If you are a newcomer to visual storytelling, you’ll need to master some simple shots that are at the heart of all good video journalism.
The human eye sees in ‘wide’ angle. So newcomers to video storytelling often shoot too many wide shots. But a variety of shots, including plenty of close-ups, will help bring your story to life. Here is a list of shot types and angles used by visual storytellers – from movie makers to tv journalists and social videographers.
If you are filming an interview you can either capture your interviewee in a Medium or Medium Close-up shot. But if you’re interviewing two people, or you plan to cut your interview later and need additional shots to hide the cuts, try these shot types:
Where you place the camera, and where your interviewee is looking, can change the look and feel of your interview. If you film someone from above, they will look childlike. Filming them from below makes them look powerful. And if they have to look up or down to see the camera lens, this will also make the interview look odd. Follow this excellent advice and video from the BBC on getting your interview shots perfect.
The small size of the smartphone makes it possible to capture new perspectives and creative angles that would be impossible with a bigger camera. For example, you can put your phone inside things – like a glass, an oven or – as in this package from Philip Bromwell at RTE News below – inside a coffee machine. Be creative!
If you’re starting out on your journey as a visual journalist, there are plenty of free resources to help you – like this Pre-Production Course from the YouTube Creators Studio.