Monday, January 3, 2011

Another great article: Nine Digital Cinematography tips

Nine Digital Cinematography Tips

So you know the basics of digital cinematography: medium shots, wide shots, closeups and even extreme closeups. But why do your videos still lack that special zing?

Next time you're watching your favorite TV show or movie, take a look at the camera angles the Director of Photography is using; they're a lot more varied than you probably think. Let's take a look at a few ways better digital cinematography can get your productions out of the doldrums.

1. Get Up High

Shoot from a ladder, a balcony, a window, or even from on top of a chair. This bird's-eye view is a one we're not used to seeing - things look different and exciting - it grabs the viewer's attention. Cooking shows often use shots that look straight down on the action, so that viewers can see over the edge of the cooking pans. It's also a very handy shot for looking at something like a pool game. But why not try an aerial shot of the birthday party or family reunion as well?

2. Get Down Low

To get the camera in a new spot nobody had tried before, wunderkind Orson Welles famously chopped a hole in the floor to fit a camera and tripod at shoelace level. Today's modern video cameras don't require anything so drastic to peer through a mouse hole.
This doesn't just mean lying on the floor and photographing up people's noses. Consider videotaping what a child or pet might see or what goes on under the dinner table. What can you tell about people from their shoes and socks? What's under the sofa? How about putting a camera inside a dresser drawer as someone opens it and puts clothes away? Putting the camera somewhere other than eye level makes you look at the world in a new way.

3. Get Rid of Your Bubble Level

The 1960's vintage Batman TV show and 2000's Battlefield Earth were both famous for having extremely canted horizons and bad acting. While many directors spend a lot of time making sure that their camera is perfectly level, there's no rule that says your horizon can't slope drastically to one side or the other. It can add drama and a sense of forboding in tense scenes and can add interest in action shots during sporting events.

4. Mount It, Move It

Stephen J. Cannell was famous for mounting a camera on the door of the car, abo........... Click for remaining article

Credit: Kyle Cassidy of

1 comment:

  1. I think before you indulge in shooting your first film, you should be able to study how TV shows and movies are being filmed—especially the uses of a variety of angles. You see, each angle presents a certain effect or evokes a specific emotion. Nevertheless, thank you for this post!