A video production technique is any method that you use to capture video. It's often incorporated into a specific style of video production, such as live event video production or staged video production. Here are a few things that you should consider when trying to determine which techniques to use.
Using a Tripod for Stable Shots
Most shots require both stability and height. A shot is generally taken with the eye level of the subjects approximately three-fourths of the way up the screen. Often, this requires your video to be taken from a certain height. Further, holding a camera on your own will lead to a wobbly, shaky shot. Tripods can be used to stabilize static shots. This is the best choice for a wide, scene-setting shot, or a shot that is directly interviewing someone. If the camera doesn't have to move, a tripod is often the best choice.
Using a Handheld for More Dynamic Shots
You may have seen television shows, commercials, and documentaries filmed entirely with handheld cameras. Handheld cameras lead to dynamic, energetic shots, with the shot jumping around and shaking a lot. It often creates a frenzied atmosphere, or, if used more smoothly, just makes the audience feel as though they are in the midst of things. If you want the audience to stand up and pay attention, a handheld camera may be the right technique to use.
Due to the fact that handhelds are often used for documentaries, they can have a more authentic and realistic feel. This can be beneficial for those who are trying to capture a scene that is true to life.
Using Angled Shots for Anxiety or Tension
An angled shot is a shot in which the camera is tilted. Severely tilted shots are often called Dutch angles. Angled shots produce a sense of unease, anxiety, or tension in the viewer. They may be used for something such as a "before" video in an infomercial. If you want your audience to feel uncomfortable for a moment, an angled shot may be the way to do it.
Angled shots don't need to feel uncomfortable. They can also be playful and fun, especially in the right context. Experiment with angles when you want a shot that feels "different" from the other shots that you've taken.
Using Tracking Shots for an Engaged Audience
Tracking shots follow actors or action through a scene and are often used to keep an audience engaged. Like a handheld shot, a tracking shot makes the scene more dynamic, adding motion. However, a tracking shot is also technically very difficult to pull off. You need the right equipment to be able to handle a tracking shot fluidly; otherwise, you get the jerkiness of a hand-held style.
Most movies have a large number of tracking shots for a reason. A tracking shot pulls the audience along with an actor, helping to relate to them and focus on them. Comparatively, most marketing videos, commercials, and non-narrative videos will have static shots.
Using Whip Pans and Whip Zooms to Alert the Audience
Whip pans and whip zooms are commonly used in horror movies, especially cheesy ones. However, you can also see them frequently in commercials and infomercials. A whip pan or whip zoom involves moving the camera so quickly that the image blurs. In a whip pan, the camera will be moving horizontally and vertically, panning towards another object. In a whip zoom, the camera will suddenly zoom in on something, obscuring the background as it does so.
These shots are very sudden and tend to immediately focus the audience's attention. If you want to clearly move from one item to another without any confusion in between, a whip pan may be a good technique. This type of technique is a dramatic one. It can also be used to show the passage of time or to quickly pan though multiple important items at once.
Using Vertical Shots to Establish Scenes and Settings
Vertical shots and crane shots can be used to establish a scene from overhead. These shots tend to be a little distancing; they give actors their space and give the audience some breathing room. Vertical shots and crane shots are frequently used at the beginning of a scene to establish where the scene is taking place. Vertical shots can also be used at the end of a scene to pull away and resolve it. Vertical shots can be technically difficult to do because they do require special equipment to get the height.
Using Steadicams and Gimbals for Action Shots
Action shots are some of the most difficult types of shots to get, as it's very difficult to follow action steadily. There are two technologies that are often used: steadicams and gimbals. Steadicams are cameras that stabilize themselves. Even if a handler needs to follow the action quickly, the steadicam will make sure the image itself remains stabilized and smooth. Steadicams can be rented for a video production and can significantly reduce the amount of stabilizing work needed in post.
Gimbals are an even more advanced technology that operates with three-axis stabilization. Gimbals are even more effective at stabilizing action shots, and they allow for easier movement for the operator. Stabilizing shots is important for reasons apart from just aesthetics. A shaky shot can be uncomfortable for an audience to watch and can even make some audience members motion sick if the scene is shaky enough.
The above techniques aren't all of the techniques open to you. A video production company can help you learn more about the techniques and shooting styles that they use and the benefits of each. If you're not able to get shots yourself, you can always scoure stock video sites for options. Using the above techniques, though, you should be able to capture an engaging, compelling video on your own. You can then continue to experiment with techniques as your marketing strategy grows.
True but color catches the eyes so maybe washing out the color doesn't help a video with colorful dj lights or sunny water shots. Seeing that blue water is more inviting. When the color grading becomes the main subject then might be time to rethink.
Hi Dave, I appreciate your feedback. The video was used more to showcase the handheld motion utilized in the piece. If the article was about color theory, that would've been a different story. BTW, the client wanted people having fun the main subject of the film, not the DJ or the pool fyi.
Nice to see where one can go in this medium. At age 72, launching a iPhone centric 90 sec promo for a model. Doing for no cost to see what I can do. I have a steadicam for my iPhone. I am doing a simple story board. Just a lot of fun to see what I am able to come up with. From where I started 11 yrs ago, so grateful for sites like fstoppers who have assisted me with lovely recourses to learn and take risk. I have loved movies since I was a 14 yrs old. From Roy Rogers to Fellini. I go to a lot of movies to learn see how many cuts and angles. I was so stunned how many scenes were like 2 to 4 seconds and then a cut away. I have no dreams of being a go to business who would want my video service. However I would rather fail than do nothing. Doing nothing is final failure and a dead end from my experience. Making a go of shooing a video is my first step. So grateful and thank full I still want to create. *If anyone knows where I can find some free music to use for this 90 sec video, I would be grateful. I am a “one man crew” so I will be wearing many hats if I dont fall over.
Hi Studio 403, thanks for commenting. You can find a multitude of tracks to use for free on none other than YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music). Good luck on putting together your first video project!