The Art of Camera Movement

Once the story has been written you then need to work out how the corporate video will be shot. There are a multitude of things to think about here but one of the most important is how camera movement will be used in some or all of the shots. This can have a huge bearing on the feel and look of a corporate video so it’s imperative that you get it right and have a good idea of what you want before the shoot begins.

There are many tools we can use to help achieve different types of movement –

  • a shoulder mounted camera will give you a shaky look
  • a stabilised gimbal will give you a very smooth shot
  • a drone will give you a very smooth shot which also has the potential to create an awe inspiring opener to the video
  • a slider will give you smooth horizontal movement over short distances
  • a jib gives you smooth vertical movement with the addition of being able to pan.
  • motion control will give you a repeatable movement which is ideal if you need the movement to be precise or you need to layer shots in the post-production phase.

Lets take each of these and look closer at them –

Shoulder Mount and Handheld

Shoulder mounts are primarily used in two ways. For news gathering or run’n’gun they are great because you can quickly capture a shot and then move straight on to the next without the need for a tripod. They are also good for filming voxpops when filming at an event.

If the video has a strong narrative thread that uses emotion then shoulder mounts and a handheld camera can be used to create a shaky look to the film, this movement can make the audience feel uneasy, as if the main character is being followed or it can give the feeling of a panicked rush, if there is a crowd of demonstrators running down a street the camera might be in the mix running with the demonstrators, clearly portraying the emotion of the demonstration.

3-Axis Stabilised Gimbal

These devices

Follow this link to view our gimbal showreel.

Drone and Helicopters

Moving a camera with a drone or helicopter can instantly put your video head and shoulders above the rest. A grand aerial introduction to your business can be an awe-inspiring sight. They also enable us to follow moving objects over the ground, these shots can be extremely dynamic because you can really see the product working in its element.

From a storytelling point of view aerial shots open up a whole new world of possibilities. The unique angles they can provide really help propel a story.

Here is one of our latest aerial promos which you may find interesting to watch.

Sliders and Jibs

FS7 These tools produce a lovely smooth motion, like the camera is floating through the air. They are fantastic when the handheld look isn’t appropriate. Due to the smooth silky nature of the movement they portray a sense of quality and precision, perfect for many different types of corporate video. Despite the smooth motion they can be incredibly dynamic and if the move is planned well the outcome can be amazing.

Sliders and jibs give a more controlled movement. Jibs are great if you need to reach over a crowd of people with a camera, I’m sure you’ve seen footage of Glastonbury showing cameras flying over the crowd. These are the safest option for this type of application because drones are too risky to fly directly over large crowds of people. Jibs can also carry very large payloads so are well suited to broadcast applications where sweeping vertical and pan movements are required.

Sliders are great when you what smooth lateral movement, they work very well for reveal shots and can add interest to a shot. You could create these moves with a gimbal but the movement wouldn’t be as exact because they are more fluid than a slider.

From a storytelling point of view this controlled movement portrays a sense of precision and high quality so they can be effective in a variety of video types. They also enable you to draw the audiences attention to certain areas of the shot, there manipulating them to look at what you want them to look at.

Motion Control

Motion control systems can include many different axis depending on the complexity of the equipment and the shot that is required. They enable the production company to shoot the exact same movement multiple times, this is required if the the shots need to be overlaid during post-production or if you are doing a complex green screen shoot where you need to film the talent in front of a green screen and then shoot ‘the plate’, the footage what will eventually appear behind the talent, so the movement in the scenes combine perfectly together.

Similar to sliders, jibs and gimbals these create a very precise movement and enable you to create some very complex and elaborate effects during the post-production. From a storytelling point of view these can be incredibly powerful as it opens a lot of possibilities.

I hope you found this blog informative and it’s given you a good idea of these different techniques can really help tell a story. If you have a story you want to tell please give Will or Andy a call or send them an email as they love nothing more than working out how best to tell a story and then actually telling that story.