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A Basic Guide to Shooting Video
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A Basic Guide to Shooting Video


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Presented by the Ohio University chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on January 11, 2011. …

Presented by the Ohio University chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on January 11, 2011.

Published in: Education

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  • - The manner in which you shoot video is generally the same, regardless of the equipment you have available.
  • Discuss different kinds of tripods. Situations when you would not use a tripod: When you’re covering a “breaking news” story and using a tripod would prohibit you from getting the story/video. (9/11, Neda Video, Virgina Tech, etc.) If you do not use a tripod, your viewer will be more distracted by the shakiness of your video and will not pay as much attention to your story.
  • Demonstrate Setting up an Interview Inferior: If the camera is higher than the subject, the subject must look up and appears to be inferior to the viewers. Superior: If the camera is lower than the subject, the person that you are interviewing must look down and is given unwarranted authority.
  • - Viewer should feel like they’re listening into a conversation, rather than being lectured.
  • * Also avoid shooting things straight up. For example, shoot a sign at an angel so it does not look so flat.
  • It’s always better to get closer to an object than to zoom, because the more you zoom, the shakier your video becomes -- especially when you’re using a handheld or point & shoot camera.
  • Transcript

    • 1. A Basic Guide to Shooting Video Society of Professional Journalists January 11, 2011
    • 2. The Camera
      • Flip Camera
      • Point & Shoot Camera
      • Handheld Camera
      • Professional Camera
    • 3. Why learn to shoot?
      • Quality Video is Invaluable
        • Neda’s Death (Iran election fallout)
        • Zapruder Films (JFK Assasination)
        • Virginia Tech Shootings
        • Homeless Man with Golden Voice
    • 4. Key Vocabulary
      • B-roll : Supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot in an interview, documentary, news package.
      • SOT : Literally means “sound on tape.” It is most often referred to as a “soundbite” and is essentially the broadcast version of a “quote.”
    • 5. The Tripod
      • Used to stabilize the camera.
      • IMPORTANT: Use a tripod whenever possible.
      • If you do not have a tripod handy, place the camera on a steady object or lean against your body.
    • 6. The Steps: Setting up your Shot
      • Secure the camera on the tripod.
      • Place your subject in front of the subject.
      • When adjusting the height of the tripod, the camera should be eye level with your subject.
        • Inferior
        • Superior
    • 7. The Steps: Setting up Your Shot
      • Step to the side of the camera.
        • Make sure that you are eye level with the camera and subject.
      • Ask your subject to look at and talk to you, not the camera.
        • Why?
    • 8. Framing the Shot
      • Rule of thirds
        • Keep your subject in one of the screen’s thirds.
        • The subject should always look towards the open space.
      Good Framing Bad Framing
    • 9. Framing the Shot (ctd.)
      • Leave plenty of room for lower thirds and pay attention to head room.
      Too much headroom
    • 10. Zooming and Panning
      • Do not zoom or pan.
      • When these techniques are used, they must be motivated -- there for a reason. Don’t use these buttons just because they’re there.
    • 11. Holding the Shot
      • Keep each and every shot steady for at least 10 seconds.
      • If you do not hold your shots, you’ll kick yourself in the edit process.
      • Remember not to talk while the camera is recording.
    • 12. Cutaways, Sequences, and Transitions
      • Shoot cutaways, sequences and transitions. They’re invaluable in the editing process.
      • Cutaways : Prevent jump cuts and allow you to transition to new material.
        • Examples
      • Sequence : Close Up, Medium Shot, Wide Shot
        • Instead of Zooming and Panning
        • Movement of the human eye
    • 13. Examples of Shots Extreme Wide Shot Very Wide Shot * Images from
    • 14. Examples of Shots (ctd.) Wide Shot Medium Shot * Images from
    • 15. Examples of Shots (ctd.) Close Up Extreme Close Up * Images from
    • 16. Natural Sound
      • Seek great natural (or ambient) sound.
      • Examples: water, hammers, plastic, dogs panting, sewing machines, chalk on chalkboard, plastic bags, cheering fans.
    • 17. Headphones
      • If possible, wear headphones. Otherwise, you don’t know what sound you’re recording -- or if you’re recording any at all.
    • 18. Opens and Closes
      • Always look for a strong open and a memorable close.
        • Tiger Woods Example
      • Opens and Closes to Avoid: signs, still objects
    • 19. The Soundbite
      • Seek subjective sound bites. Get your subjects to open up and talk.
      • Emotion, not facts.
      • “ What does this mean to you?”
      • “ How does it make you feel?”
    • 20. Other Useful Tips
      • Too much b-roll is better than not enough.
      • Do not rewind your tape in the field.
      • How can you make a shot more interesting?
        • Escalator Example.