Tips to become a better video shooter

Sometimes to improve your filmmaking skills you must go back to basics. Here are some tips to become a better video shooter.

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Shoot a project with only one prime lens: Having to shoot a whole film project with just one prime lens may sound like a foolish idea. But it’s doable and challenges the way you frame a shot. Rather than zooming in our out you actually have to move the camera itself to get the best angle.

Record video with a baked-in picture profile: With the ability to shoot with a flat picture profile or even raw it has become easy to correct in-camera mistakes like overexposure or the wrong white balance. Try to shoot with a standard picture style without doing any color correction in post. This way you have to make sure on-set that the image is looking the way it’s supposed to.

Use a static tripod only: Sliders and gimbals are great to execute motion in videos but it can also result in meaningless and distracting movement of the camera. When using a static or a photo tripod the motion in-frame becomes more important. The audience can focus on what’s happening in the story. This is another good way to practice framing because there are no pans or other types of camera motion.

Real-time video only: Slow motion does look great but that is also the problem. A lot of shots only look good in slo-mo but not in real-time. Even though it’s tempting to slow down time it can be a good challenge to stick to real-time video.

Too much camera gear and features can be irritating and bad for creativity. Limiting yourself in a technical way you shoot video can make you a better camera operator overall and bring back the joy of creating.

Written by filmmaker Moritz Janisch on February 8, 2021

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