Somtimes Low Tech is Good Enough

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I’ve always said that one of the surest ways to elevate your video work to being cinematic is camera movement.  Not only does this elevate your production value, but it makes your images more visceral, emotional, and kinetic – and as they should be!  They’re called motion pictures after all.

However, the equipment to do this is often expensive (hence the differences in amateur and professional productions).  But if you are resourceful you can fake professional moves with only your basic camera package.  The above video is a clever example of this.  Using only a basic tripod and some basic geometry the filmmaker above devises a pretty ingenious way to fake a dolly move (and a jib moves of sorts) – with pretty fantastic results.  Technically its not quite as smooth as a true dolly move of course, but the motion is uniform and at the very least it comes across as a great steadicam (but short and ultra-basic) move – either of which will add instant production value to your film!  Frankly it’s something I’ll love to have in my bag of tricks  for sure when the itch to do a dolly move in the middle of a busy street or indoors – equipped with only a tripod might strike.

I always try to put the “best of breed” gear in my Gear Section on this site (as section we’ve put CONSIDERABLE amount of time into – by adding examples of the gear in use and describing why we like it)  – but I also want to make sure I don’t lose sight of the realities of people’s budgets…  we’re going to update the gear site soon with a series of different camera configurations – from budget conscious, all the way through 5 configurations that get you to the high end – we’re in the middle of assembling the kits now and going to shoot videos next week.  Should be very cool.

Lastly – one more tip: if you have NOTHING in terms of support with you when shooting with an HDDSLR – put the camera strap around your neck and push forward against you neck to get resistance and you’ll get a steadier result.   The tension will give you a bit more stability and in effect use your neck as a virtual “point of contact.”  In general – the more points of contact you have with any camera (shoulder, one hand on a handle, the other on the Follow Focus wheel – is a good thing…

Happy shooting.