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3 Cool Camera Tricks to Try on Your Next Video Shoot

1.Cool Camera Tricks: Watch this video on the Art of the Whip Pan.

 

This is a relatively simple technique that positively transforms the feel and timing of your film. It can be used to jump through time and space, show cause and effect situations and fill your scene with movement and visual energy.

We’re familiar with the pan, it’s the simple yet essential technique of rotating the camera on its axis left and right or up and down. A whip pan is like a pan but a very fast pan that blurs the objects in between and can reset the shot or even the scene.

You can use a whip pan in a motivated way, to show what a character is seeing or where they are going. You can use the whip pan to give an energetic boost to a scene, to transition between two different moments in time or to show the direct cause and effect of the action happening on set.

The whip pan is a cool, simple and exciting way to improve your camera work on a film or video shoot.

Are you a cinematographer? Check out these cinematography tricks for your next shoot.

2.The Stop and Blend : Whether there’s an industry standard name for this technique or not, it’s hard to know. However, we’ve all seen this technique in motion and it’s always a seamless way to show realistic action. 

The term refers to shooting most of the action first, like someone jumping off the roof. Then shooting the end, where they hit the ground separately and blending the clips together. 

Watch this video so you get a better understanding of what I mean. How to fall to your death and not die!

 

The guys from Film Riot do a great job of breaking it down for us. If you’re trying to have a falling scene or a scene where you want to show a seamless cut, use the stop and blend technique.

In this example, the video shows how to have somebody falling off a roof in one shot. The way they achieve this is by shooting the first moments of the action first, either on location or like in the video, in front of a Green Screen. Then shooting the second action, the fall, only the last few seconds before they hit the ground. All this without moving the camera from its spot. You can take these two clips and composite them together, making it a continuous shot.

This technique can be used in various situations, to elongate a take or make things exciting. You can use the stop and blend technique to blend all your shots into one continuous motion, like in the movie Birdman. 

3 . For my next trick, this is no trick at all.  Watch this next video to learn the ultimate guide to camera movement. 

 

The best camera tricks are the ones where you know how to use the camera. Movement is essential to telling good stories and in the visual word a moving camera is a good tool to have. Don’t be afraid to use motion purposefully.

Static shots are good when you need precise compositions in a scene, or to bring attention to a character in a scene. In the video they reference static shots as tools that filmmakers use to trap characters. 

We’ve already talked about the whip pan, but there’s also the slow pan. This slow camera movement lets you build anticipation. It gives a scene a sense of discovery. 

The zoom, although unnatural to our abilities, can be used to bring attention to details and enhance the dramatic effect in a scene. 

A cool zoom trick is the dolly zoom. This trick uses the dolly movement with the zoom, to create the vertigo effect, a technique famously used by Hitchcock. Watch the Dolly zoom section at minute 12:50 of the video above, if you want to learn all the interesting ways in which you can implement a Dolly Zoom on your next shoot.

Shooting something cool? Let us help! At American Movie Company we have the best production team and equipment to help you make your project a masterpiece. 

Bill Milling - 212-219-1075
Miranda Sherrell studio producer at American Movie Company
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