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Welcome to movingimageeducation.org!

Composition

A common mistake for first time filmmaker is continually fiddling with the controls, zooming in, zooming out, panning left, move to the right, go up, go down, zoom in again until your head is in a spin…

Telling a story with a sequence of shots is a much better way to do it, but you need to know what shots you want before you start. It makes the editor's job a whole lot easier if most things have been worked out first with a storyboard; and it will look more cinematic/professional!

Find out about film language as this will help you with your film.

Framing with a tripod

If you have a tripod it is easier to compose shots. Take the same amount of care and attention as if you were composing a photographic still image. A tripod 'pins you down to your last decision' meaning you can move on to concentrate on other important elements within your composition such as performance.

For a steady tripod, extend all legs equally and use the three legs before the central pole - its all about physics. Keep your eye on balancing the camera to the horizon and make sure the camera is secure before you let go!

An important reason for using a tripod is it gives young people the opportunity to study the framing. And, since you are all looking at the same framing as them, you can check the shot too without doing it for them!

Of course great cinema is all about dynamism - but study how great films are built (and cheap TV too) and you'll see how much can be achieved without ever moving the camera.

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