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Getting Good Footage

For people who haven't done much filming, check out the Do's and Don'ts of shooting video.

Additional tips:

  • Film emotional, evocative and informative shots (eye candy). 
  • Take chances with the camera. Get interesting shots, interesting angles. Use light and shadow to evoke mood.
  • Don’t put the subject in the center of the camera always. Split the frame in thirds in your eye and place the subject in one of the thirds.
  • Film the place where the action is happening, the background. Capture details of the set. (B-Roll) You'll cut away to these later when you edit. They also provide additional information to the audience.
  • Don’t be afraid to get close to your subjects' faces so your audience can watch their emotions.
  • Film details of people – their hands, their dirty boots, their jeweled brooch, etc. This can be b-roll as well.
  • Interviews:
    Have subjects speak in whole sentences
    Decide whether they should be looking at the camera or at you.
    -When filming two people talking, get behind one’s shoulder for a while, and then switch. Get an establishing shot of them together.
  • Get one minute of room tone (background noise without anyone speaking). You'll need this when you start editing.

Document author:
Last modified:
Feb 10, 2010