Video Production Tips (continued)

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Holding the Camera: CLOSE TO THE FACE

Most people with a movie camera have their favorite way to hold it while shooting. Sometimes, a particular way of holding it is preferable to another.

PROS: The camera sees things from the same perspective (or angle) that you are seeing them. If you keep your other eye open while shooting (a bit tricky), people will look into your face instead of into the camera, which -- usually -- is a good thing.

CONS: The camera blocks a portion of your face while you are interacting with people, who can behave a little awkwardly as a result.

WHEN TO USE: As the staple technique, use it when you don't think other ways will work.


Holding the Camera: OUT IN FRONT OF YOU

With flip-out panels, this is probably the most common way to shoot.

PROS: You can move and turn the camera quickly and easily. You can get high and low angles (to look over someone's shoulder and see what they are doing). You can look around while you are filming.

CONS: Shakier footage (it's hard to hold that arm and hand steady for too long). The camera is very noticeable and possibly overly distracting.

WHEN TO USE: When you need quickness and mobility.


Holding the Camera: CRADLING

Less common, but a good one!

PROS: Normally a very steady shot. If you look up while shooting, people will look at you and more easily ignore the camera. The least tiring method.

CONS: Difficult to see what you are shooting.You have to face wherever you are shooting. That is, if you want to move the camera around, you have to move yourself around (รก la Batman). It is thus the most steady, but the least mobile way to shoot.

WHEN TO USE: Shots that last a long time and where you aren't going to want to move the camera much. When you are getting tired.


Holding the Camera: OTHER ITEMS

Should I hold the camera with one or two hands? Typically two hands will create a steadier shot, but may not be as comfortable. Do what feels most natural, and make sure you have a good grip on the camera.

Should I use the hand strap? Only if it makes things more comfortable for you. The hand strap works well for a one-handed approach, but may get in the way when using two hands. Oh, and don't drop the camera.

Also, a lot of people like to keep their thumb over the record button the entire time they are shooting. This isn't necessary. Once you press record, hold it however is most comfortable. Just remember to stop recording when you are all done.




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