Why You Don’t Know What Shots to Take

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Are you having a problem working out all the different shots you could take with your camera to tell your story. In the blog on How to Stop Panning and Zooming I have introduced you to the understanding that you can actually become aware of all the different images that your eyes are seeing.  Of how your brain pieces these images together so that you can understand what is happening around you.

The even bigger problem is how and where you can learn these camera skills. Most of you will have watched an enormous amount of television, documentaries and movies, but that doesn’t help. If you have seen so much of it why can’t you just do it.

It may be that you are still suffering the Curse of the Handycam and continuously rolling on everything, but help is at hand.

One of the Biggest Principles of Film Making

To keep the viewers in your story it must flow seamlessly. With a great still photo you can look at it, analyze it, and have a chance of knowing how it was done. You can then try to do it yourself. However, with great docos, or movies, or tv stories, the shooting, the shots,  the directing, the editing, and the sound are all working together to make the story flow so well that you get absorbed into it. The story  finishes and you have no idea of all the shots that went into it.  It is nearly impossible for you become aware of all the shots and how it was made. This makes it very difficult for you to work out how to do it yourself.

A Fantastic Exercise

Here is an exercise I give to people who do The Video Camera Course.  Go to a café, or food court, or somewhere public where many things are happening. For now, let’s make it a cafe. Do not take your camera. I repeat do not take your camera.

When you first walk in what you see is a wide shot, it is the shot establishing your scene. Now sit down and start to look at, and become aware of, all of the images that you are seeing and sending to your brain. Try to think of them as still images [unless someone is walking and you want or need to follow them with a pan].

What Shots are You Seeing?

All of the images you are becoming aware of are possible shots, for example, a person serving behind the counter, customers waiting, a person pouring a drink, a chef cooking some food, a child eating an ice cream, someone else eating a hamburger, a barista making coffee, a group of rowdy teenagers in the corner, a pretty waitress in a cute outfit chatting to customers at a table. What are the images or shots you are seeing?  A cleaner clearing tables, an old couple staring into mid-air, not talking to each other, they have said it all before.  All of these images are telling you a story and they can be edited together. Now, let’s get deeper into your story at the cafe.

The barista, what is he doing.  What images or shots can you get of him doing his job?  Working at his machine, using the coffee grinder, filling his coffee holder, tamping the coffee firmly into the holder, attaching the holder to the coffee machine, putting the cup underneath to catch the freshly brewed coffee, a shot of the baristas face looking up at the old couple as they sit waiting for their coffee. Just think, you haven’t even gotten to the frothing of the milk and pouring it into the cup part yet.

So what are your shots?  The little details you are focusing your attention on may be your close-ups.  Guess what, all these shots are the possible sequences of shots that can be edited together.

You now have a sequence in the coffee shop. You also have a sequence with the barista, and you could then shoot a sequence of shots of all the other scenarios in the shop as well.  An enormous number of shots to tell your story, and they can be edited together.

This knowledge is all in the The Video Camera Course, do it, you will love it. Join my tribe or community of storytellers.  These skills will stay with you for the rest of your life.

The Video Camera Course is a combination of simple and advanced skills that I have developed into an easy to understand complete learning system.  A fast and effective method to get you to be able to shoot any video project like a Professional Cameraman.  Then it is up to you to get out and do it, and I hope you love it as much as I do.

If you would like some more free info check out,

The Four Biggest Mistakes when Shooting Video

How to Stop Panning and Zooming with your Video Camera

You May be Destroying the Story with Your Camera

So You Would Like to be a Paid Videographer

Remember Learn it, Shoot it, Love it.

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