Viewpoint and Direction
The camcorder viewpoint can be very informative for your audience. Depending on where you are, you are giving your viewers very different information. Via your camcorder you are giving your viewers an insight into what is occurring. You can dictate whom the audience will identify with by the camera’s point of view.
Over and above where you decide to place yourself in order to collect images, the angle at which you hold the camcorder can add another dimension to your shots. Try to find somewhere where you can be higher than your subjects. However in interviews a higher angle will diminish your subjects whereas a low angle will make your subject seem more powerful. In most interviews it is preferable to keep the camera at eye level.
When you are filming you should be aiming to collect images that when they are edited together will create a credible continuity to events or a sense of direction which the audience will be able to understand easily. For example, if you are filming people walking from one place to another you should make sure that they are always traveling in the same direction, either right to left or left to right across the frame, but never both. If you don’t do this it will seem to your audience that firstly your subject is walking in one direction and then that they are walking back towards where they first came from. Seeing a person or object from one side and then the other in the same sequence will be confusing for your audience.
The same is true if you are filming two people talking to each other. A good rule to follow here is that you should favor the opposite cheek of one talker to the other when filming them in a single shot. One person will have the left side of the face favored in the shot and the other person will have the right side of their face favored in the shot. This will mean that they appear to be facing each other while they are talking. If for example you film both subjects favoring the left side of their face it will seem as though they are both facing the same direction and are not talking to each other at all, but to someone out of frame on the left.
- Different viewpoints create different perspectives
- Try to change the angles from which you film
- Keep continuity of direction
What Next? Composing and Framing Your Shots