5 clever techniques to help make a movie worth watching

July 28, 2015

Technology has made it easy for anyone to try their hand at being a cameraman or movie director. But it's not so easy to make a movie that's really worth sharing with others. Here are five techniques to help you create a movie that is worth watching.

5 clever techniques to help make a movie worth watching

1. Try to keep still

The first and worst mistake that most people make is allowing the camera to shake and jiggle. It distracts viewers, and affects the quality of the shot.

  • Brace your camera in both hands and, if you can, lean on a fence or other immovable object.
  • Alternatively, for fixed-position shots, use a tripod.

2. Take your time

  • Don't pan quickly from side to side. This error is known as "firehosing", and it makes your movie impossible to watch.
  • The same applies to zooming in and out: do it in a measured way and not too often.
  • Let the camera roll; a three second videobite of someone blowing out the candles on their cake isn't interesting. Capture the build-up, and then the aftermath.

3. Get plenty of material

Shoot lots of footage, then edit it on your computer.

  • Invest in some good video-editing software and use it to rearrange your movie into a narrative.
  • Pick out only the very best bits, and ruthlessly discard everything else.
  • When you edit, mix things up so as to vary the pace and the mood of your movie.
  • This is the time to add effects such as wipes (where one scene changes to another as if "wiped" from the screen) and fades (where the action dissolves gradually from the screen).

4. Be scared of the dark

Camcorders work best in bright light.

  • Films made in the evening or in the dim light of a party can easily end up looking like they were shot at the bottom of a coalmine.

5. Change the angle for the best result

Don't shoot everything from shoulder height: this soon gets boring. Get up on a balcony from time to time or crouch down.

  • If someone is talking to the camera, position yourself so that their head is not in the dead centre of the frame.

Keep these techniques in mind for your next movie, and create something your audience will love to watch!

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