Five In-Camera Tricks That Will Improve Your Action Scenes

Good action scenes are not always achieved through complex VFX, expensive practical effects such as explosions, or carefully choreographed fight sequences. In this video, you will see a few simple tricks that can help you tell an action story better using your existing tools.

The guys from Cinecom created a simple example of how using your camera and a couple of lenses can improve your action storytelling. My favorite advice of theirs is to follow your subject sideways while they are moving fast. This can be someone running or a vehicle driving. The goal is to have foreground objects between the camera and the moving subject. While objects are passing close to the lens ("wiping the frame," if I have to use filmmaking jargon), they increase the intensity of the action, making an illusion of the actor moving even faster and through many obstacles. When we, as filmmakers, watch such scenes, it makes us feel like the camera operator is also about to stumble and fall down at any moment. In fact, the camera travels safely while it's the foreground objects that do the trick. I would add to this one a small variation: to move the camera close to the ground with a wide-angle lens. The shot may or may not be stabilized. That approach is similar to "wiping" of the frame, but in this case, it's the movement of the ground that sells the illusion of intense action.

Log in or register to post comments