video techniques

Shoot in Sequences

This is especially true when shooting B-roll such as crowd scenes or nature shots, rather than a static shot of an interview with someone.

Remember that you will be determining what the viewer sees and how the story unfolds, so try to shoot discrete segments that you then can assemble into that story when you're editing.

Here's an example:

Think of different scenes, as in a movie. Each of those scenes is made up of sequences. In each sequence, you need to follow the action, and shoot wide, medium and close-up.

Say you want to capture a person arriving at work in the morning on her bicycle -- that's one sequence. It could be made up of the following shots: the person pulling up to the building, getting off the bicycle, chaining the bicycle to the bicycle stand, taking off gloves, taking off her helmet, tucking gloves into the helmet, and walking into the building. Every little detail is important. You can't shoot enough details.

In fact, a good ratio to shoot for (literally) is 50 percent closeups and extreme closeups, 25 percent medium shots, and 25 percent wide shots.

It might break down like this: a wide shot of her arriving. A medium shot of her getting off the bicycle. A close-up of her pushing the front wheel of the bike into the bike stand. A close-up of her chaining the bike to the stand. An extreme closeup of her taking off her gloves. An extreme close-up of her eyes as she looks at her hands while she's taking off her gloves. A close-up of her taking off her helmet and tucking the gloves into it. A close-up of her straightening her hair and looking at the building. A medium and wide shots of her walking into the building with the helmet tucked under her arm.