Video Shooting Guidelines
- No Zooms or Pans
When the eye and the ear are in competition, the eye wins. Therefore, your viewer will follow the movement instead of listening to the sound and be distracted. Pans and zooms reinforce the presence of the camera, so use sparingly and only deliberately. Do not chase the action. Do not zoom.
- Rule of Thirds
Frame subjects on the intersection of the three-part grid. The asymmetry creates tension, dynamism, drama. Crop the forehead, not the chin -> eyes fall on the thirds.
- Ten second steady shots
Hold each shot for at least 10 seconds to ensure you have enough good footage.
- Seek Subjective Sound Bytes
More emotional content and less factual information. Thoughts, feelings, opinions, emotions, observations. Feeling vs. Knowing. You will always remember what you feel longer than what you know. Facts are forgetable; emotions convey the facts–they are the delivery vehicle.
- Shoot B-roll and a variety of shots
Wide (context, establishing shot), Medium, and Close-up (details, examples). Action and reaction/consequence. Lots of closeups.
- Always Monitor Your Sound: Wear Headphones
- Capture Nat Sounds and Shut Up
Avoid the conversational affirmations (“uh huh”, “yeah”, “right”) and let your subjects speak. Don’t try to fill the gaps in the silence.
- Use Good Lighting
Put camera on the shadow side of the subject. Three-point lighting system: Key (most important, main), Back (separates subject from background–lights up shoulders and head, opposite of key), and Fill (half the intensity of the Key).
- Strong Opener, Strong Closer
Same as in print: Lead and Kicker.