Introduction to Video Communications: Common Shot Types & Composition Techniques TGJ 2OI Bluevale Collegiate
OVERVIEW This presentation will cover the basic shot types commonly used in video production. You will also learn about some of the common camera moves, composition techniques and “rules” that skilled videographers follow when filming. Follow these principles and your videos will look much better than all those shaky home movies posted on YouTube!
COMMON SHOT TYPES It is important to be familiar with the most common shot types used in video production. Camera operators may use slightly different terms for certain shots, but composition techniques are common. You should be familiar with the proper terms and when certain shots are suitable to convey meaning/mood in video.
EXTREME WIDE SHOT (EWS) The view is so far from a subject that he/she isn't even visible. Shows the subject's surroundings. Often used as an establishing shot —designed to show the audience where the action is taking place.
WIDE SHOT (WS) Subject takes up the full frame The small amount of room above and below the subject can be thought of as safety room — should not cut off feet or top of head Looks uncomfortable if the feet and head were exactly at the top and bottom of frame
MID SHOT (MS) or Waist Shot Shows some part of the subject in more detail, while showing enough to feel as if you are looking at the whole subject How you would see a person "in the flesh" if you were having a casual conversation – lower body not as important
BUST SHOT (BS) – no jokes! Sometimes called Medium Close-Up Frame from mid-chest to above head Shows the face more clearly, without getting uncomfortably close
CLOSE-UP (CU) Arguably most common (and most important) camera shot Frame person from top of shoulders to just above the head Shows emotion – good for making connection with subject
EXTREME CLOSE-UP (ECU) Gets right in and shows extreme detail Important for isolating specific things on screen you want the audience to notice Good for conveying emotion
CUTAWAY (CA) Shot of something other than the current action Could be a different subject (e.g. these children), a CU of a different part of the subject (such as a subject's hands), or just about anything else around scene Used as a "buffer" between shots (to help the editing process), or to add interest/information
By following some of the following useful tips, you can dramatically improve the quality of a video production... SHOT COMPOSITION TIPS
1. Don’t film everything at eye-level. Too many shots at the same height/angle are boring. Try different angles and heights to create visual interest & show subjects in ways your audience isn’t used to. LOW ANGLE SHOT SHOT COMPOSITION TIPS Effective for making someone appear larger than life and imposing/scary
SHOT COMPOSITION TIPS HIGH ANGLE Good for making subject look weak or vulnerable TILTED HORIZON Used when the character is about to fall over or to create unusual visual effect
2. Use Natural Framing Use elements of your surroundings to frame shots & limit what audience can see (trees, windows, buildings, etc.) Makes audience feel they are part of the action SHOT COMPOSITION TIPS
3. Follow the Rule of Thirds (BIG ONE!) When filming, you should place subjects at specific “third” points on the screen to create powerful visual interest. SHOT COMPOSITION TIPS
3. Rule of Thirds (contd.) Objects placed at the dead centre on the screen tend to look boring. SHOT COMPOSITION TIPS
3. Rule of Thirds (contd.) Our eyes map out visual space in thirds We follow a path through the scene by moving to intersection points of the third lines SHOT COMPOSITION TIPS 4 32 1 Most important visual point
Try to place subjects on the third lines/off centre This also gives the subject room to move and creates LEAD ROOM RULE OF THIRDS
1. PANNING Camera swivels from side to side to keep moving subjects on screen Similar to standing in one place and turning your head If possible, use a tripod for a steady shot BASIC CAMERA MOVES
2. TRUCKING/DOLLYING Camera rolls from side to side ( trucking ) or forward/backward ( dollying ) to follow a moving subject (keeps in frame) Use a tripod/rolling base for smooth movement Creates illusion the viewer is moving BASIC CAMERA MOVES
3. ZOOMING Not really a camera “move” Change the camera’s lens setting to make an object appear closer or farther away from the camera Subject appears to move (not viewer) BASIC CAMERA MOVES Zoom-in “T” = tight angle Zoom-out “W” = wide angle
4. Use a Tripod! 3-legged base provides steady support Allows for tilting, panning and filming at different heights Add rolling base to allow for trucking/dollying BASIC CAMERA MOVES
Know how to handle the camera Use extra support to avoid the “shakes”, especially when filming close-ups Too much camera wobble will make your audience dizzy Stability can be created by using your body, a wall, furniture or a tripod Choose shot types carefully Pay close attention to surroundings – avoid distracting backgrounds, etc. When zooming, do so slowly and sparingly. SOME FINAL TIPS
There’s plenty more to learn about video production, but you’ll do that while working on your projects! Any questions?