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The Basic Laws & Rules Of Using A Video Camera!


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#1
st22

st22

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The Basic Laws & Rules Of Using A Video Camera

There is a lot of discussion about technical software and hardware problems, so I thought I would start a post with my basic cinematography and camera operation tips to get some discussion going!

Feel free to post your tips and rules you following when filming with your video camera!


LAWS

Law 1: Do not shake the camera!, Do not zoom in and out constantly, ALWAYS hold a steady shot so the people you make watch it (your audience) wont get a headache!

Law 2: Do not forget law 1!

Law 3: Obey Law's 1 & 2!

Law 4: Donít record in LP (long play) mode, often you canít edit LP footage or its really bad quality. Always record in SP mode (standard play).


RULES

Rule 1: Donít pan too often, naturally the human eyes like steady shots (try panning your head form left to right a few times whilst reading the next sentence), if you do decide to include some pans make sure they are nice and slow so your audience doesnít get a headache.

Rule 2: Donít let your shots get overexposed. Overexposed is generally when you point the camera towards a bright light such as the sun, and then everything in the picture turns black or white and you canít really see anything.

Rule 3: Donít (well try to avoid) filming in low light conditions or darkness. This can make the quality nasty especially if you cant control the gain on your handycam!

Rule 4: Donít zoom in using digital zoom it, becomes very shaky and bad quality, in fact donít zoom in at all if you can just move closer, youíre the camera person you can stand as close as you want!

Rule 5: Buy and use a tripod!

Of course all rules are made to be broken, so do some experimenting every now and then, but donít forget them, just donít break the laws!

Edited by st22, 13 October 2005 - 07:40 PM.

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#2
st22

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Tip: When using a camera hand held, turn ON the OIS - Optical Image Stablizer. But when you have the camera on a tripod turn OFF the OIS or it will give jerky movements instead of the smooth pan you are trying to achieve.
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#3
st22

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Tip: It is more natural and easier for your audience to watch pans that go from left to right, as this is the way we read, from left to right, although if your in a country that reads from right to left, panning from right to left is the better way to go!
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#4
st22

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someone sticky this :tazz:
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#5
Jayzeee

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Crossing the Line (Also known as the 180 degree rule)

This is a fairly basic principle, which is difficult to put into words, but I will give it a go :tazz:

Okay, imagine a football game. One team are playing up the field, the other team are playing downfield. Now imagine there is a straight line which goes from the milddle of the goal mouth, right the way down the centre of the pitch, into the goal mouth at the opposite end. You have two cameras, one is in the centre of the pitch on the sideline, the other is on the opposite sideline, both facing into the pitch, and both filming the action.

What happens when you cut between cameras? The team that are running downfield are suddenly running upfield and vice-versa. This is an example of why you should never "cross the line". All cameras should be one side of the line.

This isn't just applicable to multi-camera shoots either. If you are shooting a conversation between two people with a single camera, And you want "intercut" different camera angles of the same conversation. Draw an imaginary line down the middle of your subject, get your "performers" to have the same conversation, and re-position your camera making sure not to "Cross the Line" or it will look like they have swapped places.

Proffessional and amateur "videographers" Do "Cross the Line" for perhaps artistic effect. For this to work you need to know the rules, before you break them.
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