There are countless camera support systems and gimbals these days capable of producing silky smooth and professionally looking cinematic shots in almost any situation and at a reasonable price. However, these tools are useless if you really don’t know how to plan, execute, and implement a certain camera movement so that it can serve your story and enhance the narrative in the best possible way.
We all know that camera movement can be an extremely powerful filmmaking asset, but only when utilised for a reason. Sometimes you wouldn’t even need the most advanced tools to create the strongest impact and immerse your audience in the story you are about to tell. Here is an insightful example from the stunning cinematography of the iconic AMC TV drama Breaking Bad that reveals the true power of two simple camera movements.
This excerpt taken from a scene from the final episode of the show, at first, appears to be just conveying information to the viewer. Then, with two simple camera movements it flips the plot on its head. A twist crafted to perfection like this one can be achieved only by careful planning and blocking, and through precise and coordinated efforts between authors, editors, directors, set designers and DoPs etc long before the principal photography has commenced.
Sure, you can pick your favourite gimbal, put a camera on it and shoot an entire film this way. But before you do that ask yourself whether this will serve your story and create the strongest emotional impact on your audience. If the answer is “Yes”, kudos to you. Unfortunately, in reality, it’s not just as simple as that.
And, this is only one of the reasons why filmmaking as an art form is so inspiring and powerful. Your aim as a visual storyteller is to provoke and touch your audience emotionally combining your immense filmmaking skill set with your artistic soul, strong personality and creative vision.
Whether you are going to scare, make people laugh or cry you should do you best to tell the story in the most immersive way using the filmmaking language and all assets provided that you have at your disposal. Filmmaking has the power to influence and even change people’s lives so it should be treated accordingly and never underrated.
Otherwise, using the latest filmmaking gadgets unintentionally is a great way to capture some cool shots for you web videos but will never be a viable option to tell an inspiring story if not used intentionally and in some meaningful and motivated way.
I often think about this when I’m watching a favourite movie or TV show. As filmmakers, we should embrace and learn the filmmaking language by finding all creative solutions to express our individual selves by trusting our personal visual aesthetics and simply pour our heart and soul every time we have a great and inspiring story to tell.
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