3. The Camera in Motion
My digital camcorder is small enough that I can take it almost
One of the advantages of a small camera is that it easily moves with you. However, when you're shooting, motion can become a character in its own right. Slowly moving across a scene imparts a different feeling than quickly scanning your surroundings, for example. This chapter addresses the most common ways of moving the camera to add motion to your movie, including the number one rule: don't move.
It's time to go watch TV again (hey, this moviemaking stuff is easy!). Turn to a scripted dramatic show and note how often the camera moves. I don't mean how often the camera is moved , which provides different angles of the same scene, but how often the camera is actually movingnot much. When it does move, such as when following a character through a set, the movement is smooth and measured.
As much as possible, limit your camera's movement. You want action that emotionally affects the viewer, which is more likely to happen when the camera is stationary and focused on the contents of a scene. A shot that's bouncing, zooming, or
Staying still has another practical benefit: excess movement causes blurring in your images (
). Our eyes do a good job of pulling detail out of motion blur, but there's a limit to how often they can
Figure 3.1. Sudden camera moves introduce
But If You Must Move...
Okay, you don't have to
Case in point: film director Steven Soderberg. If you watch one of his movies, you'll notice that the camera is almost always in motion, but just
It would have been simple to lock the camera down in a fixed location and shoot the actors coming out of the doors. Instead, Soderberg
pushes in on a