Trade Tricks: Getting Coverage
Use professional motion picture techniques to improve your videos
Though it's easy to believe that a movie is totally made on a location or set, a film actually comes together in the editing room. The shoot produces the raw material needed for the final result, but it's the editor who puts the pieces together into a seamless, interesting package. Yet, no matter how talented the editor, his or her skills mean little if he or she doesn't have enough to work with, and this applies to editing your own videos, too.
Coverage refers to a variety of shots that are taken to record a scene: wide shot, medium shot, close-up. Examine any film and you'll discover that scenes, even the briefest ones, consist of several different shots. It's rarely just a static camera left to run until the film or tape runs out.
You can improve the quality of your own videos by ensuring you have sufficient coverage of any "scene" you're shooting.
Wide Shot. The first shot of a scene is also called the establishing shot. It tells viewers where the scene is located. It could be a city skyline, a small cottage next to a cornfield, a baseball diamond. The shot immediately establishes the location and provides a sense of place and time.
If you're shooting a birthday party, you might start with a shot of the house where it's being held. If you're on vacation, you might get a wide shot that includes a popular landmark: Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge. This first shot doesn't have to be lengthy. You only need several seconds to register "where" you are.