PSA: How To Avoid Deer In The Headlights Syndrome
The Canon 5D Mark II opened a lot of doors to aspiring video shooters like myself. Suddenly filmmakers had access to amazing video quality inside a small DSLR body. Although the compact size of DSLRs is a huge strength it can also be the camera’s biggest obstacle. Often times while shooting with a DSLR, I’ll come across what I lovingly call “Deer In The Headlight Syndrome”. Essentially, DITHS occurs when an unknowing victim spots your camera and poses for a picture. After about 7 seconds of awkward video footage, the subject will usually burst into embarrassed laughter and realize their mistake.
This video is, hands down, the best example of “Deer In The Headlights Syndrome” that I’ve ever seen. Filmmaker Chris Pavey recently shot a promo video for the Nottingham Trent Students Union. Chris describes what happened:
“So I do a lot of filming in nightclubs and one thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of people think I’m taking stills. You’d think that the massive rig, microphone and LED light would give it away, but apparently not.”
Although the resulting blooper video is amazing, these situations can be a giant headache for videographers. It’s impossible to completely avoid “Deer In The Headlights Syndrome”, but here’s a simple way I’ve taught my friends what to expect. I encourage you to spread it among your friends before they find themselves looking like a fool in front of the internet.