What to Shoot and What Not To Shoot.

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Frank Maxwell
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What to Shoot and What Not To Shoot.

Post by Frank Maxwell » Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:52 pm

This topic came up. The person who is learning or training the art of video media will understand the above quotation.
I just come back from Germany and Switzerland video filming and the amount of tourist in Cathedral walking along with their camcorders on, and hose piping was unbelievable. Even iPhone and iPads were on the move.
That is were the system of video making breaks down. If that would have been cine film no way would they capture that amount footage in that manner.
I think most untrained people just use a capture device and are happy to see the result on the big screen. All this fandango stuff of "HOW" and "WHAT" does not come into the play.

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TimStannard
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Re: What to Shoot and What Not To Shoot.

Post by TimStannard » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:26 pm

I think we have to distinguish between "making a video or film", in the sense that most people here would consider, and "taking some video". The difference is similar to, but possibly greater than, me snapping a holiday snapshot and an artistic set of portaits of the Taj Mahal by a photography enthusiast.

We are not (I hope) going to be subjected to the films from these tourists. They are making them for their own memories and possibly for friends to be subjected to (possibly via YouTube). It is not our place to judge unless they ask for our criticism or help.

If they aren't concerned about producing better footage, why should we be?

There is one answer to that - and that is it might lower people's expectations of the quality of amateur film and so fewer "public" might attend festivals and the like. But when was the last time you saw a non film maker or club member at a festival?
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

col lamb
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Re: What to Shoot and What Not To Shoot.

Post by col lamb » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:20 pm

Yes, thats spot on.

Its memories, that they are shooting thats all.

If you try to shoot using an iPad, then good luck, it is unbelievably difficult to hold the thing steady.

Even using a mobile phone to video is very difficult to get a steady shot, the ergonomics are all wrong.

If you can get steady video on the iPad then the editing software apps are very good and after a few minutes work, in the cafe and their wifi and you visit is on youtubiething before you leave the building, yep thats progress for you
Col Lamb
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Dave Watterson
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Re: What to Shoot and What Not To Shoot.

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:07 pm

A friend of mine is just such a video tourist ... but he cuts together the best bits of his shots with stills in fairly fast-paced 15 minute packages of "Our Holiday in ..." which are fun to watch. His best bits are often striking. The plus of modern video stablisers in smart phones and camcorders helps.

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TimStannard
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Re: What to Shoot and What Not To Shoot.

Post by TimStannard » Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:56 pm

Dave Watterson wrote:A friend of mine is just such a video tourist ...
I suspect though, that if he is anticipating editing these clips together he is not walking along and hosing in quite the same manner that Frank is describing. Of course, I may be wrong and he just shoots so much that "something" is salvageable.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Ian Cox
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Re: What to Shoot and What Not To Shoot.

Post by Ian Cox » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:05 pm

I still regard myself as a video tourist whilst trying to take interesting shots - shooting to edit.
In an ideal world a film maker will not only have excellent knowledge of their equipment and the principles of film making , they will have researched the location(s) , have an idea of shots to take AND will have planned sufficient time to do the same .
But even the best film maker will be stretched when there are time limitations set by a guided tour , also without full knowledge of the area to be covered , and will end up with a lot of speculative shots - including a certain amount of panning and tilting in areas like cathedrals.The popularity of modern TV programmes using "walkabout" shooting ( albeit using expensive steadycams) encourages amateur snap shooters to to do the same.Done constructively this will work. Does this make a structured holiday video NOT of interest to festivals?
BTW my understanding of hosepiping relates mainly to irresponsible zooming - you cannot tell that from observing the snapshooters - just possible over use of the " pan and tilt".
I agree that iPads and iPhones MAY be difficult to steady - but so are DSLR's unless you take appropriate precautions ( tripod/ chestpods/steady cam anyone?) .
As Col says , most footage is for memories but I am sure that , like me , others are trying to take structured video in an uncertain world.
There are professional who have the knowledge and the time , there are those who have not received trining , there are those of us who have basic knowledge but have to shoot " on the fly" - does that make the result any less worthy?

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TimStannard
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Re: What to Shoot and What Not To Shoot.

Post by TimStannard » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:46 pm

How a film is shot has nothing to do with the worthiness of a film. However if the camera is continually moving in an unmotivated manner it is unlikely that the editor (in most of our cases, the same person as the shooter) will be able to make much that is comfortable to watch.

What you describe as speculative shots are common. We don't know what we're about to see so we leave the camera on record. The crucial difference between someone who is just going to post it without any thought and someone who expects to edit it is that the latter will make sure once the camera finds a subject, it is allowed to rest there for a few seconds. That's the bit that will be used in the film.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Roy1
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Re: What to Shoot and What Not To Shoot.

Post by Roy1 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:07 am

TIM. You do talk a lot of common sense and any newcomers should take notice. All my travelogue films and videos have been shot whilst on guided tours and I edit out the shots that are unwatchable in my humble opinion. However sometimes if an unwatchable shot is imperative to the story I make a freeze frame of the most interesting part of the image and explain by use of the commentary. I find that if this procedure is used sparingly it is acceptable to the viewer. However one must say that television documentaries are full of static shots or freeze frames.

Michael Slowe
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Re: What to Shoot and What Not To Shoot.

Post by Michael Slowe » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:36 am

Of course, it's all down to the editing, the key skill in the complicated art of film making. Almost anyone today can shoot reasonable material with the kit that's available (there's a feature film due for release shot entirely on an iPhone!!!). You can't teach editing, it has to be instinctive and intuitive, but without that skill footage is just that, a record of what the camera was pointed at. Fine for a record, for retaining memories, and that is all those tourists require.

Earlier this week I was in Paris, catching up on some exhibitions. I visited the Louvre, for the first time, and was horrified by the hordes of tourists, almost all waving tiny digital cameras and iPhones. They were photographing the pictures wildly, it appeared indiscriminately, with cameras held high to clear heads. All the best paintings could be acquired on postcards in the shop, but the tourists wanted their "I was there" pictures.

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TimStannard
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Re: What to Shoot and What Not To Shoot.

Post by TimStannard » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: "I was there" shots. That's understandable and whilst I would not wish to see someone's holiday film consisting entirely of family members standing in front of sights, I think including some shots of the participants (and in particular their opinions/emotions) adds an essential human element to what could otherwise be little more than a collection of postcards. I think this applies even in films made simply for memories sake.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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