Moving the camera

Let’s talk about moving the camera during a shot.

Don’t do it.

There. That could be the whole blog post. If you are new to film making you might be thinking I can hand hold the camera, or I can shake it all around, or I can jerk it over here and there. Well, that just sucks. Knock that crap off. Unless you know what the camera movement actually means to the shot, and unless you think believe it actually adds something important to the shot then leave the freaking camera still. It is not fun or cute for the viewing audience to watch your camera spin around the actor while they speak normal lines of dialog.

There are times when a pan, zoom, crane lift, jib move, whip pan, etc works for the shot. They all say something to the viewer when it is used. When you are looking at a hero dealing with a zombie and you crane up and zoom out to show the entire town is infected, then great. I feel like you have expanded my viewpoint and now I know more and the drama/tension just increased. Yay for you. You moved the camera in a way that added to the scene.

But if you are moving just to keep us entertained while actors do something boring, then your script is junk. Change the script. Don’t try to fix it with an annoying camera movement.

Also, if you are adding special effects, a moving camera shot multiplies the complexity by a thousand fold as compared to a still shot.

So, keep it still, unless you have a very specific reason to move and you understand what the movement adds to the shot.

Us older people will appreciate your film a lot more and we won’t have to close our eyes every time you take the camera and run around with it.

Go ahead, make some mess, keep the camera still, have some fun.

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