Camera Movement


The Art of Filmmaking and Editing


Lesson Info

Camera Movement

Everybody, how can we forget the Chess players from yesterday, right? You need to watch this one more time, for the 50th time. Because we're gonna add camera movement to it. Let's watch the shot sequence version from yesterday and then I'm gonna-- Without camera movement. Without camera movement, then I'm gonna show you what it looks like with camera movement. (tension music) (fingers tapping) Checkmate. Now watch the one again. (tension music) (fingers tapping) Checkmate. How many of you felt like, how many of you felt like that one felt very much more three dimensional, right? Why did it feel different? What was it? (speaking faintly) pieces as he moved the pieces, as he was tapping his finger and you panned, or you slid the dolly one way or the other. Almost feels like you're pacing in the room with them. It's stressing you out a little bit. It feels, both of you said exactly the same thing I was gonna say, it feels very participatory, doesn't it? Yes. It also fe...

els like you're following almost the thought process of them trying to decide what piece to move. The next kind of level up, we've talked a lot about how to add story telling, layers of story telling, different story telling techniques or putting things in order. The next level up to your films is to add camera movement. If as a photographer, what is it that you manipulate to give your photos a three dimensional look? The perspective. Perspective and The light. Light, yes, light, exactly. Lighting is what gives your photographs a three dimensional look, camera movement gives your films a three dimensional feel. The other thing it does is it can give you some anticipation right? If something's sliding or panning, you know something's about to be revealed. So you're anticipating seeing something like that. And did you notice at the very end of that shot, the two Chess pieces, the dead one and the triumphant one it was moving into the pieces with camera movement? That actually isn't movement, although you could film it that way. That's done in editing, it's called scaling. It's just basically zooming. But when you do that it gives this kind of heightened sense of exactly what just happened. Somebody lost, somebody won, and it changes the entire emotional dynamic of your film. It almost makes it seem like the film's about the pieces. The kings on the Chess board as opposed to the players. Let's get into camera movement 'cause a big, a lot of people think camera movement looks cool, and it totally does, but we wanna have a psychological reason to use it every time. So we're gonna talk about a stable shot, one that doesn't move a pan tilth. We must have been hungry last night when we made this. (student laughing) We did this on purpose because Tilth is a restaurant in Seattle that we're gonna go to tomorrow night. It's the best, if you're here in Seattle go to Tilth. Okay, fly on the wall, we're gonna do a slider or a dolly shot, we're gonna talk about a steadicam and then we're also gonna talk about a jib. Let's talk about the stable shot. Okay, so stable shots are really good to start with because it's gonna rely on composition. If you're a photographer you know all about composition, this should be no problem for you. And just, you know, the idea of a stable shot is to make it look like a painting. That's, you know, there's a good film making theory that when you press pause on a movie, it should look like a work of art at any point. So think about that. Shot needs to be still, and it's really common for establishing shots if you wanna just give a really wide perspective. Normally, that's what it would be used for. And a lot of times if I'm gonna use a stable shot, I like to have movement in the shot, where there's like characters are moving or objects are moving or something like that. You would put that on a tripod and here's what a stable shot would look like. Just so you know. Notice how nothing ever moves and just, and see how I have movement, there's activity. It's not like dead in the scene or anything like that. And think about this, the two Every Nun videos that we showed you yesterday, those super awesome ones, they were all stable shots. Every shot in both movies, with the exception of one, was a stable shot. So even without camera movement, you can make super effective films, I mean everybody loved those videos a lot. 'Cause the story telling was good. But if those videos had been shot and camera movement had been added to them, in addition to being great with the story telling it would feel even better. It would be an even better film. So that's why we always think about how can we add movement? In the case of those movies, isn't it also making a choice between if you want the movement to happen between the shot or within the shot? Isn't that a consideration as far as stopping and starting from movement and considering where you're going in the next shot? I'm not necessarily sure I understand the question. Okay. Well, I guess, when, I guess I'm thinking in relationship to The Every Nun in particular, it seemed like there's still, even though the shots themselves were not moving, there's movement across the shots, which had a lot to do with how they were editing it. Sort of like the stable shot, I want activity or movement in it. If it looks dead and flat, it can almost look like a photograph. Right. So yes, yeah. If you're having a stable shot, you kind of, you probably, it's a good idea to have some sort of movement in it. You