Week 7 – Video Skills: Shots practice

Summary of filming process

Shot List Plan

Shot type Time (seconds) Over all time Length of footage
Establishing wide shot 5 5 15
Establishing mid shot 4 9 12
Establishing close shot 4 13 12
Close shot (3 shot sequence) 2 15 10
Mid shot (3 shot sequence) 2 17 10
Mid close shot (3 shot sequence) 2 19 10
Tracking shot 7 26 20
Tracking shot 6 32 20
Close (2 shot sequence) 2 34 10
Mid (2 shot sequence) 2 36 10
Close establishing 2 38 10
Wide to mid 2 40 10
Panoramic wide 3 43 12
Panoramic (fade between) 3 46 12
Panoramic (fade between) 3 49 12
Mid shot (3 shot sequence) 2 51 10
Close shot (3 shot sequence) 2 53 5
Mid close (3 shot sequence) 2 55 10
Wide (2 shot sequence) 2 57 10
Mid (2 shot sequence) 2 59 10

How did you translate your plan into reality?

In terms of taking my plan from the planning stage to the filming stage I created a copy of my plan in my notebook. I wrote out the plan in terms of what kinds of shots I would need and roughly how long I would like the clip to be. I would then write down how long I would like the original footage for the clip to be so that I could edit it down and meant that I had extra footage if necessary.

When it came to actually filming I had a basic idea of what the video would be. The basic idea was just shots of the college graduating from the outside with establishing shots of the buildings and ten progress into the buildings. In order to get a rough idea of how I was going to structure the video I briefly walked around the college to look for good places to film and looked at it from multiple angles using the camera frame as a way to check how good a shot would be. Once I had decided on several different filming locations I took a few minutes to structure which locations would fit best with which shot types and then took note of this, taking into account factors such as angling the shot from a certain height or perspective.

As the task required no specific narrative there was not much pressure on planning the actual content in terms of theme or story. Therefore I focused more on making the shots look professional and recorded each clip from multiple angles in the same footage so I could decide later which angle fit best with the shot. I also took a few shots that I hadn’t planned as extra footage in case it would fit better than a different clip.

As I was going for more of the building I focuses a lot more on recording structures and empty places, so the video would look more like a tour or a first person kind of perspective of the college. In a few places I found that the area presented itself better for a shot that was at ground level or table level. Due to not having access to a camera with a tripod I tried using my second hand to steady the camera and in some cases I used a table or a bench to keep the shot steadier.

How close to a professionally shot example do you deem your first attempt?

Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki3GaqfK8u4

The shot types used in my footage emulate those of the shots used in the video above. I found however since their shots related to a more human topic with interviews and shots of people it was a quite different focus in relation to shot types used.

Most of the shots I have used are still with no zooming or panning with the exception of my panoramic shots. The piece above pans slightly and focuses more on shots of action in mid shots and then has close ups of people faces. With the exception of the interview and piece to camera I have used similar framing and angles as the news piece.

The footage is obviously a lot more stable due to more professional equipment, and is higher quality due to a camera with a better resolution. This is something I can easily do in future with better equipment or the addition of a tripod to get stable shots. I could also in future use partial slow zoom in some clips to give a sense of movement on still shots, as done in this piece.

I am overall quite pleased with the footage and think it does come across as professional in several aspects. I think the decision to record the same shot from multiple angles gave me a lot more options in order to edit the footage in a clean and professional final video.

Obviously due to the nature of the task the one major difference between mine and the news piece is the lack of a narrative in my shots. While I tried to use establishing shots to help transition between areas of the college there is no real story or intent for the video. The establishing shots help to transition location and with the inclusion of different shots of a similar theme or area allowed for progressive shots, the lack of a narrative makes them feel empty. In some ways an audio track over the top talking about the college could help this and give the stock footage a purpose and give it the crucial human element it lacks when compared to the news piece. Also perhaps some form of music to give the piece some form of progression.

What can be done to improve?

While I am quite happy with the footage recorded, I found that it could have been improved by having access to a better camera or the addition of a tripod. This would have allowed for cleaner panoramic shots as well as stable footage with no shakes, creating a more professional looking product.

In terms of improving I think that I could have used more shots that related to the same subject (more 3-4 progressive shots). I think the addition of more mid and wide shots would have improved the footage. While I had lots of close up and mid shots I feel I only used wide shots for establishing shots and panoramic rather than to use in progressive shots.

Due to the lack of a human element in the video, it makes the footage almost appear lonely and creates an emotive feeling which was not intentional. Due to not being telling a narrative or having any structure to a story it is not as effective footage. The lack of a human element will make the footage less relatable and was purely for technical purposes.

In some cases I feel I stuck too close to my plan when I had a better shot in mind during filming. Rather than changing the shots I ended up strictly following my plan.

Without a direct narrative or story to centre the piece around it doesn’t quite come across as anything more than just an array of shots. The footage filmed is good in principle but without a purpose to centre it behind makes the footage difficult to use in a compelling way without a direction for the footage. In future with recording there will be a purpose for the footage rather than to just show different shot types and will therefore affect which shots are used.

Edited video

Video for upload

Week 7 – Video Skills: Shots practice

One thought on “Week 7 – Video Skills: Shots practice

  1. tomrowse says:

    Excellent post; well written and presented. You’ve demonstrated your interest in and skills with video very well – you have a great base from which to refine and improve now.

    Liked by 1 person

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