Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Trade Tricks: Getting Coverage
Use professional motion picture techniques to improve your videos
Medium Shot. The medium shot reveals more of the subject within the context of a scene. We see the character or characters within an environment. When people are included, they can be shown full body or from the waist up. The idea is to identify your subjects, but also to create a relationship between subject and place. If shot at a public park, frame your subject near the playground. If shooting at a farmer's market, photograph the subject handling a piece of fruit while including several of the surrounding stands.
This is a good shot to reveal general movement and relationships. If you're going to focus on two individuals in a scene, a medium shot is important to establish where each person is situated; if you only have a series of close-ups, the viewers will have no idea of where the people are or how far away they are from each other.
Close-Up. These shots emphasize a telling or revealing detail of a person or location. It can be a person's facial expression, a collection of pictures on a coffee table, an air freshener on a taxi dashboard.
If you're photographing guests enjoying themselves at a party, a shot of them laughing is an example of a good close-up. If you're photographing a woodworker carving a figure, include a shot of hands working the blade over the raw wood. If it's a birthday party, it could be a shot of someone's hands inserting and lighting the candles.
Putting It All Together. Not all of these shots are meant to run at their original length in your final edited video. Rather, you'll jump back and forth between these various shots to create a dynamic presentation. You may have several seconds of your establishing shot and then cut to a medium shot that will last significantly longer. A series of close-up shots of people interacting or talking provide a sense of who or why this event is important.
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