Get the Shot You Want When You Use These Tips

When you think about your favorite movies, a series of snapshots probably come to mind. Those memorable close-ups, lingering landscapes and wide-angle action shots are what people remember about movies.

Young man using a professional camera

You don’t have to do fancy Matrix-style camera setups, nor do you need millions to spend on post production clean up and additions. You need an eye for the dramatic, a landscape that suits the mood and a bit of flair for the camera itself. It’s helpful to break the shot down into individual phases, or concepts, which you can use as beats to help measure out the story.

Conceptualize Your Shot

Every shot follows the same basic principles, so if you find yourself overwhelmed then break your shot down into concepts.

The first concept is staging or blocking. Blocking your shot means that you are placing actors, props and everything else where it needs to be to make the shot work. You need this phase to get every other phase right, so spend the time to get everything right. Look through the lens if you need to, don’t rely on what you see. Then move on to lighting your set. This is a good time to have actors do some dry runs of their parts. Work the lighting until you get the highlights you want, then go for the shot.

The purpose of analyzing and recalling these concepts is to help develop a process. A process helps you get the busy work done faster, which leaves more room for experimentation.