Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Guide to Basic Cinematography / Filmmaking


 A few basic techniques to refer as a guide for your montage coursework. 

00:00 - Opening Credits
00:57 - Shot Types
05:59 - Angles
07:13 - Lenses
09:43 - Movement
11:44 - Conversation
12:25 - Composition
16:27 - Advanced Techniques
19:42 - Colour
21:11 - Lighting

Notes below are taken from HERE 
A. The 7 Basics
Shooting and editing tips for ALL projects;
  1. Rarely do you use the zoom. See Panning and Zooming
  2. When filming make sure all your shots are at least 5 seconds long.
  3. When editing, no clip should be longer than 5 seconds unless someone is talking to the camera.
  4. What ever a person on screen looks at the viewer needs to see immediately or
    soon, depending upon the drama being built
  5. Watch headroom. Try to crop your shots just above the top of the person's head.
  6. Don't center a person in the frame unless you are doing a news report. See Framing a Shot.
  7. Try to use a tripod for all shots or stabilize yourself while shooting. If you don't have one, brace yourself against a wall or pole or rest the camera on a table of chair if possible.
B. Types of Shots :  
There are 8 basic types of basic camera shots.
  1. The Extreme Long Shot
  2. The Long Shot
  3. The Medium Shot
  4. The Medium Close-Up Shot
  5. The Close-Up Shot
  6. The Extreme Close-Up Shot
  7. The Over the Shoulder Shot
  8. The Cross Shot
 C. Framing a Shot (Composition) :
When you shoot a scene, where do you place people and/or important objects? They need to be placed so either attention is directed towards them or they share the scene with something or someone else.
  1. Rule of Thirds
  2. Headroom
  3. Framing
  4. Background

 D. Camera Angles, Panning and Zooming
Camera Angles, Panning and Zooming
A. Camera Angles 
The angle of the camera can have a very strong and direct impact on viewers. The following are 3 examples of camera angles:

1) Low Angle
Placing the camera at a low angle suggests a dominant subject, having power over the viewer. This angle may be used to portray kings or rulers, rock musicians, gun fighters, or majestic architects. DO NOT OVERUSE THIS ANGLE IN ANY ONE PRODUCTION.

2) High Angle
Placing the camera at a high angle suggests a recessive subject, giving the viewer a feeling of power over the subject. This angle may be used to portray a character in despair. DO NOT OVERUSE THIS ANGLE IN ANY ONE PRODUCTION.

3) Straight-On Angle
Placing the camera straight on suggests a neutral relationship between the subject and the viewer. The subject appears to be an equal; a friend; unbiased. This angle may be used for newscasters, or in documentary and educational videos.

B. Panning:

Try NOT to pan when shooting. But, if you must:

- Use it to show a wide panorama that you can't fit into the camera frame such as landscapes and moving objects.
- Make the pan last at least 6-7 seconds but no more.
- Try to start still for 5 seconds, then do the 6-7 second pan, them hold the shot for 5 more seconds.
- Practice panning to get a smooth move or to follow someone or something moving in a smooth manner.Most of the time "cut" to a close-up or long-shot, don't zoom.

C. Zooming:

Zooming in and out is a sign of someone just begriming to use a video camera. Try to NEVER use the zoom for a shot. Can your eyes zoom? No. So zooming is not a natural type of shot. But IF you do zoom, make it meaningful.So why have a zoom? To get closer to something when you can't physically more closer to it.

- Zoom in on something or someone specific to make a point, like a dramatic zoom in to see an expression
of surprise.
- Use zoom to frame up a shot. Use it to frame up the next shot. In other words, shoot a scene, stop
filming, zoom in, and film again.:
- A very slow zoom might work if you need to move closer to a subject who is busy doing something.


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