit process. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember not to talk while the camera is recording. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Cutaways, Sequences, and Transitions <ul><li>Shoot cutaways, sequences and transitions. They’re invaluable in the editing process. </li></ul><ul><li>Cutaways : Prevent jump cuts and allow you to transition to new material. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sequence : Close Up, Medium Shot, Wide Shot </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instead of Zooming and Panning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Movement of the human eye </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Examples of Shots Extreme Wide Shot Very Wide Shot * Images from
  14. 14. Examples of Shots (ctd.) Wide Shot Medium Shot * Images from
  15. 15. Examples of Shots (ctd.) Close Up Extreme Close Up * Images from
  16. 16. Natural Sound <ul><li>Seek great natural (or ambient) sound. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: water, hammers, plastic, dogs panting, sewing machines, chalk on chalkboard, plastic bags, cheering fans. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  17. 17. Headphones <ul><li>If possible, wear headphones. Otherwise, you don’t know what sound you’re recording -- or if you’re recording any at all. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Opens and Closes <ul><li>Always look for a strong open and a memorable close. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tiger Woods Example </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opens and Closes to Avoid: signs, still objects </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Soundbite <ul><li>Seek subjective sound bites. Get your subjects to open up and talk. </li></ul><ul><li>Emotion, not facts. </li></ul><ul><li>“ What does this mean to you?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ How does it make you feel?” </li></ul>
  20. 20. Other Useful Tips <ul><li>Too much b-roll is better than not enough. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not rewind your tape in the field. </li></ul><ul><li>How can you make a shot more interesting? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Escalator Example. </li></ul></ul>