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Shoot Video for Beauty

Lesson 18 from: Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography

Jessica Dimmock

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Lesson Info

18. Shoot Video for Beauty

Lesson Info

Shoot Video for Beauty

So another thing that I find incredibly important for working with an editor and especially coming from a photography background is that as photographers, we are so trained to make these tiny, little, like, micro-movements all the time with our camera. It's part of what makes us good at photography, is being able to, like, re-compose and find perfect, perfect compositions. And like, that thing about the vice again. It's like, you want things to be perfect and so, if you need to, like, move a millimeter this way, a millimeter that way to make everything just right, we do it in photography and we do it quickly. In video, there's kind of, like, two things that I feel like photographers do bad all of the time. One is that they move, like, little micro-movements way too much. You can re-compose. Absolutely, but you have to do it slowly. So like, if the shot is of your feet and it's just of the two of you and I want that third foot over there, I've got to be like, all right. Instead of being...

like, oh, it's actually all three. I gotta, like, slowly just kinda get there. It's okay, it's about patience. Photo can breathe, let it, like, get to that moment of perfection. But like, move that camera slowly. Obviously, if you're shooting something over here and the action's behind you, I'm not telling you that you should be like... You know, all the way to back there. Obviously, get to what you need to shoot, but if you're shooting right here and something's happening right to the left of it, like, you know, I would encourage you as much as you can to like, try to just pan over slowly, patiently, not in a jerking manner, because the second you do something like that, you might ruin your shot. The next clip we're gonna talk about, not being a perfectionist, but we're not there yet. So we're gonna stay back at this thing. So you gotta hold your shots and you gotta be patient as you re-compose. The second thing is, is that once you're shooting something, we as photographers have a tendency because all we take is a 60th of a second or a 500th of a second to be like, bang, bang, bang, we're done. I've already seen it, now I can move on. My rule is that anything that I shoot, I wanna shoot for 30 seconds. Anything that I am pointing my camera at, I wanna shoot at least for 30 seconds. Unless it's complete garbage and I look at it and I look through the lens and it was an idea and I look at it and I'm like, that's stupid. Like, I know I hate this. But if it's something that I'm like, okay, I'm gonna shoot this. It's 30 seconds. And not what your head thinks 30 seconds is, but like, watching your time code on your camera and starting at some point and waiting for 30 seconds to pass, 'cause I guarantee your head thinks four seconds is 30 seconds or six seconds is 30 seconds. But it's really, like, a full 30 seconds. Whether that's a sign, whether that's a look in someone's eyes when they're upset and they've just, like, heard some news, whether that's a kitty cat, whether that's like a picture on a fridge. Because some of it won't be right. Some of it you'll still be moving. Some of it you'll hiccup and like, your camera will move a little bit. Some of it the, like, you'll be in the way of something. You just don't know. By the time you kinda get it to where it's right and then, have it for long enough in the camera, and then you're-- Like, just hold it for longer than you think. And that's a minimum. Hold things for way longer than you think, especially when it comes to, like, personal proximity stuff and personal emotions. And this is where it's really hard, because when you watch someone. I mean, we all do this in our everyday lives, which is that, like, when someone has something that's hard or when they talk about something that's emotional or difficult to swallow, like, we all avert our eyes all the time. It's a common thing to kind of wanna like, look away. It's not even about you being embarrassed. It's sometimes about giving someone kind of the space and privacy with their own emotions to, like, not be pushing in on them. And sometimes in video, you just need to hold that thing. And it's really hard, because you're like, every instinct of you is gonna be like, get, like, get this camera off of them. But you just should hold it, because the way that someone will like, the subtle shift that will happen in someone's eyes, the way that someone will swallow, or the way that someone will, like, nervously kind of look around, is so telling. And like, if you move your camera, it's done. That shot's over, you know. Like, you can't get it back. You can't cut it together with something else. That's it. So try to hold that stuff as much as you possibly can. Any questions that coming up? 'Cause otherwise, I will keep going. You have some questions about what you've been talking about the last few minutes. One is from Oscar Belanga who said, do you, this one's talking about transitions. Do you ever use fades, et cetera, between shots or is that passe? I don't love them, but it kind of depends on your editor. I don't love to use fades and stuff, but I like kind of a harder, grittier thing, so I like kind of these, like, harsher cuts. But that's just a personal taste thing. And one more question about using the two-shooters. The question from Silvarios was, do you have to coordinate lighting settings to make sure the field for both cameras look the same? And I guess I would kind of add to that. Not just lighting settings, but how do you make those two look like they go together? Like, it doesn't matter who shot what. That's a great question. So when you're doing two camera setups, you wanna make sure that you're on the same page about a couple of things. You want your color temperature to be the same. So like, both set to daylight, both set to... And we'll talk about some settings tomorrow. But both set to daylight or both set to tungsten or both set to a certain kelvin temperature. Both set the same ISO, both set to the same exposure. I don't want to be shooting for, you know, shadows and my co-director to be shooting for highlight. It's gonna be very tough for us to match those things up. The only thing that can be really different and I would actually even encourage it to be different is focal lengths of your lens. It is nice, you know, that moment in the car situation where, like, it's almost, like, we're standing back to back and kind of shooting the same thing. But it's also nice within the scenes to kind of have really different perspectives on some things. So like, someone shooting through a long lens, where they can get kind of into the details, and someone else shooting with a much wider lens can be really great. But all the settings in your camera, even the time of day, because when your editor goes back and is trying to kind of figure out where all the stuff goes together, having your kind of time code and time of day in camera at around the same, you know, it's hard to match it exactly without kind of jamming your time code, which is something you can only do in certain higher-up cinema cameras. But having a rough sense of like, oh, this was at 11.20 at night, in both of your cameras, can help your editor realize that these two things go together. Okay, so we have holding our shots. We have not jerking our camera around. And then, we've got this, like, total undoing what I'm saying, which is also you should, like, completely jerk your camera around, because your editor will cut to a lot of that stuff.

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Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I have been waiting for a course like this. Purchasing it was a no-brainer. Taught by an accomplished professional in the field, with a strong track record of high level work, Jessica Dimmock, I feel, is exactly the type of instructor Creative Live should be giving air time to. I have watched other Videography classes on Creative Live, and this was the first one that I felt was worth purchasing due to how much info was being shared, in a very methodical, easy to follow (but not dumb downed) fashion.

a Creativelive Student

This class has left me feeling very encouraged and inspired about getting into videography. Jessica has made some great work, in her short career with video, and was able to share what she learned through those experiences. She started out as a photographer and has now incorporated video into her skill set and it seems to have expanded the diversity her opportunities and has enriched what she produces and shares with the world. I look forward to doing the same thing in my own way. Thanks CL for another wonderful class.


Simultaneously broad and deep, the information Jessica covers and the way she delivers it really give you the feeling you can jump into video right away. Professionalism in every area, from prep steps to workflow in the field to clean organization and processing, inspires confidence in the value of her methods. She clearly learned most of this in the field over years of work, which means the rest of us now have a huge leg up on our first projects. Thank you so much!

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