fit for the kingdom: documentary films about mormons

Shooting Home Movies: FIVE TIPS

  • 1. BE PATIENT AND LEARN TO LOVE THE LONG SHOT. Sometimes we are so anxious to get to another shot, we miss the one we were doing. Rule of thumb: count to TEN when you are filming something. If you really are in a hurry, count to FIVE. Life is mostly time, and the best way to show that is to let the camera sit still and roll for a while.
  • 2. EXPERIENCE THE EVENT THROUGH THE CAMERA. While you are filming, you will experience sights and sounds that the camera will not capture. As the one filming, it is your task to transmit as many of these ideas as you can through the camera. How can you show the scent of flowers? What about a cold day?
  • 3. GET ESTABLISHING SHOTS. If you are doing a home movie of a basketball game, don't forget to go outside and take a picture of the stadium, as well as a far-away shot that includes the court and stands. These help you remember where these things took place, in addition to what took place.
  • 4. RECORD THE MAIN EVENT, BUT DON'T FORGET ALL THE FABULOUS DETAILS SURROUNDING IT. If you were at an airport filming the return of your cousin from service in a war, the instinct may be to hold the camera on him as he arrives. Consider, however, the reaction of his mother when she first sees him, or your uncle trying in vain to load film into his little camera. Is there a clock with the time nearby? Are there any interesting signs, such as the name of the airport or airline? Is the father nervously fiddling with his car keys? You will find that these peripheral moments and details deeply enrich your record of the event.
  • 5. KEEP THE CAMERA ZOOMED OUT. A problem with many home movies is the shakiness, which about 9 out of 10 times is due to zooming in the camera. Zooming in exponentially increases the shakiness!!! If you want to get closer, walk up to the person. If you feel you have to zoom in, do it as little as possible.
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