know, if it's a sky, like a cityscape or something like that, there'll be activity you know, in the shot, so you know, keep that in mind. Pan, okay, so first thing I need to tell you about pan is you need a fluid head to do this. If you have a photography tripod you cannot pan with it. I mean, you can, but it won't look good. So, what Jeff has on here is a fluid head. We recommend the 502 fluid head which is, Right back here. Right there on the back of that slider, we'll pull that out in a second. And the 502 is a fantastic head. Right here, this is a 504 head, it's an older head, it's a great head, 502 we like it better. If you don't wanna actually get a tripod, you have your photography tripod and you love it, and you've got paintings on it or something, you've got some sort of sentimental attachment to it, fine, okay, there are uses for this tripod that make it better, but you can get a fluid head and screw it onto your photography tripod and switch 'em in and out. And when you get tired of doing that, then you go buy yourself a set of legs. Then you go buy a set of legs like this. And one other great thing about buying a video tripod is, this Monfrotto right here will have this center column that allows you to adjust on a 180 degree axis, like this. In addition to going frontwards and backwards, tilting and panning, you get the ability to level quickly which a photography tripod is very hard to level quickly, 'cause you have to do it with the legs. So a pan is very simple. It's horizontal movement this way, and you're either following a subject, like this video here. Revealing. I'm introducing a subject here. You can either introduce a subject, follow movement, follow a subject or go from one subject to the other, so maybe I have the camera on you and I wanna pan over to you, introducing a new subject. So there's a lot of ways to use pan. Sometimes it's a style choice if you're in a scene and it's a conversation or something, you're gonna wanna just pan across the face a little bit to add a little movement to it. You can do that, I would use it very sparingly. Okay, I wouldn't abuse that, but it can be done. And I've done it and I do actually like the look. Our assistant Tyler loves to move the camera if nothing's kind of happening. He just moves it thinking that it's gonna give him something easier on editing sometimes. So he just purposely introduces movement. A tilt is very similar except just vertical. So you're going up and down as opposed to horizontally. And a lot of what I use a tilt for, you could follow movement like in the Every Nun video, it followed the feather all the way up. But really, at the end of the day, I use it to introduce a scene or exit a scene. Everybody remember the wedding from yesterday, Shannon and Amy? How did I introduce the scene? I tilted down from the sky, right? And it ended the same way, you're gonna see a nice jump cut here in a second. Boom, okay. You know what that is? That's not two shots, that's the exact same shot in reverse. And so I started the same way I ended. I didn't need to use two shots for that. So I'll show you how to do that in editing tomorrow. Slider or dolly, now lemme just before I get into the more extreme camera movements, here's my two rules for camera movement to ask yourself when should I move the camera and how. Intensity mimics intensity, movement mimics movement. What does that mean? So if I'm in a scene and it's an intense scene, maybe you're yelling at me for some reason. I don't know what I did to piss you off, but I apologize. And I have a shoulder mount here or something. Basically the idea of a shoulder mount which I'm gonna show in a second, is to lock frame and to hold frame. So as his head moves, my body moves with it, to try to hold the original frame. Here's the whole trick to this. You're not gonna be able to do it. That's the idea. It's as you try to follow the movement, the natural human movement is introduced and as the intensity of his mood picks up, and he's yelling, spit's flying and he's really upset, the more his head moves, the more I'm gonna have to move to try and lock frame, so he's controlling my movement. I don't do this on purpose, I just do it to follow the frame and when you see all those handheld movies, like the Hurt Locker, which won Best Picture last year, that whole entire movie was on a shoulder mount. The whole thing. And what that movie did such a good job of, or Homeland, anybody watch, you guys watch the show Homeland? The reason, I always tell people, how do you watch Homeland? I watch it like this. Because you're, it makes you feel like you're actually there. Because think about this. Nobody stands like this in the world. No one's like a statue. We move, our heads move, we sway, apparently I sway too much. You have to, you have movements, so the shoulder mount's one of the best ways to mimic the movement. The slider, okay, is gonna give you that three dimensional look where foreground and background cross each other. And Jeff was saying light as photographers, light is your biggest source of three dimensional, to make things three dimensional. Camera movement's your biggest source to make things three dimensional. So a slider, a lot of times, if you have smooth, the scene is smooth and you wanna give it that smooth movement, the slider's gonna be a mechanically smooth movement in any direction. You can use a slider or you can use a dolly like they have in the back. I'm sure you've seen some dolly shots of us here on the Kessler. What we recommend, you get your $750 set up, okay, you