Proper lenses, camera angles, lighting, video editing, sound design, makeup effects, camera shakes – all these elements could be equally important when you want to produce a realistic fight scene for any of your productions. Of course, working with talented actors and professional stunts is a mandatory prerequisite to sell the illusion and get the most realistic performance.
However, if you still struggle with filming those type of action sequences, Jordy Vandeput of Cinecom.net and his team will walk you through the basics by covering the ins and outs of shooting a realistic punch in the face and sharing a few useful tips and tricks on the topic along the way.
First off, try to film your talents from over the shoulder instead of from the side. You can also opt for a lens with a longer focal length that should make your actors look closer together on camera than they actually are in reality. It’s also worth noting that all the hits and reactions in the sequence should be exaggerated and perfectly synchronized to produce a more realistic effect. That’s why rehearsing the fight scene is highly recommended, especially when some intricate choreography is involved.
Another viable trick is to increase your camera’s shutter speed when filming such a scene. In a nutshell, this step will decrease the motion blur in your video making the movements look sharper and more dramatic. Try a few different settings and figure out which one of them would work best for your action scene.
Last but not least, you can use some simple post-production tricks to enhance your action scene. For instance, to increase the power of each hit, you can speed up those parts where your talent swings with his hand. As the other talent gets hit, you can slow down the movement to emphasize the moment. Overall, time remapping could be a pretty handy tool in these situations, so use it whenever possible to give more power and speed to your scene.
Furthermore, you can use the Transform effect to animate the position and the scale of your footage to draw attention to certain moments of your fight scene. This trick should also emphasize and sell the hit more easily. First create a nest sequence, drag and drop the Transform tool on your newly created sequence and animate the position setting accordingly. You could also tweak the Shutter Angle to add some additional motion blur at the very moment when the hit takes place. Optionally, you can animate the scale for some extra bounce effect as well.
Finally, apply your favorite color grading settings and don’t forget to add suitable sound effects to complete the sequence. Again, to sell the illusion, try to get the most out of your actors’ performance on set in the first place and then use the above post-production tricks just to enhance the visual aesthetics of your action scene by adding some subtle final touches to nail it down.