Advanced Video Camera and Editing

Camera Exercise

Due 19 September 

You will need to shoot the following:

  • A sequence showing a campus building with NATS
  • A sequence showing a person engaged in an activity with NATS
  • Two interview shots that contains bokeh with proper audio
  • A series of 3-4 shots that use foreground objects with NATS

When doing sequences, shoot in the order as they might appear in the finished edit. Keeping the shots close together on the media card will help streamline the editing process.

Most of the time....use a tripod. Some shots can be hand-held, but they still need to be mostly steady.

Turning in the final assignment

When edited, upload to your YouTube Channel and make sure that the video is made Public. Provide your instructor with the URL prior to class.

Do a Recce

Think carefully about the shots you are likely to use in an edited sequence. Start by doing a recce where you walk around looking for interesting angles. The recce only takes a couple minutes. If you're with an expert about the subject, ask about the action that will appear in front of the camera so that you can anticipate where you need to be to get the right shot.

As a photographer, think like an editor.

This exercise will help you understand why it’s important to shoot a variety of shots. But don't overshoot. Be selective about the shots, knowing which ones will provide better options for creating a dynamic and interesting presentation. You don't want to create more work for yourself when you start editing.

What is a sequence?

A sequence is a collection of related shots that are edited together to advance a scene or story. These shots show the same subject/action taken from different angles. If the action is repetitive, the editor can then match the movements between shots, creating a more dynamic sequence.

Shooting sequences also speeds up the editing process considerably because they help eliminate arbitrary decisions during post-production.   

Just like doing news, students will shoot an UNSTAGED event, which also has the potential for matching action. Find a subject, get a variety of shots, and edit the sequence.                                     

A sequence can consist of a wide shot followed by 2 or 3 tight shots of the same subject/action, but taken from different angles. These shots can be edited to direct the viewer closer to the action, or they can start on a close shot followed by shots that gradually reveal more of the subject/action.

Sequences also create more potential to write creatively to the scene.

Professional photographers in the industry will often follow the WSTTT process of collecting shots:


Here are some steps to take when doing WSTTT:

  • Position the camera at an angle that reveals the entire scene.
  • Focus and compose a Wide Shot. Adjust the exposure properly.
  • Start recording and back away from the camera so you don't inadvertently bump it.
  • Record for 10-15 seconds.
  • Stop the camera.
  • Zoom in for a tight shot within the Wide Shot. Compose and adjust exposure.
  • Start recording and, again, back away from the camera so you don't inadvertently bump it.
  • Record 10-15 seconds and stop.
  • Repeat for two more tight shots.
  • Move the camera to a new position and repeat the WSTTT process.

Try to get shots taken from different heights. If you need to, take the camera off the tripod and place it on the ground.

You're not a real photographer unless you're willing to get down on the ground and get your trousers dirty.

When you edit, use only the best shots and the ones that help you achieve your needs. Trim your edits for rhythm & pacing, while maintaining continuity.

When Editing, some basic rules to follow:

           1.    Don’t put wide shots back-to-back. They can sometimes lead to jump cuts, which are cuts that occur using two shots where the angle doesn’t change appreciably.

           2.    Wide shots can be followed by medium or close-up shots.

           3.    You can cut close-up shots back-to-back comfortably.

           4.    It’s OK to start a sequence using a wide shot and then follow it with tighter shots to show detail within the wide shot. This type of sequence gets viewers closer to the subject.

           5.    Or you can start a sequence with tight shots and then follow it with a wide shot. This type of sequence is known as a Reveal.

Interviews with bokeh -
Do 2 interview shots: one outdoors and the other indoors.

With a friend, do an interview that also has audio. You cannot rely on the camera's microphone. Use a hand-held or wireless microphone and make sure the levels are good and that there isn't any distortion. If using a hand-held, compose the shot so that the microphone isn't visible.  You need to get the exposure right.

Apply Bokeh to you interview shots: our eyes automatically go to what's in focus.

Bokeh works only if the person is far enough away from the background and the camera is set at such a distance that allows you to focus properly using the telephoto lens. Zoom in on the person and focus on their eyes. In the shot, the person is sharply focused while the background becomes a soft blur.

Use Foreground Elements in a series of shots

To achieve the illusion of depth, compose a few shots where a foreground object appears. You'll get a more interesting shot to look at.