How-To: Shoot a Sequence

When it comes to shooting a sequence, no matter what the scene may be, there are a few basic types of shots you should capture so that you can engage viewers and portray simple stories.

Utilizing these shots will give editors a variety of footage to work with as well as improve the chances of your videos being purchased.
The first shot you want to get is called an establishing shot, or a wide shot, which allows viewers to see the setting of which the scene is taking place and sets the foundation for following shots.  To get an establishing shot, make sure the camera or lens is zoomed all the way out, capturing the entire setting.  Once you have the shot set up, hold still and let the camera record between five and ten seconds.  Any establishing shot under five seconds can confuse viewers or make it difficult for editors to use.

After the setting is established, you can get a closer shot of the subject with a long shot.  The long shot is great for portraying the scale of the scene or subject within its setting.  For example, long shots will show people from their head to their feet, with a little “safety” room above and below them.

To get more detail of the subject you can then use a medium shot, which is tighter and fills the frame with the subject.  This shot will show people from the waist up, with minimal background distraction.
Following a medium shot is the close up, where sections of people or a subject fill the frame.  Close ups often show little to no background, providing more detail.  When using this shot, the frame would show a person from the top of the shoulders and up, allowing viewers to see facial expressions clearly.

The last shot you want to utilize is the extreme close up. Extreme close ups fill the frame with small sections such as eyes, or fingers, providing viewers with the maximum amount of detail.  Extreme close ups however, can only be used on fairly still subjects, otherwise they will be blurry and difficult to see, so take note of your subject before shooting.

Why get all these shots? So they can be purchased and cut together into a sequence, which looks like this. See how the establishing, long, medium, close and extreme close shots all work together. These simple shots give editors a variety of options to work with, increasing your chance of getting paid.

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