Photo Video West – San Diego
Date: Saturday, April 27, 2013
Time: 1:30 pm – 2: 30 pm
Location: Video Theater
Camera movement has changed in the last few years. It is getting easier to move the camera in smaller and smaller spaces. At NAB this year we saw the introduction of the Movi System by Freefly which looks like it will revolutionize the world of camera movement. The Movi is a Gimbal System that stabilizes the camera with a very low learning curve. It’s a one person operation or can be run by two people. One person moves with the rig and the other by remote control changes the camera angle and focus. It’s not just the Movi but there are several other innovative companies with simple small compact products. Kessler Crane has a new travel jib that collapses down small enough to fit into your suitcase. It is stable and effective even with its light weight and compact construction. Now you can get simple jib shots on the road. The ease of movement is not the reason to move the camera. Moving the camera is a conscious decision to help strengthen communication with your viewer. Here are 3 reasons, of the many, to move the camera.
3 Reasons for Camera Movement
#1 Camera movement creates interest.
This is one of the downfalls for still photographers. They don’t move the camera and want to put it on the tripod and leave it. Get it off the tripod and make the camera move. People are used to seeing camera movement and miss it when it’s gone. We move the camera to help keep the frame alive, which keeps the viewer interested in the image.
#2 Camera movement directs the viewer and make them look at what you want them to see.
I’m in a wide shot of a large landscape. The camera drops down to the ground to a man’s face down in the dirt. We have changed our framing from wide to tight and made the audience look at the individual. He goes from small and insignificant in the frame to a tight shot that shows that he is in trouble. This strengthens the tension and engages the viewer. We have made the audience look at our man in trouble. Not only we look at him but we know where he is and that he is alone.
#3 Camera movement creates emotion.
That’s one of the biggest reasons why it is so essential to filmmaking. As the camera pushes into the man in the dirt it creates an emotional response. The audience is concerned. Who pushed him? Why is he there? The camera move makes this emotion more abrupt and unsettling to the viewer. His distress in the mist of a world of tranquility makes it more unsettling. The move helped us communicate this emotion.
These are just a few of the many reasons to move the camera. I will talk more about camera movement when I speak at Photo Video West Saturday April 27th – Introduction to the World of Camera Movement. We will look at the latest equipment and how it’s shaping the emotion and ability to tell a story with camera movement.