Oct 5th 2011 6:41PM
The fourth installment in our How to Shoot A Business Profile video series offers some advanced camera techniques in improving handheld stability and a few tips to stylize your videos.
Shooting handheld is inevitable on short shoots due to time constraints. While shooting the interview portion (video coming soon!), it is critical to shoot on a tripod but much of the live action footage will be shot while walking around the facility. The video points out the advantages of establishing leverage from the camera eyecup or holding the camera against your hip. If you are shooting with an HDSLR, some sort of stabilization is crucial. There are loads of DIY options out there, but mounts from Red Rock Microseems to be the overall winner in terms of build and custom functionality (though it is not cheap).
Corporate videos featuring small/medium sized businesses have a tendency to be boring. They don't have to be. Incorporating a few subtle moves into your camera work can prevent a less-than-compelling company into a dynamic and visually engaging commercial. The trick here is to strike a balance so that your stylized camera work does not overpower the subject. You want to accentuate while not overpowering the video.
Particularly when you first start trying out techniques such as whip pans, rack focus, drifts, or movement on a dolly, it is best to get multiple takes so you can choose the best one in post. The filmmakers who do these things the best, keep them to a minimum and do them in a nuanced way so as not to cause distraction from the content of the video.
BONUS (Not in Video)!
One last trick that you can do in post to keep an interview interesting: Shoot in 1080 but edit in 720. If your timeline sequence is in 720, your 1080 footage will be scaled to 67%. That gives you 33% of scale to work with so you can jumpcut/crop in during the interview. Editing this way can make your interviews look like they were shot with two cameras and keeps long monologues from growing stale visually. StudioNow projects are almost exclusively delivered in 720 so it makes sense to edit at that resolution. Particularly if it provides more latitude in your editing.