know you have to have that, what's the next thing you buy? Buy a slider. That was like the Holy Grail for us. When we were coming through these ranks. Or a tile cutter. Yeah well, we did the tile cutter. Don't try that. One shot, one shot. Don't try that. Here's what a slider shot looks like, and when I say movement mimics movement, there's gonna be a shot where Kevin's on a rolly chair, and he just rolls his chair. And watch the slider just mimic what he does. So I'm just trying to mimic what's going on. It's smooth. I'll dolly back really slow here. I'll dolly back. I just stopped down to keep it, like they're praying, I'm smooth. A shoulder mount would look ridiculous here. A shaky camera would look ridiculous. A lot of times I'll come off of objects, like I'll come off of like a white wall, or a ya know, I'll say Jeff, stand in front of the camera and I'll just come off his leg. And it'll just look like I'm coming off black or something. I'll come off objects that way. And then it helps me to edit later on. The two sliders that we have here are both by Cinevate. This is the Cinevate Atlas 10. It starts at about $600. It's super sturdy. Cinevate's gear is the sturdiest. And the great thing about this, it has an attached counter weight and pulley system. I think you can see this, we don't have it set up right now. But you can actually set this up to do vertical slider shots with the counter weight and pulley system, so that's very very versatile. The other one we have here, and this one's also on sale on the gear specials page, gear specials is the Pegasus Table Dolly. This one is carbon fiber. So here are the legs. Super, super light. Super light. Because it's carbon fiber, travels very well. But the reason why I love this is my favorite slider, is because this comes off of the legs and then as long as you have a flat surface, a floor, a table, you have a table dolly. So you can use this anywhere there's a flat surface or you can put it on the legs. Normally these wheels lock into, you would put the rail between like this, but I wanted to be able to take this off quickly for the demonstration. So you get a slider, table dolly combination here, slider vertical or horizontal here. Here is what the slider era has produced for us in a look, here's what you do. And move your camera. So it's slider on the ground, you know why? 'Cause that's the easiest, and people are lazy. Normally you don't have a table just sitting there at the perfect-- Normally you don't have a table to set it up. So what I started doing to try to differentiate the look, is I would put a telephoto lens on the slider, back really far away from my subject. And when you're, when you saw the sliders on the last shots, they were all wide, you could see all that movement in the foreground. When you put the telephoto lens on, look at the background, how much it moves. And it's almost like the foreground stays still. You can really see it in this next shot here. They're barely moving, but look at the building outside. Look how much it's moving. And that's an 85 mm lens on that and it just, it takes the movement and switches it to the background which gives you, in my opinion, a better look, and it's gonna, you're gonna make yourself look different from your colleagues who are doing that. Now, when you buy a slider you're gonna have to buy a fluid head for it. It does not come with a fluid head. But to get that look that Ross was talking about, you have to move the fluid head and move the slider at the same time. So you're both panning and sliding in order to get that background to move like that. Okay, so lemme go to the fly on the wall. I was just talking about that earlier where I'm making the Hurt Locker connection. This is my favorite look, and the reason why it's my favorite look is because I'm trying to, I'm in control of the movement. And it really mimics what's going on. Jeff, throw that on your shoulder. So basically how that would work, camera would mount right there. This is actually a Geneses, Genus. Genus shoulder mount, which this gives you the ability to look through the viewfinder, if we had the camera on I could show you that. And you know, it's got a counter weight in the back and if he's trying to follow me, if you're trying to follow me. And I'm moving, he's just holding frame, right? And I'm, we could be boxing right now, but he's holding frame. And see how I move, it makes him move? That's the whole idea of a shoulder mount. Now if you come from the broadcast world and you're used to having a Beta Cam on your shoulder or something like that and you are being forced to switch to a DSLR, which you probably are, this is a great transition for you, because it puts the camera back on your shoulder and gives you that control back. So a lot of people who've come from the broadcast world can't stand the smaller cameras, because they don't have that point of contact on the shoulder. So the shoulder mount's a great transition to try to get you into the newer technology. And look, she moves, I try to follow her. I'm completely unsuccessful, but that's the whole idea of the shoulder mount is to try to almost make people feel nervous and there, and it really mimics the, you know, humans. Here, I'm not even moving. I'm just standing still and I'm letting the train take over the movement. That's not shaky, that's realistic. It makes, that's how your head, that's what your view would be on a train. And then of course you have the ability to pan like that. So you have quick, you know, you have the ability to like, you