In this post about video production techniques we’ll look at what seven camera movements are and why they are used. In my five step visual brand connection method there is a reason for every visual element in a video. Video production techniques that just look cool have less value in supporting the story. Clients are struggling for viewers in a fire hose of content, so each visual element needs to be connected to the narrative.
I’m always asking – How do the six elements of the visual graph come together to support the narrative? Motion is one of the visual graph elements. That’s camera motion and scene motion. So, we’ll also look at a couple potential reasons to use each camera movement in your planning of video production techniques.
1. Push In & Pull Out
Push in to create importance of a moment or intensify a subjects emotion. Pushing in is very intimate. Pull out to reveal more scene information or show subject as isolated.
2. Booming or Crane Shot
Establish and reveal a scene. Give the environment context and relevance to the character. Vertical and diagonal movement is high energy.
3. Dolly slide or horizontal move
Keep subject in frame and establish more of scene to build more character. Horizontal movement is calming.
4. Follow or Leading
Move in sync with subject to establish transition of scene and subjects connection. Also known as tracking. Hand held follow/lead movement is high energy. Stabilized follow/lead movement with a gimbal or steadycam is more relaxing.
Move the camera around the subject in a circle. Use the changing background to shift dynamically and establish change, confusion, chaos, transformation. This camera movement is used sparingly for high energy.
Move the camera from a center point around a circle. 360 panning motion. Showing environment of subject. Use this technique to introduce new elements in a story.
Move the camera vertically up or down from a fixed point. Use to show relationship in space of two locations, or to connect a prop/scene to subject.
Have a look at this video montage to see these dynamic camera movements. Keep in mind that everything in the frame from the start of the camera move to the end point of a camera move should support your narrative.