Video Production Camerawork:
How to Shoot Great Video Footage Every Time!

Video production camerawork... How do you shoot great video footage so that you have all the material you need to create your video masterpiece...?

Here's the basic information that you need to shoot your video like a Pro…!

The know-how and techniques of video production and the video production process is a quite broad subject and being familiar with it is the key to producing a film or video that is entertaining, understandable and has an impact on your audience.

 As broad as the subject is however... it's not hard to learn if you break it down into its simple parts! The professionals normally split it into three major parts:


The Art of Operating a Camera.

  • Pre-production
  • Production and
  • Post-production

In this article we're going to delve into the "Production" part of this process and concentrate on one of my favorite subjects… 

Video production camerawork  and how you can get that "perfect" shot! Why do you want a "perfect shot"?

 Well… Think ahead to creating your finished video. Shooting sharp, clear and interesting footage is the key to having outstanding material to work with when you're putting together your video in the post-production phase.

When you get to the post-production stage and do your actual digital video editing you could be using the best video editing software available but...

If you don't have great material to work with... believe me… It will be hard to make a great looking, interesting and compelling video... that's for sure! So… I'll keep it simple and still give you some great information and techniques that you can really use in this area. Here are some tips and techniques on how to compose and shoot video like a Pro...!

Video Composition and Camerawork...

"Video Composition"

Video composition is the way that you compose the elements of your shot so that the shot creates your desired effect on your audience.

Video composition is all about. .. Arranging the elements of the scene or sequence so that they convey your intent, meaning and evoke a specific emotional response in the audience when they view your video. 

We'll go into elements like static and dynamic subjects and how best to shoot them. What is depth of field and how to use it creatively. And much more! 

Learning how to use the rules of composition in your camerawork will move you past the...

"Point" --> "Shoot" -->  and "Hope I Get Something" stage...

To being able to confidently shoot footage that is clear, concise, meaningful and will have an impact on your audience!

The Types of Basic Camera Shots...

Part of video production camerawork is understanding the Basic Camera Shots.

This is all about the "framing" of the shot.

Few things are more fundamental to making a great video than knowing how to frame your subject so that you get the best shot possible.

Proper use of the basic camera shots determine how you get, keep and control your audience's attention and what sort of emotional response you will get when they watch a scene in your video. 

These are very important things to know indeed! They can be the key to making a great video. We'll take a look in general at the basic camera shots and then break them down in more detail. Remember… Were not talking about camera angles  here but the camera shots. The camera shots breakdown into general categories such as:

  • Long shots
  • Medium shots
  • Close-ups
  • Extreme Close-ups

Video Production Camerawork... The Camera Angles...

A camera angle (the video camera placement) is the physical relationship of the camera to the person or object that is being viewed and videoed.

It's different from the camcorder shot in that the "Shot" is all about how you "frame" a subject in the scene. In other words, the "location" of the subject  in the scene's composition.

The camera Shot  is all about the subject's  location.

*  The camera Angle  however, is all about the audience's  viewpoint of the scene... It's from what point (location) is the audience  looking at the scene... not where the subject  of the video is  in the scene.

Camera angles are a powerful tool in video making as... where the audience is looking from and how they  perceive the angle of the shot has a lot to do with how they will react to a particular scene. Depending on where the camera is placed you can give the audience the impression that the subject is... for instance:

  • Tilted-Angles (Dutch Tilt) can give the audience the impression of unease, danger or that "something's wrong". However, they are also used in some videos to get across the feeling of whimsy or lightheartedness. The clever filmmaker or videomaker can find many ways to use this powerful camera angle.
  • Bigger, more powerful or dominant from a Low-Angle. A slightly low angle is used extensively in political ads, interviews or newscasts.
  • An Overhead-Angle can be used to create the sensation of space in your video or it can be used to show a broad area to the audience enabling them to see things that the characters in the story can't see.
  • The Eye-Level Angle can be used to create affinity with the subject as, you are now looking him or her "in the eye" as you would be if you were there talking to them.
  • You can give them the impression from a High-Angle that the subject is weaker or smaller than he really is. This angle can engender sympathy from your audience for the character and they may root for him to "win" in the end.

And... that's just to name a few of the ways that they're used by filmmakers and videographers. 

Using the Video Production Process...

As I said above, the professional video production process consists of three stages: Pre-production, Production and Post-production.

You may not be shooting professionally but, knowing something about the video production process and how it relates to camerawork and shooting great material will help you organize your shooting so that you can produce great video footage whenever you want!

Quite frankly… even if you're an amateur… If you have a high definition digital video camera, a powerful video editing computer and the latest editing software (even the free video editing software that you can download online) you  can make videos that can rival a Hollywood professional…!

Learn how to do your camerawork well...

And you'll always be able to crank out great video footage that will in-turn become part of your video masterpiece…!

Have fun...!  Dan (Editor)

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