have the 360 motion or I would say 180, can't really turn all the way around with your waist. So that becomes your ability to pan right there. Delkin makes a car mount, it's called a Fat Gecko. You can mount this on your car with suction cups. And it works really well. Sort of a trust issue the first time you do it, but once you get over that trust issue, you know the camera's not gonna fall off, you get that and you just set it on there. And that's what it looks like, and the bounce of the car is okay for us. Because movement mimics movement. So that's what we're trying to do with that. Steadycam, this is sort of the motherlord of camera movements. All right this is the Merlin here which is smaller, I think it's 800, Jeff? Correct me if I'm wrong. Camera would mount here. Yes, $800. You hold the handle and you don't use this hand to hold it still, you use this hand to sort of guide it. So I would put my finger underneath like this and then I would maybe track across you guys here. All right, this is gonna be your entry level steadycam. It's all about balancing it correctly. And then we have here, the steadycam I use mostly is the Pilot where you put the vest on. The sled comes off and then these spring arms, let's take this vest completely off. So the vest comes off here. These arms attach to the vest and it removes you, the person, from the equation. The springs actually absorb all of the shake and bounce. That's about $4900, that steadycam. The Merlin that we showed you right there is 800. This is great for DSLR but like he said, it's all about balance. If you get really serious about it, you could buy the other one, the more expensive one. Here's a good steadycam shot and it talks about some lighting things you wanna think about from our filmmaking for photographers DVD from the camera movement section. So right now, I'm gonna cue my camera to walk, and I'm gonna start walking. Scott has the 60D on the steadycam with the 14mm lens. Now one reason we use the 60D, the flip out LCD screen makes things easier to operate. The 14 is good because you don't have to worry about focus. Now I want you to notice how we've selected a hallway to walk down. See, when we walk down hallways when it comes to using the steadycam, when we use walls, we come off of objects, see this hallway is introducing more movement. It's magnifying the movement. Notice how when he comes around a corner here, he hugs the corner a little more. We're gonna turn the corner here right here, notice how he hugs the corner. See we turn corners and we pass objects, it introduces all sorts of crazy movement. And then as I walk here, you have to understand one thing also, let's stop. Stay here. Notice how my exposure does not float with what I'm doing. See, there's no auto when it comes to film making. Your exposure is locked so you need to keep that in mind when you go from room to room to room to room. That you make sure your exposure matches the way you want. So that's my steadycam overview. Now let's go on to other things. Thing I wanna talk about camera movement is the jib. Basically I use this pretty exclusively to intro and exit scenes. You see this a lot in film where they'll exit a scene and it'll, a crane, it'll crane up, jib up I would say. It's a vertically rising camera and this just is production value, that's what I would say. Right here we have the IndiSYSTEMs, Air Jib. Air Jib. And the counter weight is water or soda or wine or whatever you wanna drink when you're done taking the shot which is pretty cool. If you wanna see actually what a jib shot looks like, Can we cut to, there's a jib here in the back. Can we cut to that camera and watch the way that's rising. That's what a jib does. And it's kind of one of the most favorite of film enthusiasts, one of the most favorite moves to make. Generally the kind of jib that they have here in the back is ya know, upwards of $2000. This IndiSYSTEM Air Jib is 229 bucks. That's why you use water. You have to supply your own water. Yeah, and basically this comes off here. And you just open it up, all the way off. There's a point to this. There we go. I'm just thirsty. Now we're not balanced anymore. You see how the head is heavier. Obviously we'd use two liter bottles of coke or something heavier if we actually had a camera on here. Yeah, and the, sort of the rule of thumb with the jib counter weight is you wanna double your weight that's on the camera. I would say, if could see a shot of the jib behind us, there's a pretty hefty camera on there, and they actually have weights from like a weight room on the back, countering it. So $229, this is not on our gear page, because you cannot buy this through B&H. So you have to go to IndiSYSTEM. I N D I $229 for the Air Jib and it'll give you that awesome production value at a really affordable cost.

Class Description

Have you ever thought about using your talents, training and equipment to design moving images to tell a story? This film workshop is your opportunity to learn how to become a visual storyteller with Jeff Medford and Ross Hockrow. Whether you're a photographer or an aspiring filmmaker, you will come out of this class with all of the skills to produce web commercials, wedding, birth, family and event films.

Discover what you'll need for your camera bag, lighting, how to shoot a conversation - all during a live shoot! You'll learn how to create a story throughout the editing process. This film workshop is 3 days of non-stop information, all of which will allow you to expand your business and increase your profits.