Video Examples Using Shoulder Rig


Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography


Lesson Info

Video Examples Using Shoulder Rig

I'm gonna show you two samples of what the shoulder rig kinda feel is like. The first is a sample from the film that I just finished. And in this one what I want you to think about especially, is not only that it's like not super wobbly but the fact that I'm in clearly a different location, and also that it's not just not super wobbly but has a little bit of like a floaty feel. And that is very much because of that back weight. And then we'll talk about it. (light angelic music) Oh cool, listen to it. Listen to it. (light angelic music) (laughter) (light angelic music) So I'd actually like to play it one more time if that's okay. And I just wanna like redraw your attention now that we've seen it. I'm on a boat, cause also it's only like a minute and a half long so why not. I'm on a boat, I'm walking through the rainforest, I'm like at a waterfall, that's probably two miles off of the road, I'm in the back of a pickup, although that shot was shot by my co-director Chris Lamarka. But...

like same type of thing, these are not studio environments, these are not super controlled situations, these are not even necessarily city streets. But it gives this kind of floaty feel like on the boat. That kind of dream-like quality is somewhat achieved by the fact that there is a little bit of weight in the back but also I'm super mobile with this thing, so let's just watch one more time. (light angelic music) Oh cool, listen to it. Listen to it. (light angelic music) (laughter) (light angelic music) So I'm gonna show you another clip using the shoulder rig that's also outside of like traveling to Hawaii, and the kind of floaty feel that it can give. Also just a very like, on the streets kind of shooting. Which is also a lot of what I end up doing. Which is that the shoulder rig is great for subjects where you feel like you're gonna be following people from one activity to another, to another. Because it's very much like, it's a walking rig. It's a rig that you kind of move from situation to situation. And so what I find is that this is something great for just a story that requires a lot of going from one place to another, to another. Because as people kind of move through their lives, I very much can do this with them. I can get in and out of cars, I can get onto subways, I can walk with people down the streets. Sometimes, like if my eye is in the eyepiece I maybe have to lookout from that. But other than that it allows me to really kinda move with them. The monopod which I'll show you is very, very limited when it comes to that. So I'm gonna show you another scene. This is from a series of short films that I did for an NGO called Every Mother Counts. And this was a series of short films about giving birth in America. We did short film in Montana, we did a short film here in New York City, and we did one in Florida. The one in New York City, obviously, as New York City people do, they were on the subway, they were on buses, they were in taxis, they were walking down the streets. And so the shoulder rig was a great way of just being able to track. So I want you to see how often, not only am I able to shoot that stuff but how much I'm incorporating people walking from one place to another into the video. Its not only that I can move with it, its that peoples' movement in this story really become part of the story. And I'm able to incorporate that because of the way that I decided to shoot it. There's also a moment or two that I think could have really benefited from being more stable. So I actually think, looking back, I should have mixed this up. I should have shot a lot of it on a shoulder rig, and I think at times I should have brought a tripod in. Cause there are a couple of shots in this, you're gonna see one where there's kind of a bulletin board with a bunch of pieces of paper and something like that might've benefited from just being totally static and not having any movement. I'm just being honest. So take a look at this and then we'll talk about it. (television in the background) After graduating high school, something came over me and I was like, "Okay, babies and moms is where I need to be." The women that go through pregnancy by themselves and not having someone there to support them. That's something that I'm afraid of. Not being able to be there for someone that may really need the help. (monitor beeping) The statistics for African American women as it relates to maternal mortality is that moms are about four to five times more likely to die in childbirth or postpartum within the first year. My thing is well where's the humanity in it. There was a need in the community that need to happen. Getting care that you feel safe with, someone you can trust. This is the third contraction I've had since I've been here. Since you've been here. And I got here at what? 3:30, what time is it? [Background Female] It's 4:23. So you see, what did I say. I said to an hour or three an hour. Yeah you have some time. So in this sample that I'm showing you, its not just that I'm able to be mobile with the characters which was important, its that the characters being mobile in this situation are so much a part of the story and by being able to track with them I'm able to incorporate their movements and their kind of daily life into the story. And in this situation that was super important. It's about people living in an urban setting, having to walk places, having to be alone on the street, having to take public transportation. All of these things that were so important that I was able to kind of bring into the story and that is very much because of that type of situation.

Class Description

Just because you’re a photographer doesn’t mean you can’t shoot compelling video. If you have a digital SLR, you have the equipment. If you’re a photographer who loves to tell captivating visual stories, you have the passion and the necessary skills. It doesn’t matter whether you want to create powerful short films about global issues or take videos of your friends on vacation: all it takes to start being a successful videographer is strong photography skills.

Join VII Agency photojournalist Jessica Dimmock for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to storyboard to create a strong narrative
  • How to properly capture sound and voiceover while on a shoot
  • How to shoot for an editor and to think with the edit in mind
Jessica has traveled the world in the pursuit of powerful stories. Her work has been published in publications like the New Yorker and Time, and has been exhibited in galleries around the globe. Her skill with a camera allowed her to pivot into videography, where she created music videos, short projects and feature films. Becoming a filmmaker as well as a photographer opened up a new form of media for her stories - and doubled her day rate. Draw in new clientele and start expressing your creativity in new ways!  


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!